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Old 09-18-2015, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Houston TX
1,593 posts, read 1,386,415 times
Reputation: 1050

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In next few (3-5) years I would like to move out of Houston area to more conservative area and build own house somewhere in a rural environment.

I need to start saving cash for this project. For several reasons I don't want to invest in an old house and remodeling.
First of all, I can't find any existing moderately priced house matching my specs.

What I need is 1600 sq. ft. 2-story house, simple 4 corner structure, real masonry frame/walls (no wooden frame): either all brick or maybe concrete blocks + brick veneer siding, reinforced concrete basement, one fireplace, metal roof, 400 sq.ft. extra living space above 2nd floor, 80 sq.ft. balcony, central AC/heating, all tile flooring 1st floor (maybe some kind of composite or ceramic board instead of tile), detached garage 500 sq. ft. This is pretty much it.

Building cost calculator Building-Cost.net -- free residential building cost calculator gives me ~$250-270K estimate, including building permits and all other things (not including land, of course). As I see, this cost does not depend much on state. South part of the East Coast is my choice of future location.

If I switch to cheaper siding/wooden frame I don't see any reasonable cost reduction. Surprisingly, real masonry structure will not be a lot more expensive, according to this calculator. So of course I will not accept compromise and will go with masonry structure. I don't know how reliable this calculator is, but hopefully it gives more or less correct ballpark.

I want to accomplish this project for cash only. So the goal is to reduce building cost as much as possible without compromising building quality. In order to do this, I can do some construction work on my own (for example, flooring, stuff like that). I have some building skills.

What do you think if $250-270K estimate is feasible and is it possible to reduce price (how much?) by doing some construction work by myself? Maybe you have such an experience. Good budget planning is critically important here.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
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Old 09-18-2015, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
14,538 posts, read 54,831,734 times
Reputation: 17605
There's nothing like living in an institutional environment!

Guess you want steel bars on the windows also(?)
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Old 09-18-2015, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Houston TX
1,593 posts, read 1,386,415 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K'ledgeBldr View Post

Guess you want steel bars on the windows also(?)
I'd like to move to such an area where steel bars won't be needed.
Maybe only shatter-resistant film, just in case
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Old 09-18-2015, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Sugarmill Woods , FL
6,232 posts, read 6,773,075 times
Reputation: 13716
If you are building your garage detached, you could hold off until a future time to build it, and put your cash into the house.
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Old 09-18-2015, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Houston TX
1,593 posts, read 1,386,415 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by froglipz View Post
If you are building your garage detached, you could hold off until a future time to build it, and put your cash into the house.
Yes, I certainly agree.
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Old 09-18-2015, 03:41 PM
 
6,319 posts, read 6,254,795 times
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Putting off building a garage is a false economy.

If something bad happens and OP needs to sell, its a huge turn off for potential buyers.

OP doing a lot of it yourself will save a bunch of cash.

I'm talking $100k arena at least.

However there are some things I personally wouldn't screw around with, over here the laws are very tight. I built an extension to my house (hired builders) and they had to resubmit plans because the City kept changing the regulations pretty much monthly.

Also in the construction industry (Australia anyway) you get price rises MONTHLY. So any raw material you can buy now will save you thousands in a year or two.

A lot of the larger trade supply type places will have a lot of "second" stock. I used to work in construction and got a beautiful stained glass door for $50 and some $300 taps for $20.

Our company used to supply huge building companies who order these things in bulk and sometimes get the count wrong, or drop something leaving a tiny chip so it cannot be used. Once we had to replace 100 doors which were stolen because someone ordered them in too soon and they had to sit unlocked overnight. Builders can be very dumb.
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Old 09-18-2015, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Houston TX
1,593 posts, read 1,386,415 times
Reputation: 1050
Quote:
Originally Posted by cindersslipper View Post

OP doing a lot of it yourself will save a bunch of cash.

I'm talking $100k arena at least.
So you think is will be possible to fit this project in 150K budget?

I don't think I can handle plumbing and electric work, plus roofing and foundation, of course. This has to be done by professionals. Probably I can do interior work only.

I will not be concerned much about changing city laws, cause I am planning to settle in 100% rural area, outside any city limits.
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Old 09-18-2015, 04:25 PM
 
6,319 posts, read 6,254,795 times
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OK where I live (Australia) you're NEVER outside "city limits".

You cant just erect something without permission, plans, approval. Anywhere.

Its better than it sounds - for example it was the City who told my builders the timber they planned to use was no longer approved for the wind speed of the area, so it was a Safety thing.

If you live somewhere you can bypass all Building Codes, you can possibly save even more.

What do you need to build a house?

Materials
A Plan
Labour

That's it. Your costs will mainly reside in materials so you can take advantage of second hand yards if you DIY, and save a bundle! Ive heard of houses being built for $200 by enterprising handymen!
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Old 09-18-2015, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Houston TX
1,593 posts, read 1,386,415 times
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Yes, hopefully I could save some $$$ on building materials.

But does anyone have personal experience with building house in NC, SC, GA or FL? Preferably with building brick house.
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Old 09-18-2015, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
13,306 posts, read 12,173,194 times
Reputation: 22881
I built a house in SC in 2010. It was just under 2000 sq ft and all one story. It had an attached 2 car garage. I paid over $190K for everything. It was 4 bed, 2 bath, kitchen, laundry, great room, dining room, breakfast room. Walk-in closets in 3 bedrooms. small attic for a/c/heat. No basement. Stick frame. one .29 acres. Fenced the yard. Concrete driveway. Now this also included the land in a development. Septic tank. City water. Electric only. Cable, phone and electric were underground for the entire development. Keep in mind, this is a house with an HOA and a tract house. So the builder used the same contractors over and over and had purchased materials in bulk and in massive quantities. The builder always has at least 8 neighborhoods under construction at a time in SC. And a few dozen over the border in GA. Not a small builder by any means.
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