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Old 08-04-2007, 02:40 PM
 
3 posts, read 10,575 times
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Hey, I could really use some input into the cost per square footage to build a 4 bedroom custom (high end finishes, appliances etc.) home...about 4,000+ square feet. We will be retiring to a a small horse farm, probably about 40-60 acres and we dream of building a very nice home on the property. We have been planning on moving back to this area for over a decade and need to start pinning down overall costs as we get closer to purchasing a peice of land and don't want to blow our budget. Any recommendations of really good builders or local architects would be appreciated as well. Thanks for the help!

Last edited by venneradr; 08-04-2007 at 02:42 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-04-2007, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
6,291 posts, read 15,822,862 times
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Are you really planning on using an architect? Few houses are actually designed by architects (sometimes the first house of a certain design will be designed by an architect, then the plan will go into a stock plan book).

If you still want a recommendation for an architect, post again. I've worked in the architectural and engineering field for the past 30 years (and my best friend is a partner in one of the largest firms in Nashville). I currently work for a structural engineering firm. Maybe one house a year comes through our office. I think the last one was Morgan Freeman's house near Memphis.
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Old 08-05-2007, 11:03 AM
 
3 posts, read 10,575 times
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Default To use and architect or not

Your point is well taken and I am intrigued. I have lots of ideas as to what I want in our new home and may be lucky enough to find them in a plan that is available for purchase. Where would I access such plans? They may prove to be a great starting place. But, I suspect I would still want to tweek it. So yes, I am interested in an architect that specializes in residential design and construction in your area. I suspect there are some issues with design, engineering and building that are peculiar to your area and so I want to tap into the local expertise. I am in California now and here you really need to understand your geotech issues, the design's energy efficiency and of course earthquake. My brother is an AIA, but his specialty is hospitals and museums and he is out of state, so I do have a keen respect for the long term value of your and his profession. I am also interested in finding a knowledgeable builder who I can trust to stay on budget and work with me through the planning stage and in the eventuality of any change orders. Thank you for your assistance. Best regards.
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Old 08-05-2007, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
6,291 posts, read 15,822,862 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venneradr View Post
Your point is well taken and I am intrigued. I have lots of ideas as to what I want in our new home and may be lucky enough to find them in a plan that is available for purchase. Where would I access such plans? They may prove to be a great starting place. But, I suspect I would still want to tweek it. So yes, I am interested in an architect that specializes in residential design and construction in your area. I suspect there are some issues with design, engineering and building that are peculiar to your area and so I want to tap into the local expertise. I am in California now and here you really need to understand your geotech issues, the design's energy efficiency and of course earthquake. My brother is an AIA, but his specialty is hospitals and museums and he is out of state, so I do have a keen respect for the long term value of your and his profession. I am also interested in finding a knowledgeable builder who I can trust to stay on budget and work with me through the planning stage and in the eventuality of any change orders. Thank you for your assistance. Best regards.
I know and work with a guy who had a custom house built in Leipers Fork, I'll see if he has any recommendations. I think his house was built by a guy named Minton, who is also a structural engineer (I could be wrong about that, I don't know him personally).

Yes, I'm familiar with California. The firm I work for is one of the few out-of-state firms that specializes in working in California. I've worked on a number of jobs in California myself.

Most home builders have sets of stock house plans, and you can look at magazines with house plans and order sets. I'm sure you can find all sorts of plans on the 'net you can order. It's relatively easy to "tweek" things here and there (a bigger window, a non-load bearing wall moved over a foot, a different kind of front door, etc.). It's when you really start to change the size and structural elements that it gets trickier. Most experienced builders can help you a lot with the plans. Your best bet if you really want to use an architect is to find one who moonlights. I used to do it myself but don't anymore. I know a guy who draws house plans on the side; he's not a licensed architect but he's quite capable of doing a house plan. Let me know if you want me to check into whether he could do your plans or not.

It's not quite as difficult to build a house in Tennessee as some other areas of the country. We don't have large frost depths, or incredibly high winds (except tornadoes, and nothing is going to stop one of them if you get a direct hit), or huge snow loads, or earthquakes, or a building code department you have to bribe. The biggest thing is to get a good builder and use top-quality materials (if they call it "builder grade" . . . you don't want it).
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Old 08-11-2007, 12:08 PM
 
3 posts, read 10,575 times
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Thank you, If you find the name of your friend's builder and he recommends him, I would like to speak with him. I will also check out these resources. I am still trying to find out the cost per square foot of building on raw land for a custom home of approx 4K sq feet. If you have any info on that, it would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-12-2007, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Milky Way Galaxy,Earth,Northern Hemisphere,North America,USA,Pennsyltucky
783 posts, read 1,974,859 times
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You can look on eplans.com. They've got alot of great house plans, from low end, to log, to high end. You can search by square footage, and go on from there. You can 'tweak' the design, also. Same with HomePlans.com, you can tweak the design with their architects. You can also type in your zipcode (or the zipcode of the area you're moving to), and it will give you approximate costs to build that home. It'll give you 3 costs: Low end, mid range, and high end.

I've got a few house plans saved on that site that are a 'dream' - I guess for when we win the Publishers Clearing House, or PowerBall!
Then again, I've got some other plans saved on there that are in the 'realistic' reachable range.

Good luck!

blessings, Shen
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