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Old 03-18-2018, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Monterey County, CA
5,480 posts, read 12,322,079 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post

I grew up in CO, DS in southern CA. we 'sun-seek' each location monthly, but never intend to move back. (nor to stay in PNW / or even the USA)
Where next outside the PNW / US? Just curious.

Derek
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Old 05-13-2018, 04:32 PM
 
Location: Monterey County, CA
5,480 posts, read 12,322,079 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USDefault View Post
You absolutely should be buying prebuilt at this price range. Unless you have a very large budget, GCs and builders aren't going to be interested at this price point -- at least not right now, when building is gangbusters all over the West coast, from southern California to British Columbia, Canada. In this market, anyone with a sub seven-figure custom home budget is just another piker who'll get sky-high bids, minimal attention, and no one will give a damn if your job goes off the rails. They'll abandon your project and on to the next; they won't care.

You'll get more for your money in this price range when you can buy a structure that was erected with many others in a development, where the underlying land purchase, utility runs, similar specs, bulk materials and pricing, and labor contracts for the entire project = significant cost savings. A one-off on your custom lot gets none of these cost reductions. And, even if you realistically budget a project at $500k, better have at least another $100k in reserve for unforeseen costs and problems. A water problem, settling and foundation issues, slope remediation, or myriad other heavy construction issues can swell to tens of thousands of dollars very quickly. And, if you even think there could be a zoning/permit/environmental issue on your chosen lot? Better increase that emergency reserve to $150k, maybe even $200k; the zoning and environmental regulations are a strong anvil against which they will hammer your project (though this is based on my experiences in California, not Washington).
The other thing I was thinking about to reduce risk is 'developed' land close to being ready to build vs. out in the boonies somewhere. In looking at land for sale there really is a wide variety of parcel types available.

Then, to mitigate 'some' the unknown GC costs and lack of savings in one-offs you mention, I've been looking a some really nice looking prefabs. These have really come a long way in terms aesthetic beauty and ease assembly. Granted each lot is still different and thus may require more or less prior to assembly. However with both more developed land and building performed in advance in a more controlled manner, the potential for huge, unforeseen costs can be reduced.

Here are few impressive designs which actually look nicer than the standard 'one of many' in a typically subdivision. While they claim prefabs are also more affordable, I think that varies a lot based on deisgn, features, etc... https://www.dwell.com/prefab-homes

These go up in under three days! https://inhabitat.com/12-gorgeous-pr...-days-or-less/

Derek
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Old 05-13-2018, 11:38 PM
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,260 posts, read 15,300,867 times
Reputation: 9413
I haven't looked at pre-fab in a bit, but they usually go up on a prepared foundation with all the utilities in place, in 3 days. The whole concept lives or dies on the quality of the foundation prep, because once the house has been pre-built off-site, there are no changes possible.

I've had 2 houses built in my house-owning career and both of them took layout flexibility to deal with various unexpected issues in site prep. Both times the houses were being (mostly) built by well-respected builders.

On the other hand, the whole industry has to be getting better year-by-year.
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Old 05-14-2018, 12:59 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,409 posts, read 39,775,898 times
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note* from your pics... you don't want an underground home or house with a flat roof in 40 - 120" rain / yr and GRAY skies. you want LIGHT lots of light (and some of your designs had that).

I have always taken an interest in unconventional homes and construction. (been building stuff since I was in grade school and did design work from Jr High age (my dad was a commercial builder so I drew up most his plans for automation systems and steel buildings)).

There are lots of good choices these days, including 3d printed homes (I like the curved walls and textures / form available with printed homes.) I am partial to Rastra type (concrete impregnated foam) and for Foam Panel homes, tho my next will be a Rammed Earth (not in WA!). (for the artistic element of surfaces (in and out)).

In 1994 I 3d printed 'Scale' models of the homes my kids designed, complete with removable roofs and furniture and people. Was a handy prop for them to conceptualize their designs.

Lots of options.
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Old 05-14-2018, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Monterey County, CA
5,480 posts, read 12,322,079 times
Reputation: 5809
Do you think this prefab Bamboo home could work in the PNW like it does in Hawaii? Or would the weather be too harsh for it?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNt3WaGWluw

ETA: it looks like they have hybrid models for colder climates. From their FAQ:

Are your buildings a feasible option for cold weather?
A: Yes, they are. Bamboo Living can produce single-wall Signature models (common in tropical regions) or Hybrid models, which are recommended for regions with more severe climates.

https://www.bambooliving.com/index.php/about-us/faq

Last edited by MtnSurfer; 05-14-2018 at 08:00 PM..
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Old 05-14-2018, 09:34 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,409 posts, read 39,775,898 times
Reputation: 23442
Bamboo is quite prolific in the gardens of PNW and hard to get rid of, but as a building material... it (and a lot of other stuff) will get musty / moldy, then soggy and finally collapse, but should last for 30 + yrs.

Clark County Building Dept is not gonna be impressed with Bamboo structures.
Bring a boat load of math, Certifications, and signatures from PE's
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Old 05-18-2018, 02:08 AM
Status: "San Diego =/ Young Families" (set 8 days ago)
 
912 posts, read 1,069,210 times
Reputation: 2065
Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnSurfer View Post
Do you think this prefab Bamboo home could work in the PNW like it does in Hawaii?

No. PNW moss and mold will eat right through the structure. Further, colder winter temps + wind means a bamboo structure likely would be terrible in Oregon, Washington, and Canada winters. Yes, Hawaii gets some strong winds in winter, plus you have the Trade Winds the rest of the year, but a Hawaii winter is much warmer than the PNW.


You are going to want sturdy materials and a nice pocket for insulation in the PNW. Stone, cement, brick, glass, and solid hardwood are all good options up here. You want materials that can stand up to wind, minor freezing episodes, pressurewashing, and mold-reducing chemical applications. Anytime we are doing work around the house, replacing groundcover, fixing retaining walls, etc., we look for the hardest, strongest materials at the best price. That means the job is done once, and done right, and what we've put down can withstand a lot of abuse and neglect, even for decades.
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:04 PM
 
Location: WA
2,871 posts, read 3,961,919 times
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For an ordinary house in the suburbs (standard subdivision and lot) I would not attempt to get creative at all in terms of building materials and design.

First of all, it will cause you no end of grief during the construction phase because all the local builders and subcontractors are used to dealing with standard materials and it will cause them delays and frustration if you are using contractors. In fact you are liklely to have difficulty even finding contractors who will want to mess with completely unconventional materials and designs. Framers, sheetrockers, plumbers, etc. all know exactly what it takes to whip out a conventional house of x-square feet. They will have no idea with something like a bamboo house and will either overbid just to be safe, or not bother to bid at all.

Second, if/when you go to sell you will find that you have severely limited the marketability of your house. Most buyers are going to be looking for the conservative mainstream choice and will not be charmed by your unconventionality.

That said, if you are doing your own unique homestead way out in the country somewhere and doing all or most of the work yourself, then knock yourself out. But at Stealth has explained, you will have an uphill battle with the local county officials who are likely to be skeptical of any non-standard materials or designs.
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Old 05-18-2018, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Monterey County, CA
5,480 posts, read 12,322,079 times
Reputation: 5809
I guess bamboo is out in the PNW.

In terms of more unique, sturdy materials copper may be better. Here's one I found in Seattle.





I actually like more stone use as well.





Although this may be the best in terms of affordability.





Derek
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Old 05-18-2018, 05:35 PM
 
7,074 posts, read 4,107,004 times
Reputation: 9487
Bet that truck mounted one with its suspension would fare the best in an earthquake heh.
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