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Old 08-14-2007, 06:19 PM
4 posts, read 14,901 times
Reputation: 11



I was thinking of building a home in northern maine, not far from the canadian border. However, I know next to nothing about what the preferred method of construction is for this area.

I was entertaining the idea of a log home, but it appears it will be beyond my budget. I dont have a whole lot of money for this.... So I was thinking of a steel home perhaps?

Is this a good idea? What would you recommend? Thanks in advance.


Last edited by Stringer; 08-14-2007 at 07:54 PM..
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Old 08-15-2007, 04:52 AM
134 posts, read 513,646 times
Reputation: 105
I would be curious to see what the feedback is on your question as well. We have been looking at ICF construction based on the R-value you get from the thermal mass. Our thought was that a nice thick ICF wall would reduce any heating and cooling cost considerably.
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Old 08-15-2007, 06:07 AM
Location: Waldo County
1,220 posts, read 3,924,007 times
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The overwhelming method of construction here is conventional stick framing, using 2/6 spruce studs that are kiln dried. Most of the wood used comes from Canadian mills. The obvious difficulty with this form of construction is that it is labor intensive, and the overall quality of framing lumber is quite poor. Here in the Ellsworth area, if you shop for lumber at the various yards, the only true, "premium" framing lumber comes from EBS Building Supplies and that is more expensive than the big boxes. Plywood is giving way to "engineered" sheathing products, and because of Hurricane Katrina and the ever increasing demand from China, the cost of sheathing materials is rising very rapidly. So also shingles, insulation and on and on.

We plan to build a new home next year. Right now, my wife is in love with the idea of building using a Deltec panelized home. We have investigated many different panelized, and "factory" made homes, and find them to be a remarkably efficient way to buy a home of good quality at reasonable price. The Deltec homes supposedly can be Energy Star compliant, and we will be going to North Carolina for a factory tour in the fall.

I have had a long standing interest in ICF's and in the mid 1990's planned a major condominium subdivision which would have been entirely built using ICF's as well as alternative heating/airconditioning systems, as well as stonecoated, galvanized steel shingles. 9/11 finished off that project, but the work and planning that I did in anticipation of building the first four buildings...which were scheduled for construction in the summer of 2002...indicated to me that it was extremely hard to compete with ICF's for R-factor. The only difficulty that exists with ICF construction is first of all, finding the people who are PROPERLY trained to install them, and secondly, the cost of concrete itself.

If we end up building something other than a Deltec Home, we will be building using ICF's most likely. After four different construction projects since 1992, there is NO WAY that I would try to move into a new area, and build a stick built home. Finding the right contractor and then getting him to show up with his crew in reliable fashion will be the biggest obstacle to a successful building project, and this is more so, the further from the New Hampshire border you locate.
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Old 08-15-2007, 07:30 AM
Location: maine/alabama
169 posts, read 548,733 times
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hey stringer.........

i've been a carpenter/builder for 45 years and the last 25 of them have been on the coast of maine.

log homes shrink and leak. in my entire career i've never seen a worse type of structure.

as far as finding someone to help you build your project, simply do your due diligence in researching who does the type of work you need and then talk to their former clients/customers.
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Old 08-15-2007, 08:35 AM
Location: Teton Valley Idaho
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you know guys, i didn't even think this post was serious because he mentioned not paying his contractor....
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Old 08-15-2007, 10:49 AM
Location: Forests of Maine
37,313 posts, read 61,118,350 times
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Wood stick with little or no insulation is very popular in Maine [from my observation].

We went with a steel building, and we are happy with it.

One and 1/2 inches of spray-in-place foam on walls and roof, then 9 inches of fiberglass batting, then framing and interior walls. We have an insane amount of windows; but they are tempered, triple-pane, argon-filled, low-E, blah-blah-blah windows.

This style of construction is much cheaper, and one person can do 99% of it himself. I have.

We heat using a combination of: propane, electric, wood, coal and peat.

Construction would be completed much faster if I hired someone else to do more of it, but then again I am on pension and have already spent our nest-egg.

It would also go faster if I spent less time with: our livestock, or fishing, or hunting, or hiking, or kayaking.
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Old 08-16-2007, 07:57 PM
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Thanks every1 for the great info.

I got ahold of freedom steel and they wanted $39,900 for the small 1521sf A-frame home. That sounds a bit high. Then I checked the Kodiak steel site and the exact same home configured came out to $23,737.

I emailed freedom about this and they said its because of the quality and grade steel they use, and "many other factors they cant explain in an email".

Does this sound like BS or

FBK: I thought I read that you paid around 16k for your 2400sf home. And they want 40k for this 1521sf A-frame, which is supposed to be one of the cheapest models.

I'm still looking around and trying to learn.
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Old 08-16-2007, 08:53 PM
Location: Forests of Maine
37,313 posts, read 61,118,350 times
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I have found that sometimes folks may be short and rude via email, perhaps when they have had a lot of people emailing them about quotes and none of them have bought anything lately. I know this does nto excuse the rudeness, ...

I went to different sites. General Steel has like five retail outlets, different marketing corps to compete with each other over the market share. Freedom steel is but one of them. They all market the same buildings [or at least from the same sources].

I had found a couple sites that allowed for on-line design and quotes, and was playing with it, then a few months later a salesman contacted me about one of those designs that I had done. He told me that someone had made a down-payment on that same size building, and then backed out from buying it. So I could get that size minus the down payment.

Now it may well have been BS, or marketing, I do not know.

However I was able to get a 60 foot by 40 foot building, 12 foot eaves and 14 foot peak, with one set of double doors, for $16k.

I have heard that A-frames are cheaper, however that was in wood. I do not know about whether they are cheaper when done in steel.

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Old 08-16-2007, 08:56 PM
Location: Forests of Maine
37,313 posts, read 61,118,350 times
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I love the openness inside. High ceilings, and no load bearing walls, allows for big open rooms.

If I am going to be stuck inside during hard blowing storms with multiple feet of snow outside, I want to be living in a home with lots of space, rather than a small closed in cabin.
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