Posted by Bob A on September 30, 2003 at 08:21:10:
In Reply to: Just Starting Question posted by Chris on September 29, 2003 at 17:31:29:
There are many answers to your question(s). Only you can answer them. Some answers might be "labor is about 1/2 to 2/3 the cost of a house, depending on design, so what do you want and dream about having in your house." "Do you have enough capital to buy all of the materials?" "Is your credit rating good enough for a construction loan?" "Where is the general contractor who will finish the project if by an act of God you are incapacited (accidents and loss of intrest happen).
Do you have land in which to build this house on?
Talk to the local building inspector, find out what building code she/ he uses and buy a copy (~$40 for the IRC). Set up a couple of designs based on the code. Run a bill of material and ask a local building supplier for an estimate based on your bill of material. Make sure you know what you need as not to waste there time. You should get a good idea of the square foot cost for your different designs.
I have been doing the same here in easteren PA. So far the materials are $32/ft^2, general contractor $5.50/ft^2, land cost $13.00/ ft^2. The completed project is appraised for $105/ft^2 so I'm expecting $54.50 value increase.
We have designed a three bedroom (for tax purposes, and septic sizing) geogian-palladian southeren plantation/ mansion, 2850 ft^2 based on elements we drew from Mt Pleasant Mansion, Philadelphia PA, and Drayton Hall, Charleston SC.
This too, my wife and I, is "one big ass house" so we named it "Fat Bottom Girl" (LOL)
My best advice is plan ... plan...plan, ask questions, and understand the answers in the simplest terms. Ask why? five times to a statement. by the fifth why you will have the answer in the simplest terms. Ask who, what why and where to any nouns used in the simplest answers. an example could be the bank requires a "licenced" general contractor to build your house. your questions should follow this line: Who issues the licence, what authority do they have? What does the licence do for me, or you (insurance or cost)? Where does a general contractor get a licence? Why do you require a licence?
Here in PA there is no-one to licence a general contractor. The bank asked that question and we researched it by asking the questions, the bank ended changing the requirments to just a general contractor with references, which makes a lot more bussiness sence.
The last advise is build what you dream of, and only let money (or the lack of it) change your plans. If someone says you can't build it run from them and prove them wrong.
Keep us posted on your progress
Hope this helps
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