Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Site Notices
11/22/2017 10:05:29 PM
Posted: 9/17/2004 6:28:07 PM EST
I'm hopefully ging to be moving soon, and will have the opportunity to once again have a place of my own.

So, the question is: Is haveing your house built any better or worse than buying one that is being built as part of a subdivision? In other words, I want to understand the pros and cons of finding a nice piece of land, going to a local reputable builder, selecting an existing home plan, tweaking it a bit (gotta have a safe room! ) and then having it built on the land.

Is it much more expensive? Problematic? Beneficial?

Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks!
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 6:29:52 PM EST

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
I'm hopefully ging to be moving soon, and will have the opportunity to once again have a place of my own.

So, the question is: Is haveing your house built any better or worse than buying one that is being built as part of a subdivision? In other words, I want to understand the pros and cons of finding a nice piece of land, going to a local reputable builder, selecting an existing home plan, tweaking it a bit (gotta have a safe room! ) and then having it built on the land.

Is it much more expensive? Problematic? Beneficial?

Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks!



The trouble is finding the part in red. I think you'll have better luck finding a wooly mammoth in your backyard.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 6:31:32 PM EST
I have a custom built house. It is part of a custom builder neighborhood. I liked the control that I was allowed to exert on my home as it was being built. The builder allowed me to go in and change any problems I found, and even add things I wanted without buying a PITA. Try that with one of those cookie cutter homes. Centex wouldn't allow me to even consider touching my house till it was built. Just be sure to catch any problems, as the builders I know like to cover up mistakes till it is too late and you have signed off on the home.

I say custom is the way to go, planned neighborhood or not.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 6:35:29 PM EST

Originally Posted By norman74:

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
I'm hopefully ging to be moving soon, and will have the opportunity to once again have a place of my own.

So, the question is: Is haveing your house built any better or worse than buying one that is being built as part of a subdivision? In other words, I want to understand the pros and cons of finding a nice piece of land, going to a local reputable builder, selecting an existing home plan, tweaking it a bit (gotta have a safe room! ) and then having it built on the land.

Is it much more expensive? Problematic? Beneficial?

Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks!



The trouble is finding the part in red. I think you'll have better luck finding a wooly mammoth in your backyard.



But I can rely on you to give me some pointers, right?
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 6:37:49 PM EST
The devil is always in the detail!
In town or outside city limits?
Water, gas, oil, electricity? Where, how, difficulties.
Reputable builder? Talk to some building inspectors in your area. When I had my home inspected the guy was pretty knowledgeable about the builders in my area.
You got to be able to closely monitor the building process. WITH pictures.

But, you get the home you really want.

Link Posted: 9/17/2004 6:37:50 PM EST

Originally Posted By purplecheese:
I have a custom built house. It is part of a custom builder neighborhood. I liked the control that I was allowed to exert on my home as it was being built. The builder allowed me to go in and change any problems I found, and even add things I wanted without buying a PITA.



Yep. I enjoy that, too, especially since I'm a bit of a Bob Vila type (only not nearly as annoying).

My thing is that I want to buy what I want, not what someone else THOUGHT I'd like. I'm sick of cookie-cutter neighborhoods, especially where the houses are one on top of the other. I'm willing to pay a bit more to avoid that...
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 6:37:56 PM EST
Depends are where you want to build, and how you feel about making a thousand decisions, twice. Designing a home from scratch and experiencing the buiding process can be very stressing.

There are plenty of reputable builders out there, if you take the time to ask around.



If you want it quick and easy, buy something already finished.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 6:40:54 PM EST

Originally Posted By AR-10:
Depends are where you want to build, and how you feel about making a thousand decisions, twice. Designing a home from scratch and experiencing the buiding process can be very stressing.



Not to mention there's a reason it takes years to become an architect. If I had a dollar for every time I've been in a "custom home" with horrible design decisions that make the house look ridiculous at best and a pain in the ass to live in at worse I'd be a rich man.

Zaph if you get plans and you want someone to take a look at them let me know. There's alot of things that people will put into house plans with no thought towards livability. Being able to look at a set of blueprints and actually envision the thing to scale and in 3D is a tough thing to do.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 6:42:13 PM EST
Just for clarification: I don't intend to build the house from scratch. In other words, I don't plan on going to an architect and having him design a home from the ground up.

I envision (and I may be completely wrong on this) going to a builder and having them show me the 10-15 different models that may be available, and then having an architect tweak here and there, rather than doing the whole thing. Then, when the plan is done, telling the builder, "Build THIS over HERE".

Needless to say, the "HERE" will depend on available utilities, etc. Not too sure I want a septic tank system. Yuk!

So, am I being polyanish?
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 6:43:32 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/17/2004 6:45:57 PM EST by purplecheese]

Originally Posted By Zaphod:

I envision (and I may be completely wrong on this) going to a builder and having them show me the 10-15 different models that may be available, and then having an architect tweak here and there, rather than doing the whole thing. Then, when the plan is done, telling the builder, "Build THIS over HERE".



That is what I suggest doing.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 6:44:41 PM EST

Originally Posted By norman74:
Zaph if you get plans and you want someone to take a look at them let me know. There's alot of things that people will put into house plans with no thought towards livability. Being able to look at a set of blueprints and actually envision the thing to scale and in 3D is a tough thing to do.



I may very well take you up on that. While my 3D perspective is pretty good, I'd still like a professional to sneak a peek. I'm fortunate to know you, and my BIL is a near architect in his own right (studying, and has more contractor experience than most contractors).

Either way, I know what you mean by screwed up designs. South Florida is FULL of them!
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 6:45:19 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/17/2004 6:46:01 PM EST by Zaphod]
.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 6:45:55 PM EST
Dream
Build
Live
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 6:46:25 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/17/2004 6:49:38 PM EST by Anti_Liberal]
What state are you looking to build?

We are contemplating moving to Florida, into one of those new developments. I have found lots of problems with lots of builders and Centex builders have a bad rap. Check out the links below. We too, have been debating having a house built in a development or buying property and having one built outside a development. Alot of people don't like the HOA in communities with all the rules. In some ways it's good. Who wants to live next to a purple house, with three cars parked on the lawn on top of milk crates? I think the rules keep the community nice and neath.gif.


www.hobb.org/

www.hadd.com/
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 6:46:32 PM EST

Originally Posted By Carhlr:
Dream
Build
Live



Amen, brother.

Works for houses, careers, and LIVES!
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 6:46:49 PM EST

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
I'm hopefully ging to be moving soon, and will have the opportunity to once again have a place of my own.

So, the question is: Is haveing your house built any better or worse than buying one that is being built as part of a subdivision? In other words, I want to understand the pros and cons of finding a nice piece of land, going to a local reputable builder, selecting an existing home plan, tweaking it a bit (gotta have a safe room! hen
Is it much more expensive? Problematic? Beneficial?

Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks!




Most of the time, in a newly developed S/D, the developer will build "spec" houses and list them on the market. These "spec" houses will usually stay on the market for a while and/or sell quickly due to asking a lower price because the developer wants to get some people to buy just so more will want to move into the area (if you build it, they will come - kind of scenario). I'm an appraiser in AL and this is typical of the market here. As posted above, reputable builders are few and far between, even if you know one personally, you may not get along with him after the house is completed. If you intend to build one, try and contract most, if not all, the work yourself, that way YOU choose who you want to "dry it in" or install and finish the drywall, etc. Building a new house is going to be stressful, so you may or may not want to take your weapons over to a buddy's house for safe keeping 'cause you may just want to use it before the home is complete (j. kidding)!
Some new S/D with spec home(s) just being built would be the ticket if you like the area since you could, more than likely, get a pretty good deal on one of those.

Building a new construction, on the other hand, will give you what you want as far as floor plans go, but what's good for you may not be typical of the market and wouldn't necessarily be what anyone else would care to have or live in and it may be difficult to sell in the future.

Some thoughts, anyway......
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 6:48:35 PM EST

Originally Posted By Anti_Liberal:
What state are you looking to build?

We are contemplating moving to Florida, into one of those new developments. I have found lots of problems with lots of builders and Centex builders have a bad rap. Check out the links below. We too, have been debating having a house built in a development or buying property and having one built outside a development. Alot of people don't like the HOA in communities with all the rules. In some ways it's good. Who wants to live next to a purple house, with three cars parked on the lawn on top of milk crates? I think to rules keep the community nice and neat.


www.hobb.org/

www.hadd.com/



Well, depending where in Florida you want to move, you may be stuck with HOA's. They are EVERYWHERE in South Florida. I hate the damned things.

I hope to buy an acre of land or more (depending on the price), so the neighbor's house color isn't a major concern. I'd (hopefully) be buying in south Texas, where the land isn't nearly as expensive as other places.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 6:52:12 PM EST

Originally Posted By NBT-AL:
Building a new construction, on the other hand, will give you what you want as far as floor plans go, but what's good for you may not be typical of the market and wouldn't necessarily be what anyone else would care to have or live in and it may be difficult to sell in the future.

Some thoughts, anyway......



Fortunately, my tastes aren't extreme in the least. My only desire is a safe room that will serve as an office, a library, and a gun room. After that, I won't be setting up any "The World Is Yours" statues in my foyer....
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 6:58:05 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/17/2004 6:59:02 PM EST by David_Hineline]
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 7:01:47 PM EST
I don't think they do basements in this part of Texas because the ground is so damned hard to dig in.

Still, your basic description of the room design is spot-on.

Never thought of the pre-fab houses, although I will admit to being a bit leery of them. I like things that are built into the ground, not plopped on top of it. But hey, I don't know much about pre-fabs, so maybe I'm full of it...
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 7:10:27 PM EST
Depending on the prefab (and I'm not familiar with the company that DH linked to) you can wind up with something that's not much different than a site built home. Hell there's a company in Palm Beach County that does them out of concrete. I'd take that over a stick-built house any day.
www.royalconcreteconcepts.com/homes.htm
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 7:12:05 PM EST
Look at a lot of plans. There are a ton of house plans out there of every description. They're all signed off on by an architect, structual engineer, etc, so you don't have to worry about specifying something that's going to fall down. They almost always have visualizations too. Once you decide, you buy the set of blueprints from the vendor. At that point you can add the cabinets and whatnot that you want.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 7:13:30 PM EST
I've done pre-existing and built with a subdivision builder (3 times in two states). If I ever do it again (and I plan to one more time) it will be a custom with an architect (I have a friend that is an architect) and a good builder. There are lots of things we've learned in our moves that we want to incorporate. I would definitely build a gun room with concrete walls and ceiling, steel fire door, etc. Wouldn't cost much more to add than a gunsafe. If you can swing the cost and deal with the inevitable hassles I would say go for it!
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 7:14:27 PM EST
My wife and I would like to build a house. Up until two years ago, that was more expensive than buying one. Now it's just the opposite. Around here anyway.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 7:17:15 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/17/2004 7:54:28 PM EST by blueshockey]
We contracted out ourselves, 1800+ sq. ft. in 4 months.

We saw a house similar to the one we wanted, got a copy of the plans and had and architect finalize them.

Basically we purchased everything ourselves from the plywood, bricks, right down to the faucets and contracted the work out.

We pulled all the wiring, cable, phone ourselves with the help of an electrician of course.
Spent 2 weekends underneath a hot and humid house but was cheaper than him hiring someone else to do it.

Saved a ton of money and was able to do things like choose where you wanted a receptacles, light switches, cable outlets, etc.

There were 2 things that made it work for us.

• We know lots of people in the construction business. The roofers were the only contractors we didn’t know.

• My father-in-law is retired and was able to keep an eye on things during the day. Plus being a carpenter he knew what to look for.

Link Posted: 9/17/2004 7:18:26 PM EST
1. Plan for your cost over-runs....go ahead and add about 50% of the cost of the plans you are looking at. Just to be sure.

2. Plan for your build to take two or three times as long as it should.

3. Always keep close watch on the contractors work. They will cut corners on you if they can.

4. Take comfort in the knowledge, that when the work is all done and the headaches have eased...

When everything is just the way you want it and you have settled into your new domain........


You will decide it's time to move again!

Link Posted: 9/17/2004 7:21:04 PM EST

Originally Posted By BangStick1:

You will decide it's time to move again!




Don't even go there......
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 7:21:40 PM EST
I gotta tell you guys something: If you think you save money and get a superior product by playing contractor you are sorely mistaken.

Find a good contractor and let him build your house.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 7:27:51 PM EST

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:
I gotta tell you guys something: If you think you save money and get a superior product by playing contractor you are sorely mistaken.

Find a good contractor and let him build your house.



I'm inclined to agree.

I think that dealing with work, having to fly to Miami periodically to see the , and screw-ups due to inexperience, I'd shoot myself in the foot if I did it myself, and end up costing myself LOTS more.

I'll leave it to the professionals, and make sure I get a good one. There has to be ONE in the place I'm hoping to go to!
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 7:33:42 PM EST

Originally Posted By mcgredo:
Look at a lot of plans. There are a ton of house plans out there of every description. They're all signed off on by an architect, structual engineer, etc, so you don't have to worry about specifying something that's going to fall down. They almost always have visualizations too. Once you decide, you buy the set of blueprints from the vendor. At that point you can add the cabinets and whatnot that you want.



This is not always the case. There are parts of the country that do not require having residential plans signed & sealed.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 7:34:48 PM EST
Texas hugh? I can tell you who not to use as a contractor.

If you were talking about East Texas I might could help some. Besides you would be close.

I hired a contractor and I had a lot of say in it. I handled the caulking, painting, and electrical with help of course. My dad is a electrician mostly commercial/industrial service work. He normally doesn't do new construction house wiring but made an exception for me. He and I did the electrical, cable and phone lines and what we did is the only thing in the house done right!

Building is very stressing. If you can find a newer home that you like...
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 7:34:50 PM EST
There are a number of reasons why homeowners shouldn't play contractor when building their own house (if getting a quality home and saving money are the objectives):

1. The subs you hire always, and I mean always charge homeowners (non-builders) more for the same service. This is just a plain fact and there's nothing wrong with it.

2. The subs you hire are being paid to provide services in the building of one house. Yours. Builders typically build many houses per year and subs need to do good work in order to be called for the next one. There is no such incentive when they work for you.

3. When you call subs to schedule work, you are put at the bottom of their list. Their regular customers (ie: professional contractors) come first.

Those are the three biggees. There may be more reasons but I'm too tired to think about them.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 7:37:28 PM EST
Good contractor = Si, habla espanol, no cerveza un emplazamiento, por favor.

Northeastern log homes has some really nice kits, Im just not sure if they can be built on a basement foundation or if theyre slab only.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 7:38:40 PM EST

Originally Posted By glazer1972:
Texas hugh? I can tell you who not to use as a contractor.

If you were talking about East Texas I might could help some. Besides you would be close.



This would be Laredo. More south than east, but more east than west.

Damn...... That sounds like a Kerry Campaign bumper sticker!
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 7:39:45 PM EST
Laredo? You have seen pics of down there ain't yeah?
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 7:39:56 PM EST

I built a house 3 years ago and have a few suggestions

1. Look at house plan books and go to every open house realtors have. Take a notebook and note what you like and don't like. This includes model homes im new developments.

2. Unless you know alot about building homes and have friends who are contractors, have a reputable builder be the general contractor. My brother was the general contractor for his house and it was a rainy year. The subcontractors ignored his house because the big builders represent repeat business. My brother was only one house and they could afford to lose his business. There was a period of 3 months where nothing was done.

3. Try to find an unbiased subcontractor for recommendations. Ask friends and friends of friends if they know someone. I grew up with a guy who digs basements for most of the general contractors. He gave me two lists, one list was people to call, the other list was of people to run away from.

4. When you get the list of contractors, ask to see some of their houses in progress. If they won't give you the address, or want to come with you, put them at the bottom of the list. They should be confident in their work to let you look around. If you do see something strange about a building, ask them about it. There may be a strange code requirement or owner request.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 7:43:25 PM EST
I don’t know the answer to your question, but I know if I ever have a custom house built, I will sit down with the contractor and approve every item to be used in the house’s construction to include the brand of nails!!

Otherwise, the contractors will use the cheapest piece of junk that they can get away with. Around here, for whatever reason, really poor windows are used. Virtually everybody in my rather typical sub-division has had to replace their windows.

More importantly, a coworker had a custom house built nearby maybe 15 years ago. He is right now looking at needing to replace the existing windows at a cost of over $30,000!!!

Didn’t Ed Sr. talk about having a house built a couple of years ago?
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 7:44:26 PM EST

Originally Posted By glazer1972:
Laredo? You have seen pics of down there ain't yeah?



Not good ones. I know there's not much to look at. Am I wrong?
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 7:46:49 PM EST

Originally Posted By 199:
I don’t know the answer to your question, but I know if I ever have a custom house built, I will sit down with the contractor and approve every item to be used in the house’s construction to include the brand of nails!!

Otherwise, the contractors will use the cheapest piece of junk that they can get away with. Around here, for whatever reason, really poor windows are used. Virtually everybody in my rather typical sub-division has had to replace their windows.

More importantly, a coworker had a custom house built nearby maybe 15 years ago. He is right now looking at needing to replace the existing windows at a cost of over $30,000!!!

Didn’t Ed Sr. talk about having a house built a couple of years ago?




yep!!! Make sure you know exactly what you are getting.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 7:53:27 PM EST
For some reason 9ft ceilings are popular, at least in this area. The cost to build a home with a 9ft celing compared to an 8ft was unbelieveable.

Is there any advanatage to having a 9ft ceiling over an 8ft?
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 8:16:50 PM EST

Originally Posted By blueshockey:
For some reason 9ft ceilings are popular, at least in this area. The cost to build a home with a 9ft celing compared to an 8ft was unbelieveable.

Is there any advanatage to having a 9ft ceiling over an 8ft?



People who are over 6' tall probably won't hit their heads on the ceiling fans in a 9' house. Mine are 9' throughout the house.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 8:19:34 PM EST

Originally Posted By Zaphod:

Originally Posted By glazer1972:
Laredo? You have seen pics of down there ain't yeah?



Not good ones. I know there's not much to look at. Am I wrong?



I think you are right there is not much to look at. There may not be any good ones.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 8:53:30 PM EST

Originally Posted By glazer1972:

Originally Posted By blueshockey:
For some reason 9ft ceilings are popular, at least in this area. The cost to build a home with a 9ft celing compared to an 8ft was unbelieveable.

Is there any advanatage to having a 9ft ceiling over an 8ft?



People who are over 6' tall probably won't hit their heads on the ceiling fans in a 9' house. Mine are 9' throughout the house.



6' 3" here, and I can attest to the fact that getting whacked by a ceiling fan hurts like the dickens.....
Top Top