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Old 07-16-2010, 08:06 AM  
Hoover Hoover is offline
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Home Construction Wants vs Needs

Hey guys. As some of you know my wife and I are building a new house. I'm pretty happy with the progress. The framing is almost completed so its cool to see substantial progress.

The "Wants vs Needs" in the tittle is a little misleading, as we have already made most of the major decisions. For example we have 2x6 construction, geo-thermal, upgraded floor coverings, etc. There are also things that we are not doing, like finnishing the basement, building a deck off of the back of the house, and its not huge in terms of overall square footage. Anyway, I have a little room in the budget to do some extra things and wanted to get your advice.

Here is what is on my list.

1. Whole house generator. When the power goes out, it automatically switches over and runs pretty much everything.

2. While I'm not finnishing the basement, I could have them run all of the HVAC ducts as I know what the layout will eventually be.

3. Its my goal to build a stone patio in the next 2-3 years, but I could have them pour me a concrete slab so I would basically have some patio area when you come off of the back steps of the house.

4. Screw all of that crap and just buy a couple huge TV's.

Let me know if I'm missing anything.

Thanks

Hoov

Picture of the house from earlier this week.
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:09 AM   #2
seclark seclark is offline
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i'd consider going ahead and finishing the basement if the funds are there. do it now and it would probably cost less than having it done later.
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:12 AM   #3
Hoover Hoover is offline
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That's the thing, I don't think I can swing doing it all right now, I could only do about 5k.
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:16 AM   #4
seclark seclark is offline
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That's the thing, I don't think I can swing doing it all right now, I could only do about 5k.
just saying...we built a couple years ago and didn't plan on finishing the basement until a few years down the road. then we figured we already had the carpenters there and wouldn't have the fuss of them working downstairs while we were living in it, trying to keep stuff clean.

we were very glad to get it done, and of course the house was worth quite a bit more. we think it was a lot cheaper in the long run.

either way, good luck.
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:21 AM   #5
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at the very least, I would recommend you have the carpenters frame the basement as you would want it, run all your MEPs, drywall and float/tape the space. You can save $ by doing the flooring/painting and other finish work yourself, even if they just rough-in the bathroom you can add toilet, shower fixtures etc, this will also help keep u motivated to finish the basement sooner than later as the rough-in and drywall will be done, you're just left to make it pretty
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:22 AM   #6
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Having a nice shaded outdoor space to sit, BBQ, etc would be a priority for me. But I don't like spending money on temporary things. Seems like for $5K you could at least get a start on an outdoor area. I would build something permanent that you can expand on later.
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:22 AM   #7
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Already did the rough in for a bar sink and full bath down there.

Any idea what it would cost to frame the basement?
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:28 AM   #8
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Already did the rough in for a bar sink and full bath down there.

Any idea what it would cost to frame the basement?
In TX where I am, new construction framing shouldn't be more than $3-$5 a foot, not including material. (especially if you already have a crew out there)

Save some money by installing the bat insulation yourself..before they drywall, very easy and quick. Let the pros do the drywall/float/tape, trust me, not a fun or fast project if you don't do it everyday.

Also by getting this stuff down now, you can piece mill projects as your budget allows and roll the initial construction expense into your mortgage, which at the end of the day should only cost you a few extra dollars per month
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:33 AM   #9
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Looking at the picture, I'd strongly recommend a roof over those other things.

Otherwise, my general rule is "buy less, but more cool". Instead of adding lots of features, make sure the features you have make people go 'wow'. I find it kind of funny when I go into a house that's really large, but all the features are low-end quality and the furniture is cheap.
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Looking at the picture, I'd strongly recommend a roof over those other things.

Otherwise, my general rule is "buy less, but more cool". Instead of adding lots of features, make sure the features you have make people go 'wow'. I find it kind of funny when I go into a house that's really large, but all the features are low-end quality and the furniture is cheap.
This is great advice.
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:40 AM   #11
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I find it kind of funny when I go into a house that's really large, but all the features are low-end quality and the furniture is cheap.
The inverse is also funny...
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:42 AM   #12
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This is great advice.
Agree 100%

We are spending a little more than we have planned so that we can upgrade appliances, woodwork, hardwood floors, tile, huge master shower.

We do have a roof now, at the end it will look like this except flipped.
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:45 AM   #13
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The inverse is also funny...
Not really. Most older craftsman or other older style homes have a lot less square footage than the average home today, but they tend to have fantastic details that are simply out of the price range of most people who are building new.
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:46 AM   #14
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One thing I lament not putting in my kitchen is a weight-activated water fountain and built-in drain on the floor so my cat can get his own water. Now he jumps up on the counter and I have to turn the sink on for him and wait until he finishes drinking. (He prefers drinking moving water over water bowls.)
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:47 AM   #15
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Not really. Most older craftsman or other older style homes have a lot less square footage than the average home today, but they tend to have fantastic details that are simply out of the price range of most people who are building new.
The hose we sold in December fit that description. It was a full 2 story brick craftsman with 2400 sq ft., but the woodwork in the place and how it was but was just awesome. I'll always miss that house.
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