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I know when sheetrockers came and looked at my house for bids, most of them had this strange look on their face when they looked at the ICF. I had a spare block I kept at the workplace just to show them how to find webs, have them screw a couple into the webs and then try to pull them out, etc. After the demonstration, most didn't upcharge their bid prices because they realized drywall on ICF is not a big deal. The sheetrocker I used had experience with sheetrock on ICF, and he liked to glue an
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Kenneth in Lees Summit, MO

Do you want to say anything more about your house style or construction?


James said: Palm Beach style split plan with 12 and 10 ft ceilings throughout.

Marvin in McConoughey, OR said: We built a circular house with a slanted flat roof.  The house is cantilevered over a smaller circular concrete foundation.  The house was, and is, a success.

Susan said:

cedar siding

cedar porches


Frank in Bridgewater, NJ said: Do it right or not at all......
( find out how to do it right, first! ) 

James R. (Bucky) in Beaumont, TX said: Raised Floor Construction due to flood plane elevation. About 13' - 7" above sea level.
Jo-Lynn in Issaquah, WA said: We built a modified prow-front (all glass) two-story with a full basement.
Rob in Downers Grove, IL said: Craftsman Style
David in Los Osos, CA said: Hardie plank with boxed in eves
Terry in Hayfork, CA said: Modern Ranch Style

Fred in Kingston, Ontario said: Raised Bungalow Design
Brooke in Burley, ID said: Split level
Ross in Hillsboro, OR said: Complex structure... required professional Structural engineering to size beams/trusses... county required a second pass at the design for another $3000. If you can find something in a plans book you like...it would save $$$.
Jeff in Hartland, WI said: We picked an arts and cratfs style exterior, with cedar-look shakes in the gables. 
Oleg in San Diego, CA said: ICF
Gabriela in Readington Twp, NJ said: Stone and Stucco bring old world charm. Large deck on rear allows entertaining
Mike in Upstate, NY said:

The House is coming along slowly. The shift in the economy really slowed down progress


Dorothy A. in Wimberley, TX said: Our house is the result of well over ten years of dreaming, researching, and scribbling. Our architect drew the plans from computer sketches I did. We added a bit, but the basic style is all ours.

We bought the first lot in 200 and were able to but the lot next to it in around 2005. We have ten acres of gently sloping hillside with woods and meadows.

My husband is still working 200-miles away, so the main general contracting was my job. We used the Internet  heavily for researching and some purches such as toilets and light fixtures and water heater.

Being rural with only power, telephone, and cable, means a well, or, for us a well and a rainwater harvesting system. We chose geothermal heating and cooling with a bonus of some free hot water.

The exterior is stone with some Hardie plank. We have a metal roof with a metallic copper paint surface, and found gutters that are a very good match. The copper color goes with the stone we chose and blends with the natural stone on site the we are using in landscaping.

Dealing with contractors worked fairly, but I fired one plumber early on and a painter during the finish work. I also changed electricians between haveing the first meter set for the well and the actual house construction.

We used wet-blown cellulose insulation that also gives some soundproofing properties. The house is very quiet overall, and all the bedrooms are surrounded by insulated walls--not just the exterior walls.

My husband installed the low-voltage wiring system that gives us great flexibility in placing televisions, telephones, and computers.

Our house was designed and built with growing older in mind. All but some small closet doors are three-foot doors. The master bath shower is a floor-level shower. We have only two hallway-like areas, both across the front of the house. One runs from my studio and the kitchen to the laundry room at the other end of the house--40 to 50 feet long. It is five-feet wide and is a gallery for displaying art work. The other hallway-like area includes an entry leading into the fourth bedroom that is on the opposite end of the house than the other three bedrooms and into the kitchen. It is four feet wide. If a wheelchair becomes necessary, it can go into every room, including the bathrooms.

This is truly a dream house and could be counted as a personal work of art. The landscaping is also my design and is a work in progress. Although I did a lot during the building, much remains to be completed. Workers are installing one of the flagstone walkways of the same stone we used to floor the porches, breezeway, and patio.

But I bought more plants yesterday. Spring is around the corner.

Dorothy

LTanya in Virginia Beach, VA said:

I love my home. I have lived in it since 1985. We renovated in 1995 to add a second level. The neighborhood is ,or was partially developed, with horse farms located on the street and in the neighborhood. We do not live in a subdivision that is named. Most of the homes have been built in the last ten years, when the owner of the rest of the properties sold the land. Since the year 2000, I have seen the neighborhood developed into an entire subdivision, which does not have any type of community league, or organized set of guidelines you must adhere to. All new homes built have to exist on at least 1/2 acre. All are very nice homes, but not all are nice neighbors.

My home is situated on a cove with .52 acres. There has been some question as to this acreage, because the original owners deeded part of one lot into two parcels. On initial plat, we are suppose to have .72 acres.

We renovated in 1995. Since this time, one house has been built directly across the street on a parcel of land that extends to the lynnhaven river in 2000. Permits are required to build anything due to wetland and environmental laws. Well, this new house was built and was level to everything surrounding, as the lot sloped to the river. Between 2003-2004, the owners built another driveway that was filled to elevate the level above the street.  I did not even recognize that this had occurred until I had to pull out pictures to take to the city planning board in 2009.Consequently, all water from his drain off has saturated my yard, and is penetrating under the foundation into the back yard. The effects were not even noticed until 2004-2005 when I began to get big crevices in my back yard, threatening the foundation of the house, and forcing the dock to detach from land. As a result, I have lost my boat dock and davit. I got a permit to rip rap the bank, not knowing at the time that the upward construction of neighbors driveway may have been responsible. The planning board declared it a civil issue despite the fact that the other land owner raised the level of his driveway, and is now placed railroad ties in the back of his home to prevent any erosion. This defineatly requires a permit. I informed the planning department, but it is being ignored. I feel their must be some personal ties between the city and the property owner for the city inspector, and planning department to totally ignore this. I just had to go to the wetlands board because of a paver patio installed, eithout any land disturbance.

Well, I am still working. I have to get a civil engineer to evaluate the situation, because although I repaired with rip rap, under the foundation continues to bleed into the back, consequently, I can not grow grass, and sand is flowing in the same pattern that my soil did when my dock was wiped out.

I don't know what is next, but something just ain't right with this situation.


Jere in Ray Twp., MI said:

-2150 sq. ft. 2 story

-4 bedrooms

- 2-1/2 baths w/ bath prepped in basement for future bath

-3 car garage w/ finished bonus room

-9' deep daylight Superior Walls basement

-Nu-Wool cellulose insulation

-Hurd wood casement windows w/ alum. clad 


Jack in Trumann, AR said: I picked the plans I built from because the house is striking; it stands out and is very different from most new homes being built today, at least from outward appearances.
Mike in Marion, OH said: No steel beams. We used engineered lumber so that we did not need a crane. It took about six people including myself to lift the 38-foot-long LVL's into place in the garage ceiling. But well worth the savings for a crane rental. Steel beam and LVL's specked out at about the same price. Engineered I-joists for floor joists and Advantech flooring were all really good materials to work with. The advantages of I-joists are well known, but one that I did not know was how much easier it is to put drywall screws into them. The first-floor ceiling of course is the bottom of the second-story floor. I-joists have about twice as wide a face than say 2x12 dimensional lumber.
Steven in Colorado Springs, CO said: We're guided in large part because of the layout of the land.  There's not much "flat" on this property, so where the house site is we have to work with what we've got.  The hill behind the house and the relative narrowness of the lot drives us towards a more "leggy" house than normal that hugs the curve of the hill.  This increases overall heat loss, and drives us towards some unconventional approaches (such as geothermal) rather than traditional "forced air" style furnaces.

Larry in Marshalltown, IA said: townhouse with walk out.
Mark in Provo, UT said: House design was two-story Colonial house reminiscent of Abraham Lincoln's Springfield, Illinois home.

Bret in Rhome, TX said: Ranch 3/2 open concept.
Aaron in Bonsall, CA said: We chose to build an East Coast Victorian Style home in Southern California which created in issues in finding people with the skilles to help
Dave in Boerne, TX said: This project involved the joining of new to old , being that an existing home built in circa 1860 was refurbished and additional square footage was added on .
Mike in Bonham, TX said: Texas Hill-country ranch house, 2x6, standing seam roof
Mike & Carolyn in Smithville, MO said:

We started with our guesthouse, an 850 sq ft space above our detached 3-car garage.  Went with traditional wood framing because it is what we knew and popular in the area. We used the smaller project of the guesthouse as a starter or learning project before we start the larger main house. We learned a lot this way and when we made mistakes the impact was less (like learning to not by sheet goods from the lumber yards... you can get them for less are the local hardware depot).  We will live on site in the guesthouse while we build the main house. To make the space feel larger we vaulted the entire ceiling and added a loft for the kids to play in. It cost more to build small but we're glad we did it. The second living space adds value to our estate and is a great place for guests or elderly parents.


Brock in Walla Walla, WA said: I built and financed the construction through American Home Partners. They were good to work with and the upgrades we were able to do make it a very enjoyable home to have built and live in. It is the first house I have built using blueprints from a standardized profile like they have.
Pat in Round Rock, TX said: Tuscan
John in Durham, NC said: Changed a barn into a three-story house.
Shannon in Shelbyville, TX said: Ranch
Steve in Anthem, AZ said: I build spec houses for resale. I try to get the most square footage because that is what is most important to the appraiser when you get ready to sell your house. I build 4 bedroom houses that have family rooms and formal living rooms with dining rooms and breakfast rooms. I put in a wet bar and 3 and 4 car garages. When I do a 4 car garage I use a 6/12 pitch roof so that I can have a bonus room in the area above the garage that I can finish later into seperate bedrooms or guest quarters. I build wide houses (80 to 90 ft) that fit on larger lots because people that build custom houses usually get a larger lot than they would get with a tract home. I use alot of double french doors off every room in the back witrh a huge patio that runs the full length of the back of the house. I also use a see thru zero clearance fire place that I can use in 2 rooms and I like a seperate fire place in the master bedroom. Always a seperate shower and jacussi tub in the master bath.
Bo in Palo Alto, CA said:

Craftsmen home with basement in Palo Alto.


Brian in Dexter, MI said: ICF to the roof.
Evan in Middleville, MI said: Ranch
Dayna in Riverton, UT said: Rambler with a daylight basement.  Large kitchen with solid oak cabinets and many custom touches throughout.  Was a step up from a starter/builder spec home.
Gail in Glencoe , CA said: Two-story octagonal kit home.
Roger in Petoskey, MI said:

Style:  Craftsman/ Arts and Crafts

Construction:  ICF basement walls, 2X6 upper two levels with cellulose insulation


Ken in Orangevale, CA said: This house is on a beach lot carved out of jungle on a remote island in Fiji. All materials were brought in by boat - there are no roads, no phones, no electricity or other utilities except what we have built in. Eleven workers camped out for 7 months cooking food over wood fires. Propane fridge on a pallet provided storage for food that was shipped over weekly on interisland ferry. No power equipment other than saws and an electric drill were used. 2.6 KW genset provided power for tile saw, skill saw, electric drill, chop saw, recipro saw, sabre saw.

This project required hand digging 54 holes dug 5' deep x 4' square for sinking poles to support the home. It also required hand digging over 70' of 4' deep foundation footing and 12' high concrete walls; hand bent and hacksawed rebar for the wall. The house has about 1,100 sq ft inside with veranda on four sides to provide over 3,000 sq ft under the roof. 30' high interior from floor to roof with exposed beams in main room. 8' exterior doors and all cabinetry were custom made and brought over on the ferry, offloaded into a 23' skiff and then hand carried over the beach for installation. Hardwood floors, two bedrooms, two tiled bathrooms with large tiled showers, hardwood cabinetry, solar hot water and electricity, two ceiling fans in great room and one in each bedroom, screened handmade wooden louvers extend from 10" above floor level to 7' high on great room and bedroom exterior walls provide plenty of ventilation.

Fresh water from artesian spring 1,300 meters away up the hillside gravity feeds  into 1,900 gallons of storage. Inflow is controlled by modified toilet tank valve. Outflow pressure system is an auto on/off pump system powered by (220v 50Hz) inverter and battery bank that is charged by solar panels on roof. No grid is available, so we have backup 5.5KW genset. Sewerage is an underground Australian recycling system that cleans all water to reuse it on gardens.

John in Port Republic, MD said: Round, 15 sided home using panelized construction.
Kenneth in Lees Summit, MO said:

I would encourage everyone to get an architect. The architect was able to figure out what I wanted better than I could adequately explain. You can get ideas from plan books and the internet (among other sources) but the architect can put it together in a coherent format for you.

It is the difference between buying a suit off-the-shelf, and buying a custom suit.  When you go to donate it to charity, they are both just suits to the next person.  However, while you are wearing it, the custom suit is so much nicer. Get a house that fits your lifestyle, yet is still marketable when you have to sell it. After living in my house, using it every day, for a bit over a year, all I can say is the architect was definitely worth it.

Please note that the architect wasn't as expensive as some designers, yet he was also more expensive than others. I didn't use my architect for anything other than plans and structural details. No contract documents, no progress inspections, nothing - so in the end it wasn't much of a luxury price dealt between a custom set of plans and simply a stock set of plans.


Ray in Richmond Hill, GA said: We built a big rectangle-shaped two-story stucco. Sort of a Med/Spanish style .
Penn in Pittsboro, NC said: Originaly framed as a garage which I converted to a 1 bearoom house. 24x24 lower level and 12x24 upper level with a barn style roof

Brian in South Burlington, VT said:

3100 sq. ft.  Georgian Colonial

5 car garage


Richard in Cnetereach, NY said: Started as a 6 room Cape.  It is now a 9 room colonial.
Brian in Dome-ville, central, FL said:

Geodesic dome structure made of precast reinforced concrete and EPS insulation panels.


Patrick in Cottage Grove, MN said: Craftsman 2 story on wooded lot
Brian in Manvel, TX said: ICF since we live close to the coast. Hurricane proof up to 200 mph!
John in Bonne Terre, MO said: Our home is 1800 sq ft ranch with a walk out.  The home has 10 outside corners and 6 inside corners. The home is brick veneer and brick was continued down the walk out.  I also built a suspended concrete deck that is 14' x 20' and that is also in brick attached to 8' foundation walls.  One gable end of seven is brick with the rest in stained cedar siding. I designed the home and did the blueprints myself.  We started on the home Jan 3rd and moved in Dec 4th of the same year.  Foundation walls, brickwork, HVAC, roofing, taping, mudding and painting was subbbed out all other work was performed by myself and a few friends.  I did do the stone work on the downstairs fireplace and loved the expierence. Build a home and find out who your friends are. 
Karl in Reno, NV said:

Entry-level home for eventual rental


Aimee in Kalamazoo, MI said: stuck with straight, simple wall lines for lower cost
Bob in Deltona, FL said: Custom blend of materials, as required in Florida.

Matthew in Saratoga Springs, NY said: Custom Plans...
Don in Mayfield Village, OH said: Cape Cod.
Richard in Malabar, FL said: Two story cylindrical Post and Beam and concrete block structural, earth sheltered on the no.rth, with Cordwood masonry infilling on the exposed part. Extremely energy efficient.
Max in OKC, OK said: We came out on budget!
Jeff in Provo, UT said: 2x6 exterior walls, 9 ft. ceilings, except in the basement.
Phillip in Fayetteville, GA said: French Country design by Robert Fillmore.
Brenda in Eustis, FL said: Walk-out basement.
Chris in Schertz, TX said: Just got back from the San Diego, California area and in most new neighborhoods, houses were the same style, white stucco, tile roof (mostly orange/red), Southwest style with pitched roofs. Sometimes the facade needs to reflect and respect what is being built in the area. Mansionization sometimes creates a huge house on a tiny lot that dwarfs the neighboring houses. I wanted a house built of logs, but that style did not fit the neighboring houses. We chose a traditional Colonial style because we liked it, and it fit the more traditional two-story houses in our neighborhood.
Kathlyn in Orlando, FL said: We are thrilled with the results. It's too bad materials have gone up so much...
Tom in Stroudsburg, PA said: L-shaped ranch, 6" concrete floors over full basement.
Kari in Colbert, WA said: Three-story Colonial ICF.
Mary in Yuma, AZ said: Santa Fe style.
Robert in Reno, NV said: Stucco exterior with a metal roof, no or low maintenance. Radiant floor-heating, possible solar application, if budget permits.
Doug in San Francisco, CA said: Spanish/Mediterranean.
Richard in Sequim, WA said: Construction: a combination of post and beam, and concrete block. Earth sheltered on the north side. Style: cylindrical.
Lisa in Issaquah, WA said: Besides the house, we had a detached three-car garage with 900 sq.ft. of unfinished apartment above.
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Melanie, one thing you may want to try is looking in O-B Connections and sending private messages to others that have built their own home in Pennsylvania.
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Jeff in Provo, UT
Just wanted to hop in and say that between all of the work outside.What an awesome nation, eh?Steven in Colorado
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Steven in Colorado Springs, CO
153. Written Comparison Maybe you weren't too good of a student in school, but when you build its time to shine. You are entering the province of full-time professionals who have experience and systems to make the job easier. Or if you were a good student, bring out your skills of learning and organization for this task. Write notes. Lay them out consistently for comparison when you are getting pricing on house components. Don't be afraid to retype the whole hodgepodge into a computer to make it clear what you've got. This is particularly handy when you are considering bids. Nothing brings up questions for clarification quicker than to recopy the information from a bid into computer. You note that various parts have been left out, mistakes were made, portions are glaringly overpriced. Subcontractors are very willing to clarify and explain after they have bid. Your call shows you are for real and worth their time. The high road is to enter the information you gather into computer spreadsheet for valuable analysis. Since the spreadsheet offers calculation and sorting capability, you have new power to understand and discover good value in the marketplace. You can total your figures and get immediate recalculation when you learn of a change or negotiate a concession. Another plus is that your written information makes you a better bet for lenders. They live in a world of reports and spreadsheets, so you'll fit right in: "I put together different bids, three for each section, except where we have a friend. We added on what he's going to do, and still put money in for that, and for our own labor. Last time we didn't get everything in writing. Like sidewalks for $900 and the bid came in at $1,500 on the last house. Make sure you get prices from more than one person also. HVAC and plumbing was $15,000 on one and $8,500 on a second one. Both reputable companies for the exact same thing. I always added extra to everything, and added 5% at the end. It is a lot more paperwork to get funds from the bank as an owner-builder. And they give you a higher interest rate as an owner-builder." (Melissa and Brad D., Hanover, PA) Be neat and organized, take notes and use a spreadsheet to compare sources. The little items you lose track of can waste your time and money.
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Don't be afraid to interview subs in advance - they are going to become like employees to you, and they know that. It is free marketing to them when someone calls in. Your call serves them notice that you are a conscientious builder. At the same time, feel free to admit your ignorance to a knowledgeable pro. Subs appreciate that, and you will grow in your ability to make educated decisions. Create your own questions, or adapt the suggested questions below. Call in the early morning and early evening, or if you interview larger firms, during business hours.
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by Mark A. Smith

I recently heard from a reader, Kathi D. of Tucson, AZ:

"We are now pretty much settled in our new home. We love it here. Friends and neighbors (old and new) stop by to check out the house and are so impressed with the quality of the house and all that it has to offer. We really saved a fortune by doing this on our own. Our total cost (land and building) for a 3,700 square foot home (12 ft ceilings) with every extra you can think of (and more) plus a 1,200 sq ft covered patio, and a REAL 3 car garage (approx. 1,100 sq ft), and 4 acres of prime land, came in at $363,000. Our bank appraisal came in at $475,000. The bank appraiser commented that she had never seen a home with such fine finish work and quality features. She took pictures for herself. I, of course, recommended your book to her."

Kathi's house came in at $67 per square foot, not counting the monster garage and covered patio. General contractor costs for this level of construction would now come in at $150 a foot in her area.

One of her secrets was lots of subcontractor bids:

"You recommended three bids, but on some aspects like HVAC, I got five. Each time I got a new bid I got a lot more information. When I then talk to the next person, I can talk knowledgeably, and they respected that."

Of, course, to find five good subs to ask for bids, Kathi had to start with many more names. She profited by interviewing them in advance, occasionally turning up information that saved her money later:

"Interviews were very good for me informationally. For example, on the roof, one guy was going to include scuppers, like drains, and one wasn't. The latter guy said, they should be part of the HVAC package, because they are sheet metal. So I got on the HVAC guy, and got it for free even though it wasn't specified. By that move I saved $4,000 on roofing. There were 24 scuppers, on the flat roof home. When we started with the concrete foundation guy, he said they didn't include the bolts in their price. So, I called them back, and said some of the others have that, so they gave them to me at no charge.

Kathi kept good notes of her conversations and kept a list of questions and to do items in a notebook:

"The Owner-Builder Book was right about setting up the proper files, knowing where to go for things, and staying organized. Checking references. I became the form queen. We didn't track a lot of it on computer, but I carried a notebook with me. I wrote down the tasks and crossed them off, and went back through periodically to see that things were done. I kept my conversation notes there and could find things later that way. The book was a really big help."

When Kathi and her husband finished the house, he said to her, "let's get some more land and do it again." Is that in the plans? "I don't think so," Kathi says. "Now what he says every day is just "I love this house!"


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Book Description

How to build your own home

The best available guide to saving money on a home construction project. The Owner-Builder Book is the most reader-friendly of the self-contracting books currently in print, and has the biggest emphasis on saving money when you build. The only book in the category printed in two colors, or reaching a fourth edition, it is loaded with interesting reader sidebars and a substantial resource guide.

"...16 easy to read chapters with lots of charts, lists and examples...More practical advice..." Nancy Cook-Senn, The Shawnee News-Star

"...this is the book which will tell you how to design and build your own home just the way you want it. It also tells you how to save thousands of dollars in the process...You can also save up to 50% of the cost of a house by becoming an owner-builder...goes through the stages of how to plan, planning, how to buy, developing a network for purchasing your materials, how to get bids, what to look for in bids on different areas, how to supervise your sub contractors, etc...seems to leave very few, if any, stones unturned." Curtis Rivers, Vero Beach Press Journal

"Assuming you have the same costs that a general contractor will have, you will save the profit (more than 10 percent average) and the overhead (two to three times the profit) paid to a general...The Owner-Builder Book discusses just how this can be done." "Ask the Experts", Country's Best Log Homes

"If you don't want to be sorry, follow the process outlined by Mark Smith in his book, The Owner-Builder Book." "Builders Showcase", Northwest Herald

"...covers every aspect of the building process, including planning, scheduling, working with subcontractors, financing, building permits, etc....has, perhaps for the first time, demystified the home-building process for the layman. Consider this to be a textbook." Prince William Region Home Focus

"...highlights techniques for materials shopping (what he calls "commando shopping") and planning your home room-by-room to maximize savings." Home & Real Estate Weekly, Daily Times-Call

"This new book gives a step-by-step approach to building your own home and saving up to 50 percent on construction costs. Chapters show how to beat contractor pricing tactics, how to deal with paperwork (contracts, permits, and legal and insurance protection), how to manage home building project on a daily basis, and how to avoid common owner-builder mistakes." The Henry Herald

"Great practical little book filled with tips to save money when building a home. If you want to take on the project yourself, it's good to know the tricks of the trade first. You'll learn to manage bureaucratic paperwork, how to get subs on your side, and even become privy to "commando" shopping techniques. The Smiths explain how to benefit from new tax laws and how to prepare yourself to get loan approval." Simple Living Quarterly

"If you ever have thought of building your own home, The Owner-Builder Book is for you because it is a step-by-step guide for the amateur and covers all aspects of building a home." Robb Northrup, Kitchener-Waterloo Record

"When it comes to building your dream home, sweat equity a.k.a. doing it yourself, can help economize. But you don't need to swing a hammer to nail substantial savings. In The Owner-Builder Book Mark Smith leads homeowners through a step-by-step guide of planning, scheduling and financing a custom built house." Michelle Mahfouri, American Press

"The 16-chapter book takes [you] from putting a materials list together and putting out bids to subcontractors to shopping for bargains and close-outs on framing lumber, fixtures, concrete and appliances. It also discusses how to avoid first-time mistakes." Kansas City Star


Ready to buy? Jump straight to the books

From the Author

Mark and Elaine Smith

When we built our own home, a general contractor estimated the cost of construction at $115 a square foot. It was more than we could afford. We had two choices: shrink the house we had planned, or build it ourselves.

We decided to build it ourselves, and completed the house for $65 a square foot. The amazing thing was that we didn't sacrifice anything in the original plan. In fact, we included dozens and dozens of upgrades on which we found great bargains along the way.

We found very little published help on the key issue - saving money - when we were building. So we decided to make it easier for others by writing The Owner-Builder Book. We began by going to the Library of Congress and reading all the books out there on the subject. They were almost all written by general contractors. Believe me, they don't try to help you save money.

Next we conducted 200 interviews with subcontractors, generals, lenders, inspectors, and many other owner-builders. We found answers to all the sticking points like: "Where can I get a construction loan?"

We found that the average owner-builder saved 35% on the cost of construction against contractor estimate or appraised value.

I also drew on my experience as a former construction industry executive and consultant. We provided templates for the reader to the three key tools needed for success: Written Budget, Written Schedule, and Written List of Features. These tools were almost nonexistent in the literature.

We have been honored by reviews or mentions in 165 newspapers and 20 magazines and newsletters to date. People tell us that our book is enjoyable and gives them confidence to build.


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