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On our last house we made a lot of quick decisions based on cost that we ended up regretting and not completely getting the quality of house we wanted. Was VERY happy to get The Owner-Builder Book this weekend that stresses the planning process and has so many good ideas to do the planning part of this right.
Jerry in Gulf Breeze, FL

Ken in Norman, OK's Journal Entries

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Posted by Ken in Norman, OK on 6/10/2008

Today I am starting the journal, and I hope I can keep it updated. I have been planning for the past few months on my design and construction methods. I appreciate all the wonderful comments (and humor) of the contributors. I am including an almost-complete house plan. I elected to go ICF and my designer is making the final changes on wall sides. We selected radiant floor heat with LPG and have a safe room designed in the master closet (Oklahoma is known for tornadoes!). We are building on a 11+ acre lot. My current house lies on 23 acres and we divided the land into two parcels. We are in a wooded area of eastern Oklahoma, about 15 miles east of University of Oklahoma.

This is my first and probably last build. I am 62 and retired now so I will be really on-site a lot. My neighbor built his house last year and used The O-B Book. He has been a real asset since his lessons learned. Our city (Norman) has a history of severe inspections, so we are trying to prepare for that.

Anyone have experience with Dryvit or artificial stucco? We are still deciding on a finish. Brick or stucco.

I hope to have the permits by the end of the week, and have the site prepared for the layout and footings for next week. The ICF contractor (ICH) of OKC, is doing the footings, setting the blocks and pouring. I have elected to have the walls poured first and then do the slab later after I do the rough plumbing and electric. My intent is to have a roof built before the slab is poured so we can do much of the work under cover. The issue I just realized is that I wouldn't have the interior load-bearing walls in place. Something I need to negotiate with the city.

We are also building a 24x36 foot ICF barn/storage building next to the house.

I'll try to post some current pictures of the site in the next entry. I just wrote my first check on the construction loan, and reality is starting to sink in. I can't believe how many of you have done this and still had to attend to your job and family. My hat is off to you all!




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