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On the advice of a friend whose husband is a contractor, I began to look into owner-building. I found this website and downloaded the book yesterday. I'm halfway through it and this whole thing is enthralling... but I've figured out that I need to slow down and do this right.
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Posted to Buffaloader by Aaron in Valley Center, KS on 1/11/2011

I contacted a couple of ready mix concrete companies in town to get pricing information for concrete. I was kicking the idea around of pouring my own foundation; that desire has come and gone, by the way. The first company was a little short and slightly on the unfriendly side. I contacted another ready mix concrete company for some pricing. The companies name is R.A. Ruud and Son, Inc. They were very friendly, and the pricing was practically identical to the first company; also they have an A+ Better Business Bureau rating.

A day or so later after deciding not to pour my own foundation, I contacted them again and asked if they had any recommendations for good foundation subs. They said sure, and gave me a couple of names. Bob Cook Homes is the only one I have investigated so far. He has an A+ with the BBB and, after talking with him, I learned he started out in the foundation business. He later become a full-fledged builder, but still does his own concrete work due the fact that nobody does it the way he likes it. He was very friendly, helpful, and seemed to take an interest. I was very impressed and confident after speaking with him. He is number one on my list of one right now.


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Posted to Buffaloader by Aaron in Valley Center, KS on 1/10/2011

I am in the design phase of our new home. I have reviewed numerous floor plans, and can't seem to find any that are quite right. At this point I am leaning towards designing my own. I am currently thinking I want a simple design that is low maintenance and affordable to build. My concept is a two-story home with a full basement with approx. 1,300 sq ft per floor totaling 3,900 sq ft of living space once the basement is finished. The home will be styled like a Federal/Adam/Colonial or whatever you want to call it. It will be a symmetrical all-brick home. Literally a rectangular box stacked on a rectangular box stacked on a foundation. The roof will be a gable roof with ridge vents, no valleys, dormers, nothing. I am thinking that this type of design will ultimately save money, and leaves a good potential for less problems. We will see. Here in Sedgwick County, Kansas an architect/engineer is not required to design/approve plans. The home just needs to meet the building code. I will post some preliminary designs soon. If anyone actually reads this, feedback is appreciated.


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