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Posted by David in Ocoee, FL on 12/15/2006

Get a firm price on my septic tank and drain field today. $2300 including permits. Considering the fact that there are no impact fees in Leon County, Florida, I think that I am getting away pretty cheap. We get our 30 fixed rate mortgage at 6%. Our manufactured home should be ready by mid January.

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Posted by David in Ocoee, FL on 12/5/2006

In a way, it saddens me to say that I decided to postpone my Cape Cop SIP home project and instead purchase a manufactured home for $70 per s.f. Many people think of a mobile home when I say manufactured home. Let me tell you about the home I have purchased:  It is a Homes of Merit 1840 square foot home with: 9 foot walls, 2x6 exterior walls 16" o.c., 2x4 interior walls 16" o.c., vaulted ceilings, tape and textured drywall t/out, 6' tall windows, 8' tall interior doors, sliding glass door with side lights, T&G plywood subfloor, R-30 insulation in ceiling, florescent canned lights, wood cabinets, GE Profile stainless appliances, bullnose drywall, insulated windows, etc. etc.

I will be starting up a home remodeling business and a pontoon boat business in Tallahassee. These projects are going to take almost all of my free time for a while. It is nice to know that I can just order the manufactured home and it will be ready to move into in a couple of months. Anyone interested in discussing pontoon boat construction is welcome to email me at

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Posted by David in Ocoee, FL on 11/16/2006

I got approximate prices on the well: 4" 100 feet = $4600 + $12 each additional foot.

Septic system: $2,300

HVAC: American Standard (Trane) Allegiance 15 3 ton split system = $6,000.

I am still waiting (and waiting and waiting) on Steve of Falcon Building to send me a quote on the Cape SIP home. I am going to get into the industry as soon as I retire next year!

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Posted by David in Ocoee, FL on 11/13/2006

I requested a quote from Ron Harrigan of Sips Team USA out of Bainbridge Ga. Ron makes his own OSB skin EIP's. He says that they have a greater strength than the cement skin. I am considering building the Cape home out of jumbo panels.

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Posted by David in Ocoee, FL on 10/30/2006

Steve called me this last Friday. He has all the figures and would like to meet with me to discuss a plan. He gave me an initial price of $45,000 for the dried in envelope for a 28x52 Cape home made of Structall metal skin SIP.

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Posted by David in Ocoee, FL on 10/21/2006

Got a price on a Simplex Homes Cape modular home. Sun Ovation in Auburndale gave me a price of $159,000 for the simplexhomes/ Chatham Cape home. This price is for the home, fundation, plumbing, electrical, hvac, everything except the second floor is unfinished. I am still waiting for Steve of Falcon Building to send me the estimate.


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Posted by David in Ocoee, FL on 10/20/2006

Here are a couple of pictures so folks can have a general idea of what we are working with.


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Posted by David in Ocoee, FL on 10/19/2006

Steve's wife (who is from El Salvador) called me today on his behalf to tell me that he really appreciates all the referrals that he is getting as a result of my posts. She also said that Steve is working diligently to finish my estimate by this evening. I told her that I was so convinced that SIPs have a bright future that I am contemplating a career move to an SIP related field.

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Posted by David in Ocoee, FL on 10/16/2006

Steve called today to ask about my choice of floor joist. He asked about using Dietrich metal joists. I told him that I am familiar with the Dietrich metal floor joists and that would be fine to use.

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Posted by David in Ocoee, FL on 10/13/2006

Today, Steve emailed me and asked me for as many details as I can give him so that he can create as accurate a bid as possible. I sent Steve the following email:


I don’t mind going with OSB if the 9 foot ceiling height will not be a problem for your and if it will save me in excess of $3000 overall. If the savings is less than $3,000 overall, I would rather pay a little extra and stay away from wood. If we do go with OSB, I would like to use “jumbo” panels to run the full length from the slab up to the top of the gable ends, as well as full length roof panels over a ridge beam and purlins. I would also prefer the use of support beams, ridge beams and purlins so that the ceiling on the second floor is soaring with exposed beams and no roof trusses. You can engineer support beams that go up through the middle of the deviding walls on the first floor and up through the center of the bedroom walls on the second floor.

Floor joists:

The reason that I mentioned using Open Joist 2000 is that this floor joist is very strong and light, makes it very easy to install A/C ducts, cables, plumbing and compact fluorescent recessed cans, and also makes it extremely easy to glue and screw the tongue and groove osb panels that I would like to use for the second floor subfloor. If you choose to mount the joists on top plate of the first floor wall panels, we can spray the interior of the rim joist with insulating foam between floor joists. If the rim joist creates an extra 12” or so of wall height on the exterior elevation, that is OK with me. Or you can mount the floor joists on ledger boards, as long as I don’t loose my 9’ ceiling!


Once the floor plan is completed and the permits are pulled, I can take it to Home Depot or Lowes and have them layout the kitchen and bathrooms for the specific cabinets and sinks that I want. I will shop around on the internet for appliances. The kitchen will feature at least 4 recessed compact fluorescent cans and granite countertops. My brother will supply the countertops, as that is what he does.  I can purchase and install the cabinets and counter tops.

First floor Ceiling:

I would like the first floor ceiling finished to level 4, flat with no texture. No crown molding. I will do that myself some day.


I would like to install and finish the trim myself, in 5 ¼” urethane baseboards and custom made oversized door frames.


You can’t beat the price of American Craftsman single hung insulated vinyl windows at Home Depot. I would prefer nail fin, as they are the strongest in my opinionTry and stick to a standard 3 X 6, nothing fancy. 2x3 grills for the front elevation.


It would be good to have the dormers made in SIP panels, for energy savings. The dormers should have a balanced appearance, like in the elevation that I sent you. The roof flashing should be done in GAF Stormguard, If it is not too expensive, it would also be nice to get the tops of the dormers done in standing seam metal instead of fiberglass roof shingles.

Gas and HVAC:

The following appliances will be gas: stove, ventless gas fireplace, tankless gas water heater, gas clothes dryer. If you like, my gas company can run the gas lines for $200 per appliance. I will be using heat strips in the A/C unit, because I intend to use the fireplace for heat. I would like to use an American Standard HVAC unit, Allegianace 16. This is the least expensive dual stage unit they make. If you can get an equivalent unit for less money, please let me know.


I want to do the caulking, priming and painting myself. This will save quite a bit of money.

Master bath:

Rather than a tub in the master, I would like a shower stall with 2 shower heads. I would like to do the liner and tile work myself. I plan to use Red Guard by Custom Building Products instead of the old fashioned pvc shower pan liner. In case you are wondering, it is code compliant.

I also want to install a frameless shower door myself. I know where to order them at a very reasonable price.


For flashing, I would like to use GAF Stormguard instead of that cheap aluminum stuff. I would like to use GAF Shinglemate instead of regular roofing felt. Although the products is more expensive, it installs so much quicker and easier that it ends up costing the same or even a little less because of the labor savings. I would also like to use GAF Country Mansion Premium designer shingles. I know they are expensive, but I don’t want to put a crappy 3 tab 20 year shingle on your beautiful house.


The front door will be a 3’6” X 8’ insulated fiberglass door by ThermaTrue. The interior doors on the first floor will be Masonite 8’ doors and Masonite 6’8” doors on the second floor. I can install the doors if I need to. I would like an 8’ SGD in the living room instead of windows.


I would like to take care of all the floors myself. Tile (Daltile) downstairs and T&G heart pine engineered flooring over OSB subfloor on the second.

Siding, eaves and facia:

I intend to use either Hardiboard shake siding or high end Vinyl siding, depending upon which type of skin you are going to use, and Hardiboard for the eaves and facia.

Gypsum board:

I would like to use paperless drywall in the kitchen and bathrooms. I would also like to discuss with you what my options are for a covering on the soaring ceiling on the second floor.


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Posted by David in Ocoee, FL on 10/12/2006

Yesterday,  I contacted Steve, owner of Falcon Building; Steve is a GC that manufactures his own panels. I sent Steve the floor plans and elevation of a Cape Cod style home that we want to build. It is the Chatham model by Simplex Homes. The home is 2000 s.f. 1 1/2 stories. Most of the work will be done by Falcon. My crew will do the rest in order to keep costs down to approx. $140,000, excluding the cost of the land. This is not so difficult, as I am willing to do quite a bit, plus constructing with SIP panels is pretty economical. Steve is going to get back to me on costs and what I will be expected to do. It is important to know that I have recieved quotes of approx $160.000 for a turnkey modular home of equivalent type and size. But I am not a big fan of stick built homes. I want something better.

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