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Posted to ICF-in-Ann-Arbor by Brian in Dexter, MI on 1/25/2010

It's been a year since the last update. We're still making small changes all over the house. Over summer we planted 50 trees that were 5'-20' in height. Craigslist is a great site to find trees; we paid $3 each for 7' maples, $20 each for 5' evergreens, and $45 each for 10'-20' evergreens. I'll post pictures soon.


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Posted to ICF-in-Ann-Arbor by Brian in Dexter, MI on 9/1/2008

Progress has definitely slowed in the last 6 months. Once you move in, it's a lot harder to work at the same pace. Here's what we have done

  • Built several boulder retaining walls
  • planted all front yard landscaping and trees
  • installed irrigation system
  • installed underground gutter drainage
  • installed 3,000 sq ft blacktop circle drive
  • installed sidewalk
  • finished small deck and railing
  • finished large glassed in second-floor sunroom
  • finished all main floor living areas

I am still finishing up interior trim. I ran out and have more ordered. I also have doors to adjust, cracked grout to fix, touch-up paint, and drywall pops. We are also hydroseeding the lawn next weekend. I also hope to fire up the radiant heat in the basement over the next month, and get the final Energy Star and LEED inspections done.

In October I'll be starting on the basement. I plan to finish off about 2,500 sq ft of living space down there.

I'm happy to report a $79 average electric bill through summer with the AC on! I am still adjusting my IAQ thermostat and sealing air leaks, so I know we can do better!


master bed
master bed fireplace, no mantel or stone yet
master ceiling
master king bed
Installing windows in the off-master kitchen.
Don't fall!
10' drop off the deck, then 100' drop down the hill
More deck windows going in.
guest bathroom floor
guest bath shower
guest bath shower
guest bath vanity
deck almost done
master tub w/slate
See how thick the walls are!!! (12")
master slate floor
solid core doors
front living room, Brazilian cherry 5'x3/4" flooring
recessed lighting
lots of crown molding
maple inlay
master bath vanity one of two
master bath HRV vent and exhaust system
vent timer
master bath
master bath
master bedroom
dual flush toilets
guest bedroom
guest bed w/private deck
circle drive going in
stone wall finished
more retaining walls
excavating for walls
excavating for walls
Lots of stone. 40 tons.
buried rainwater drains

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Posted to ICF-in-Ann-Arbor by Brian in Dexter, MI on 5/22/2008

It's been about three months since we have moved in. In that time, I've gotten a lot of the little interior things done like trim, caulking, building closets, sealing tile, etc. The contractors came out to finish painting the house, and the plumbing/electrical are now completely done.

For the next few months, we will put our focus on the yard. I had to hand-trench down to the high voltage power and subdivision gas lines so we knew how deep we could excavate a hill in the front yard. Nothing like digging ditches to remind you how good your day job is.

I've got three retaining walls that need to go in, we need 300 yards of soil to extend the backyard, the circle drive needs to be installed, and we need the sprinklers and grass. Here are some recent pics.


master tub
master bath slate tile
hand dug 4'x30' ditch
circle drive going in, driveway stone and culvert
lots of digging
silt fence I installed
We're having fun now.
house paint, front
house paint, back
pushing the back yard out
cutting in a spot for my boulder retaining walls
Backyard is on a serious hill!

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Posted to ICF-in-Ann-Arbor by Brian in Dexter, MI on 2/28/2008 7:31:35 AM

7.5 months after breaking ground, we have passed our last inspection, received a certificate of occupancy, and move-in is almost complete. More pictures will be posted once we are settled and have some time to catch up.





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Posted to ICF-in-Ann-Arbor by Brian in Dexter, MI on 2/12/2008 9:41:01 PM

The countertops arrived today, so that's off the list. This coming week we'll schedule in all of the final inspections! Still some trim work, some grouting, and a little tub tile left to finish up.


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Posted to ICF-in-Ann-Arbor by Brian in Dexter, MI on 2/5/2008

We were originally going to be moved in by now, but we decided to wait another month so we could fully complete the house (instead of just the CoO minimums). This extra time has allowed me to add more detail, like the maple inlays in the Brazilian cherry, and some extra tile detail. We're shooting for finals on electric, gas, plumbing, and HVAC next week!




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Posted to ICF-in-Ann-Arbor by Brian in Dexter, MI on 1/21/2008 8:37:37 AM

Primer: done

hardwood: mostly done

tile: mostly done

bathroom vanities: done

lighting: done

electrical: done



Left to do:

install kitchen cabinets

tile one shower

finish hardwood




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Posted to ICF-in-Ann-Arbor by Brian in Dexter, MI on 1/7/2008

We have decided to give our landlord notice that we are renting from that we will be moving out on Jan 31st. That gives us 24 days to get a CoO or temporary CoO.

Since the last update, all of the rough mechanical inspections have been completed. I learned that putting a furnace in the attic isn't a good idea. 90+ efficiency furnaces need to be in conditioned space, which means a drywalled insulated room in the attic if you don’t want it on the floor. I ended up relocating the second furnace to a conditioned closet on the bonus floor.

The furnace is now running, and we had to heat the house a week before drywall. To keep the heat in, I had the insulators batt all of the ceilings with R-11, and they came back to blow it to R-50 after drywall was hung. Insulation took a total of two days.

Just before drywall we had the rough building inspection. I was both surprised and pleased that we passed on the first try. After the inspection passed, there was about a week's worth of work to finish things up for drywall.

Once in, the drywallers hung all of the board in a day and a half (about 16,000 ft.). They took another four days to tape, apply several coats of mud, and sand. The primer happened today, tomorrow the ceilings are being painted.

While waiting for drywall to finish, I built all of the frames around the windows and doors using 1x8 wood. I have also tiled two tub/shower stalls and three bathroom floors. I have one bathroom left to tile and a kitchen floor, then I start on the hardwood. My goal is to have all of the tiling done by the 11th, wood floors and cabinets hung by the 18th, and trim and doors in by the 25th.


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Posted to ICF-in-Ann-Arbor by Brian in Dexter, MI on 11/4/2007

The siding and stone are both getting done. I went with MiraTEC trim, HardiPlank siding, HardiPlank soffit, and J&N Anagnos stone. The well lines and retaining wall have also been installed. We used 20 tons of field stone for the wall. The garage floor also has been poured, and we installed four 300' radiant tube loops for future garage heating.

On the inside the electric, plumbing, and HVAC are in. I used a double core 300DD with 5 ZRT's from American Aldes for the HRV. The ZRT's are located in the bathrooms and automatically boost the volume to the HRV when the bathroom fan switch/timer is turned on. The HVAC is a Goodman four-ton variable speed 95% furnace and a 2.5-ton, and the outside units are R410-A 14-SEER units. The rough-in plumbing is done for 6 full bathrooms, one half-bath, kitchen, laundry, sump, HVAC, laundry tub, and garage sink. Both fireplaces are installed. Electric is a 200-amp service with 38 circuits.

I hope to get the inspections done while I rough-in the central vac, alarm wire, intercoms, cable, and network wire. Then we finally get to drywall.


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Posted to ICF-in-Ann-Arbor by Brian in Dexter, MI on 10/8/2007

The framing started very quickly; in the first three weeks they framed the entire house. It was the punch list that took them another three weeks. Finally today they had a crew of 9 guys and knocked everything out by sunset. It's tough to imagine how much small stuff there is for them to do once the walls and roof are up.

Power and natural gas service have both been installed to the house. The well lines, tank, and pump are going to be installed this week. All of the rough plumbing for water, gas, and sewer have been installed and inspected. The HVAC has one day left before inspections, and the electrical has two to three more days. I am hoping to wrap it all up this week so we can move on to the final inspection before drywall.

Stone, HardiPlank, and trim are delivered and waiting to be installed.


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Posted to ICF-in-Ann-Arbor by Brian in Dexter, MI on 9/19/2007 7:08:05 PM

We decided Monday that we should put the septic in this week. It's about a month before we need it, but the weather is dry and warm so I'd like to get it off the list. The septic field was supposed to be a 9' cut but turned out to need 13' to reach sand. They did the excavating on Tuesday, put in the septic tanks today, and will bring sand in tomorrow and build the field. We are also beginning to work in final grading around the house.

The roof is going up tomorrow. We decided to add two skylights for $202 each (plus another 150 each for installation by the roofer).

This weekend I will start on the inside electrical, lighting, central vac, intercom, and data wiring.



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Posted to ICF-in-Ann-Arbor by Brian in Dexter, MI on 9/16/2007 11:28:56 PM

Here are some more pictures of framing progress.


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Posted to ICF-in-Ann-Arbor by Brian in Dexter, MI on 9/16/2007

In less than a month, the framing was started and finished. I think they spent about three weeks total on site assembling the wall panels and roof trusses. We have a few things left on the punch list, but I am guessing they will be out by Monday or Tuesday. Here's what we have accomplished:

install first floor wall panels

install LVL's for second floor

install second floor trusses

install second floor Advantech plywood

install second floor wall panels

install roof trusses

stick-frame some rafters

sheathe roof plywood

install windows (North Star triple-pane)

install doors

wrap sheathing

install stairs

The HVAC crew has already started, and the electrician put the meter in Friday. In the next few weeks we'll get the inside electrical, plumbing, and HVAC done, get the roof on, get the cultured stone in, have the siding installed, and put the septic field in. My goal is to have drywall hung by the end of this month!


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Posted to ICF-in-Ann-Arbor by Brian in Dexter, MI on 8/19/2007

Friday they poured the second floor ICF walls, and the excavators finished backfilling, installing the culvert, and putting in the gravel construction drive. There's going to be a retaining wall between our neighbor's lot and our driveway because of the elevation.

The ICF contractors put in the Simpson floor connectors for my stairs landing and made cuts on the back of the ICF wall for my deck ledger. I put in extra 4" and 6" sleeves because it's easier to fill them in than to cut more later. I'll be using concentric vents for the furnaces, a direct vent water heater, HRV, and central vac.

Monday the panelized walls will arrive.


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Posted to ICF-in-Ann-Arbor by Brian in Dexter, MI on 8/15/2007

Since the last update, the stone and tile drains have been installed on the exterior, the radiant passed the pressure test, we passed the subsoil inspection, the slab has been poured, deck footings have been dug, we passed the backfill inspection, and the second-floor ICF stacking has begun. We plan to backfill tomorrow, pour Friday, and frame next week. All of the framing is panelized, so we will jump to dry-in really fast.


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Posted to ICF-in-Ann-Arbor by Brian in Dexter, MI on 8/7/2007

The Advantech plywood is almost all installed, they finished up Monday morning. Today the ICF contractor is starting to stack the second floor and prepping the basement for pour. They will pour the slab tomorrow.



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Posted to ICF-in-Ann-Arbor by Brian in Dexter, MI on 8/5/2007

In a period of only two days, the beams and lumber were installed for the first floor.

The ICF contractor installed the beam pockets, but we had to do a fair amount of chiseling to get them to the right size. I have three beams running the span of the basement, and the longest one had to be spliced because you can only order beams up to 40' length. The largest beam was a 39' beam that was 12 inches tall and 6 inches wide, weighing about 1,800 lbs. We had a crane lift it to the back of the house. The framers lifted the smallest beam into place themselves, although I have no idea how they managed that. The beam posts were the wrong height, so temporary 2x6 posts were fabricated until Monday when the right ones arrive.

The process of setting the beams, installing the ledger, trimming the trusses, installing the trusses, installing the 2x4 ladder and installing the Strongback bracing took two days. In one more day they will have all of the plywood put down, glued, and screwed. Sometime mid-week my ICF contractor will come back to stack the main floor, pour the walls, and pour the basement slab.

I used Open Joist 2000 for the floor trusses. These are trimmable open-web trusses. The trusses are great because you can run your plumbing and HVAC inside them instead of under them so I can have a full 9' basement ceiling. The trusses are sitting on a 2x4 sill plate that transitions the ICF wall from 11.75" thick to 9.5" thick. We also had to add some flush LVL's to manage the load from upper floors and the roof. I went with Advantech flooring plywood because it is waterproof, and it will be at least two weeks before the house is dried in. It has already been rained on once.

It's been one month since we broke ground now. My goal of being dried in after 30 days was missed because of the soil remediation, but I am pretty sure we will be dried in by the time we hit the 45-day mark.


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Posted to ICF-in-Ann-Arbor by Brian in Dexter, MI on 8/5/2007

I am now registered for LEED certification. We went through the preliminary plans and durability checklist, and it looks like LEED Silver should be within reach. One of the LEED requirements is to also have Energy Star certification, which I also plan to do. I went through the approval process and my LLC is now an Energy Star Builder.

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Posted to ICF-in-Ann-Arbor by Brian in Dexter, MI on 8/5/2007

Last Thursday we wanted to pour the basement slab, but the inspector realized I had radiant tubing installed and would not pass the "subsoil inspection" required by my county. I had to pull a permit for the radiant tubing and get an inspection. It wasted the concrete contractors' time because they were all ready to pour and were now facing at least a day of delays.

Friday the radiant inspector came out to inspect the radiant tubing. Even though I had no joints underground, they failed me because they wanted to see a 100 psi pressure test connected and the lines pressurized. Since the radiant tubing was delaying the basement slab, we decided to pour just the beam stanchion pads now, and pour the slab while the first-floor walls are being poured.

This changed strategy gave me time to change a decision I wasn't really happy with. We had R-10 foam down above the sand, but no vapor barrier. The cost was very little, and there are many benefits to having a 6-mil vapor barrier under the slab. The nice thing about being your own builder is that you don't have to ask anyone for permission to make changes. I decided to pull up all of the radiant tubing and foam to put in the vapor barrier. The whole process took about 8 hours including re-installing the radiant heat, but I also had a change to get the radiant spacing much better the second time around.

After reinstalling everything, I bought about $60 worth of parts at Lowe's and pressurized the radiant system to 110 psi. The pressure fluctuates depending on the temperature outside, but it was enough to pass the inspection! I will leave it pressurized until the slab pour so I will know if any of the trades puncture the tubing.


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Posted to ICF-in-Ann-Arbor by Brian in Dexter, MI on 7/26/2007

Since the last post we have passed our plumbing underground inspection, graded the basement floor, installed Owens Corning insulation, installed 2,100 ft. of PEX for radiant tubing, poured the beam pads, poured the garage frost wall, and added extra insulation to the back of the frost protected shallow footing.

Because of scheduling, we weren't able to start grading the basement floor until 5 pm the night before the scheduled pour. The ICF contractors arrived, and everyone got started. Sometime around 11 pm it started pouring rain. By midnight we had almost all of the foam and PEX tubing down. It wasn't really that hard to put in the PEX, it's definitely a DIY job. I found the PEX-B 1/2 tubing on eBay for $109 per 300 ft. roll. I would highly recommend buying 300 ft. rolls, I couldn't imagine having to measure and cut a 1,000 ft. roll. I also bought a PEX staple tool and the staples to tie it directly to the foam. I can't imagine trying to zip tie PEX to rebar mesh, it would take a LOT longer.

With the deep excavation and sand compaction, the garage frost wall had to be 10' below first floor level. They came out and poured that frost wall Monday.


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Posted to ICF-in-Ann-Arbor by Brian in Dexter, MI on 7/20/2007

The good news is that the plumbers got done in time with the underground, the bad news is that they forgot to schedule the inspection. We were expecting to prep the slab for pour today, but we now have to wait two more full days to get the inspection done. Bummer!

The garage frost walls are going in today, three days early. We decided on 10' walls so the garage slab will only be 6" under the top of first floor.


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Posted to ICF-in-Ann-Arbor by Brian in Dexter, MI on 7/20/2007

The basement walls have been stacked, all of the window and door bucks built, the steel bar installed in the forms, the ledger bolts and sleeves were installed, inspection passed, and the concrete has been poured. The walls look really straight, and they had one blowout on an interior corner during the pour. The whole pour took less than five hours, and took place on the fifth work day after the site was excavated.

The same day the plumbers installed the underground plumbing for the bathroom, sink, foundation drains, floor drains, sump pump, and ejector crock. Today they will put waterproofing membrane on the walls, Styrofoam under the floors, and finish out some of the small details. Early next week we'll pour the basement floor and 10' garage frost/footing walls.

The first bank draw will happen Monday.


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Posted to ICF-in-Ann-Arbor by Brian in Dexter, MI on 7/14/2007

It has only been 48 hours since the ground was approved to build on, and in that time the contractors have hand-dug the footings, set the footing forms, poured the footings (including the shallow frost-protected footing in back), setup the ICF bracing, and placed most of the basement Logix 6" forms, and built the basement window bucks. The guys at Turtle Wall are amazing. They even worked on a Saturday to make up schedule time that was lost during the problems we encountered with the soil.

Next week the goal is to get the basement ICF wall poured, get plumbing in the floor, put down R-10 insulation, get radiant tubing in the floor (1/2" PEX) pour the slab, and get the waterproofing membrane on the exterior walls. Once that's done, we can install the steel beams, put in the subfloor in using Open Joist 2000 trusses, backfill, and get the main level ICF going.

The house location was very tight, we only had about 6" between the front and the front setback and 5" between the side and the 10' septic setback. We triple-checked it, and the contractors did a great job of putting the house exactly where it needed to be. Monday we order a survey required by the bank so we can do our first draw.


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Posted to ICF-in-Ann-Arbor by Brian in Dexter, MI on 7/13/2007

A lot has happened since the last entry, including the following

  • Bank Closing - 5/3 cleared our construction loan
  • Permits - building, health, well, and soil erosion
  • HOA design approval
  • Bids - several more bids for floors, trusses, materials, and trades
  • Groundbreaking!
  • soil remediation
  • footings

The day we broke ground, we knew we were in trouble. Our house is on a steep hill and our preliminary soil borings showed that there was some fill present on the lot, but not much more than 4'. Well, when we started digging, we dug a 12' hole and did not find good soil. After a day of new test holes and time from the excavators and engineer, I had three options:

  • Install helical piers to support the foundation
  • install timber pilings to support the foundation
  • dig out 8' of soil below the footings and bring in compacted sand.

The options varied in price, since we had about 350 linear feet of footings between the basement and garage. We opted to dig out 8' of soil, which was literally 40 dump trucks hauled away for the basement and garage. We then brought back 2,300 tons of sand and compacted it with an engineer present. That job is now done, and the only impact that hasn't been fully realized is that the garage frost walls now have to be 8' tall instead of 42". So far the "remediation" has cost about $28K between engineers and excavating. We also cut 9' off the length of the garage changing it from a four-car to a three-car to move the house on to better soil and reduce the amount of digging required. When you have the ability to modify your own plans, quick changes like this really allow you to react quickly and afford you last-minute changes that otherwise could take a busy architect weeks to do. We are already about $30K over our planned cost, and we will try to make that up along the way where we can without cutting corners.

I also finally found a GREAT truss company, and I will be using Open Joist 2000 floor systems. They are open-web trusses with trimmable ends, the best of both worlds. They cost about the same as standard TJI's.

Below are pictures of the footings. In the walkout area I used a "frost protected shallow foundation" instead of the 42" frost wall. Once this cures, they will start stacking ICF blocks. I am using Logix 6" in the basement and Logix 4" on the main floor. The contractor is Turtle Wall ( and they traveled about two hours to do the footings, walls, and flatwork. If you are considering ICF in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, or Illinois I think you should talk to them, I did my homework.


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Posted to ICF-in-Ann-Arbor by Brian in Dexter, MI on 4/21/2007

I have my soil erosion, driveway, well, and septic permit paperwork turned in. Once I get that back, I can apply for my building permit. We have been meeting with contractors, and we are starting to make our top pics. Once you actually meet contractors, you get a lot more comfortable (or less comfortable) with their bids. I am convinced that we have found our ICF and concrete guy, which is probably the single most important contractor for our project. We have not made a decision on framers yet.

One of the biggest hassles so far has been getting truss quotes. We asked seven truss companies to quote our floor and roof trusses. So far, 45 days later, we only have one quote in hand. We want to have the roof trussed to save money and control costs. Our roof isn't that complicated, but apparently the truss companies make less money on our type roofs so they are not that motivated to get it done. Our roof trusses have "bonus space" anywhere that there is at least 8" of ceiling room.

We are also meeting with three banks to see which one will work out best for us. They all have different ways that they handle construction draws, and different interest rates.

Here's a few lot pics while we wait for more exciting news.


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Posted to ICF-in-Ann-Arbor by Brian in Dexter, MI on 3/31/2007

The floor plans are done, and we are out bidding trades. Our money-saving strategy is becoming more clear as we work through this:

1) We are trying to build the right structure in the right neighborhood to maximize it's appraised value vs. cost. We found that the same house in two different neighborhoods could have a value differential of $100K or more, even more than the cost difference for the land.

2) We are focusing on saving money on the products we put in the house. If we can buy on eBay or through some other outlet, we are. We also got our builders license so we could maximize discounts when we have to buy from stores.

3) We are cutting the middleman out as much as possible. The bids we get are from people doing the work. We are trying to avoid contractors that have a lot of managers and overhead and focus on trade-specific contractors. We are also asking for bids that break down all of the costs, including labor. We are trying to be the buyer of all materials. If a contractor has to buy things like siding, windows, or lumber, then they are going to mark it up. Maybe they can get a better price than us, but so far that hasn't been the case.

4) Lastly, we are going to do a very tiny portion of the work ourselves. I will try to limit myself to jobs where I can save $1,000 or more in a weekend.

Because we are owner-builders, we can get all of the permits ourselves in the state of Michigan. I got my builders license instead so we could run the construction through a separate company we formed.

We are off to meet another ICF contractor, look at his work, and then stop by a window store to look at North Star brand windows.

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Posted to ICF-in-Ann-Arbor by Brian in Dexter, MI on 1/29/2007

Drawing your own plans is a sometimes frustrating process. You think you are done, but then you look at it again later, make some tweaks, and like that better. From what others have told me, you have to eventually draw a line in the sand and decide you are happy or you will never be ready to move on. I made a list of things I didn't like about my plan, and set out to change them. Once my list was covered and I didn't have any new issues, I sent it out to a professional for review. I am happy with everything about this plan set.

I sent these out to local contractors over the weekend. I am looking for quotes on ICF, SIP, and the roofing. I am confident we will use ICF in the basement, but we are considering SIP as an alternative for the main level. We'll just have to see how the prices come back.




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Posted to ICF-in-Ann-Arbor by Brian in Dexter, MI on 1/14/2007

I got some feedback from the homebuilder users on the forum and made some more tweaks to my floor plan. We are now completely happy, and it's going to an architect.



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Posted to ICF-in-Ann-Arbor by Brian in Dexter, MI on 1/10/2007

We moved to Michigan about 6 months ago, and the housing market here is totally upside down. Instead of buying, we felt we could contract our own house and end up with equity, even in a bad market. 


Our first decision was the land, because that really dictates what type and style of house you should build. After a significant amount of research and looking around, we decided on a hilltop lot in subdivision.

While buying the land, we had an engineering company come out and do the soil borings. They found good soil between 8-14 feet down, so we will need to build a 10-14' basement or take other corrective measures. We wanted a taller basement anyways, so I am all good with that.

After the soil boring, we had the well installed and closed. The land does have gas, electric, and DSL (thank goodness) hookups, but will be well and septic.

House Design

Once the land was ours, our next step was to finalize the house plans. We looked through literally hundreds of plans, and just couldn't find one that was right for us. Here's what we ended up designing:


  • Plenty of square footage (7,000), but with a more modest cosmetic appearance and more complex roof massing that breaks up the dimensions and makes it look smaller than it actually is
  • main level approx 2,600 sq ft, basement approx 2,600 sq ft finished, and second floor approx 1,800 sq ft.
  • two living spaces on the main floor
  • bedrooms and living spaces at the back of the house because of the view
  • a office/library/nursery next to the master bedroom
  • large kitchen area, and large walk-in pantry, formal dining room, and breakfast nook
  • open floor plan
  • 1,000 SQ/FT side-entry garage that is assessed as a 3 car garage but with enough space to actually park 4-5 cars inside and in-floor radiant heat.


  • three bedrooms on the main floor, each with walk-in closets, their own full bathroom, and vaulted ceilings. We do not want any of the bonus area upstairs to extend above the bedrooms.
  • each bedroom's dedicated bathroom should not share a wall with another bedroom. This was important to us so one person could not take an early or late shower and wake up the other.
  • two of the bedrooms to be on the opposite side of the house from the master (split plan)
  • double-sized walk in closet in the master bedroom
  • two bedrooms upstairs in bonus area, each with their own bathroom and walk-in closet.


      Bonus area

      Upstairs bonus area of around 1,800 sq ft that can be finished later. We wanted the stairs to the bonus area to be near the garage so we could make an optional exit to the garage in case we ever want to turn the bonus area into an "in-law" apartment.

      We bought Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer (the $69 version) and got started. Within two months and about 200 hours, we had a plan that was exactly what we wanted. It ended up being 100 sq ft larger than I expected, but we do not want to make the bedrooms or living space too small. Now we are going to give our plans to an architect using Chief Architect and have him clean up our design, make suggestions, give us a better exterior design using brick/stone/siding, and get us to a stage where we can get bids from the trades. We have the functional part of the floor plan done, now he just needs to make it elegant.

      That's it for now. Over the next six months we will get all of the bids, line up construction financing, and get ready to break ground. I am going to some classes to get my builders license. I don't need it, but I figured it would help me get better discounts.



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