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David and Lisa, I've been following your discussion threads for months in preparation for starting my own house. You have both provided a wealth of information, insight, and inspiration. Thanks for all of the time and effort that you put into this forum.
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Try one of our new Construction Bargain Strategies for free. Coupon code: CBS. One strategy could save you $1,000 or $10,000 or maybe $50,000 when you build or remodel.


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Posted to bigal by Al in Whittier, CA on 9/30/2006

Okay where do I start? Throughout this journal I will indicate my major problems by a "BIG MISTAKE" marker. I began this project about three years ago when my wife started complaining about more space (translation: she wanted a bigger house). Of course I had no intention of moving, since we were both pretty content with our location.

When we both agreed upon an addition we started to get estimates of exactly what we wanted. At a minimum, we wanted a one-story addition with a dinning room, bedroom and bath (approximately 600 sq. ft.). Thus my project went from concept in our minds to looking for a contractor. Unfortunately the estimates let the wind out of our sails fast. However somehow I decided I can be the owner-builder and save thousands (shame on me).

Eventually I developed the Nike motto "Just Do It" and I found a designer at a reasonable price to draw up my plans. Unfortunately I did not really search around that much. BIG MISTAKE #1. I did get the plans done, but this guy tried to hose me. He drew up some BS conditions in the contract after the fact and attempted to charge me double of what we contracted. I fixed that real quick. Our final plans gave me a 570 sq. ft. addition with a dining room, bedroom and a bath. So we were off to the city to get our plans approved. Remember I joined this journal late so this was back in February of '06.


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