[This is the Special Report 01 in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) Format. Our electronic products download immediately to your computer upon purchase.]
Here are the features we chose for the Riverbottoms House on which we saved $140,000. We worked hard to select features that had the most impact on house quality for the lowest cost. Includes over 200 potential features for your project. Six pages, revised and updated with new reader tips, web links and comments.
- How to choose features that promote resale value
- Popular O-B features
- What your lender needs to know about your house features
- What should your blueprints include?
- What purposes your house plans serve
- The roles of Architect vs. Draftsman vs. Engineer in design
Excerpt from Report:
"...We selected the features for our custom home by a process of successive approximation over several months. We began by listing the features we had recorded in our dream home notebook. We then studied Parade of Homes houses in our area, taking pictures and making notes. We then compared the features to those listed in the Multiple Listing Service® for houses in our intended price range. We then called ten realtors and asked them to rank the features we had preselected for desirability and marketability.
To this process we added the consideration of which features were available at a bargain price. If our selected feature was overly costly to buy and install, we downgraded our plan. If a superior feature was available at the planned cost, or less, we upgraded our plan. As owner-builders we were free to make last minute additions and upgrades, and to include items that take a little extra time or effort to implement. The following features found their way into the house we built for $50 per finished square foot in 1996:
Summary of Features:
- 3,500 square foot two-story on .29 acres in the Riverbottoms
- Fully finished 780 sq. ft. garage
- 4 bedrooms
- Four baths: two full, one three quarter, one half
- 250 amp electrical service with upstairs and downstairs service panels..."
Sample Reader Tip Excerpts:
"We have an A-B-C list of what features we want. 'Must have', 'like to have', and 'if we can afford?...'
Hill AFB, UT
"Other features of our house include: hurricane roof truss hangers, Simpson Strong ties affixing the main floor to the foundation, all concrete is mixed with fiber mesh to reduce cracking, four foot stairwell with lighting at treads, heat recovery ventilator, hot water heat in all bathrooms, whirlpool tubs, concrete tornado shelter, natural daylighting via Sun Tubes, 12-gauge wiring, whole-house vacuum , whole-house stereo, video, intercom, computer and telephone, 14 different heating zones, security system."
Dave & Sheila A.