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Leslie's Forum Posts: 4

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By Leslie in Gold River, CA on 2/8/2004


We just purchased our property near Sacramento, California and bought The Owner-Builder Book to begin our journey on building our first home. Any owner-builders in California that can give us some advice? Thanks!!
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By Tim in Napa, CO on 2/8/2004


Hi, we are supposed to break ground in March/April weather permitting. We are still getting bids for foundation and framing etc. So far our best price for foundation is Vaca Foundations in Vacaville but I hear to pin down a definite time schedule is difficult. Good luck. tim
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By Leslie in Gold River, CA on 2/10/2004


Hi, Tim! Thanks for your response! What location in California are you building your new home? And, do you know what the price per square foot will be? In this book it seems that most people are building in lesser expensive areas than here in California, so I'm not sure we can do this for under $100/sq foot like they are saying is doable in the book. But, we haven't made our budget yet. We just bought the property and are still just throwing around ideas for the design of the house. We probably won't break ground until next spring. Anyway, just wondering what you were able to come up with. Thanks!! Leslie
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By Rosalind in San Pablo, CA on 2/10/2004


We are "talking" about GCing our home in the East Bay area of the San Francisco Bay Area (between Crockett and El Cerrito area). My husband is very optimistic about the build. I'll let you guys know how we progress and what contractors we use as we go about this. My question is this. How did you go about acquiring your land? Did you use a realtor? Did you find a lot and ask the owner if they would entertain an offer? Did you bid at auction? We are currently looking at land right now and I've found a few lots that I like (no for sale sign on them) and I just wanted to know how others acquire land. Rosalind
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By Leslie in Gold River, CA on 2/10/2004


We started just by looking at the real estate section in the paper for land for sale and did some searching on the Internet as well. When we found a lot for sale we were interested in we drove there ourselves to check it out. When we found a lot that we really liked we called the Realtor and made an offer. It was actually a fairly easy process... I think the rest will be the hard part for us! Good luck to you with your search!
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By Jeff on 2/19/2004


I'm a contractor in the Fairfield/Vacaville area, and I've helped a few owner-builders with their projects. One common mistake I've seen an owner-builder make is always taking the low bidder for all the different phases of their house. The low bidder isn't always the best builder. Also, you have to really be prepared to deal with all the hassles and stresses that come with the job. When I build a home I'm there every day, an owner-builder many times will only be at the job after work and on weekends. Lack of comunication between different subs and the owners sometimes will cause delays and mistakes. What happens is all the subs want to do things "their way". A contactor is there to keep everyone in line (so to speak) and to answer any questions they may have relating to each other. I don't mean to be a bummer, but you have to know what's ahead of you when dealing with you biggest financial investment. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have.
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By Tim in Napa, CO on 2/20/2004


Jeff, thanks for the input. You hit the nail on the head when you mentioned communication. I think this will be the most important factor in our project. Harold Smith and Sons is doing our dirt work. I hear they do good work. Have you heard of them? Thanks again, tim chrisco
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By Jeff on 2/20/2004


Tim, yes I have heard of Harold Smith. I don't know too much about them other than they have been in business quite awhile. Which accounts for something. Where in Napa are you building your place? I'm building a house late spring on Soda Canyon Road.
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By Tim in Napa, CO on 2/20/2004


jeff we are building off of west pueblo tim
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By William in Orinda, CA on 2/29/2004


Hi, looking for plumber familiar with PEX installation for potable system in North Bay/Napa Area.
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By Rosalind in San Pablo, CA on 3/4/2004


Jeff, thanks for the advice and everything. You basically agreed what is outlined in The Owner-Builder Book and the advice given to me from the Building Center in Berkeley (I've taken several classes). But, how does your post answer the question on acquiring land? That was my question you see. I just wanted to know how the good people here who successfully owner-built acquired land. How have your clients acquired THEIR land?
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By Dorthy in Muskegon, MI on 3/4/2004


I'm not in California, but I would think the search is the same. We just looked on the Internet, in newspapers, etc...When we found a lot we liked we called the Realtor listed or in a few cases the direct home owner. We ended up buying our land on a land contract, which was nice for us. It was all done between ourselves and the landowner after closing. We just sent our monthly payments directly to her, and we kept a schedule with interest, etc. on our computer. Once the first 6 acres were paid for we actually bought three more from her without using a Realtor. I just wrote up an Offer to Purchase and brought it to a title company and they did the closing. Good luck finding your lot.
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By Jeff on 3/4/2004


Well, the first thing you have to do is decide where you want to live and how much you can afford to pay. As far as finding property in the area where you want to live, there are a few things that you can do. One way is to get a real estate agent. There are pros and cons to using an agent; the pros are that they can have a large selection of property listed and they do most of the paperwork involved. The cons are that because there's a commission involved the price of the property might be more costly because the seller may try to recover the commission by asking a higher price.

In my experience, buying directly from the owner has worked best for me. You can work out terms with the owner face to face, not through a third party. The personal approach has always worked better for me. The best place to look is the local newspaper or for posted "For Sale By Owner" signs. Another way is to drive around, if you see a vacant lot you can get the owner's name and address from the assessors office and contact them and see if they're interested in selling. I've found the best deals this way. Then there's the whole matter of financing. Some sellers will carry the financing or some will even subordinate while you build. With any property transaction between private parties it's always wise to have an attorney look over the agreement. Hope this has been a help.


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By Rosalind in San Pablo, CA on 3/9/2004


Excellent advice JEFF! I recently found a vacant lot with no sign and went to the Assessor's office to find out who owned it. I'm going to contact them next week. I hope I have the same luck as you've had in the past with this method. Just to let everyone know, many county and city websites have information on land. Some counties will not list who owns the land, but you can get this information from "pay" sites like Lexis-Nexis and in California, some TITLE COMPANIES will look up the information for you over the phone or by fax.

Or, you can simply call the county tax assessor up with the APN number and they will give you the name and the address of the owner... so you don't have to leave home to do research! If you want a play by play of how I have found lots from my home using the Internet, I would be happy to list the information here on this forum. Just let me know by responding to this message.

Rosalind


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By Rosalind in San Pablo, CA on 3/9/2004


Dorthy, thank you for your insight. Yes, your advice is very helpful to me in my search for the perfect lot. Thank you so much.
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By Svetlana in OR on 3/22/2004


Hi Rosalind! Can you give me an information about finding a lot, please! Lana.
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By Eric in Walnut Creek, CA on 3/30/2004


William, did you have any luck finding a PEX plumber? I have asked around and found no one. My brother-in-law just built in MT and PEX is the norm. I'd be interested in hearing if you are successful in finding someone and what the cost is comparatively speaking.

Thanks,

Eric
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By Sue in Linden, CA on 4/1/2004


We are in the process of obtaining financing, and we are having difficulty getting any loan without a contractor in CA even though we have many pluses going, such as owning the land, etc. Does anyone have a company they would recommend for Northern CA owner-builders? Also, in a post regarding sq ft prices in CA, it is well over $100/sq ft to build a custom home in CA even if you are an owner-builder.
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By Denise in Elk Grove, CA on 4/2/2004


Hey all you Californians, we are going to build in Galt, that's just south of Sacramento. I'm estimating it should cost about $1,000/sq.ft. to build in Cali, just kidding.

I hope somewhere around $100 to $115/sq.ft. We are going through the Owner-Builder Center in Sacramento for our loan, they seem to have a good program. I just hate paying the 1.5 points but the interest rate is only around 4.5%. Our plans are in planning & permits and we have just started getting bids.

I'm already having sticker shock. The most outrageous is for the installation of our Hardiplank siding - it came in at $5.25 per sq.ft., and that's just installation. If anyone out there has some good tips and subs for my area please pass them along. Denise


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By Sue in Linden, CA on 4/2/2004


Hi Denise, you said you went through a company in Sacramento for your loan. Can you give me their name? We are not going to be too far from you. We are going to build in Linden. We are in the process of finding an architect. We decided to spend the additinonal $ for an architect to get just what we want. Did you use an architect or designer? Thanks, Sue
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By Denise in Elk Grove, CA on 4/6/2004


Hi Sue, we used a designer. He didn't have much imagination - it was all up to us and he was very slow. My plans are at the county right now so we'll see how many changes we have. We are getting our loan through the Owner-Builder Center here in Sacramento, the web site is ownerbuildercenter.com. They have all their loan info on-line. Good Luck
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By Jeff on 4/6/2004


A good lender for building a home in the Sacto. and surrounding areas is First Northern Bank. They have pretty good terms and are very easy to work with. I used them to build my home and homes for clients. It might be different to get a loan through them if you're an owner builder who's not a contractor though. As far as a designer goes, I draw my own plans for my jobs, but it always saves my clients money if they can do as much of the basic floor plan as possible. Then I can make my recommendations and offer my design ideas.
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By Nancy in Gilroy, CA on 6/10/2004


Are there any owner-builders in the South Valley? We are in the beginning phases but wondered if anyone can tell us about how much time you need to be on-site during construction? We are considering whether or not to hire a manager or on-site supervisor.
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By Jim in Plumas Lake, CA on 2/8/2005


Hi Guys,

I just found this forum and find it to be very informative! Just wanted to say hello... I too am planning to be an owner-builder here in ($100 psf) Northern California...

I will be following this forum closely and hope to learn a lot from everyone's experiences!

I found a lot for $7,900 in the Butte County/Yuba County foothills at 3,700 ft elev. 1/3 acre. It's a beautiful area about 75 miles from downtown Sac.

I hope to build for about $100 psf. I have a very simple two-story loft-open plan with daylight basement.

I plan to use panel construction and seriously considering SIPs. I have found a company that has their own crane and crew - important as I understand crane rental to run about $1,200 a day. If the SIP package estimate is too high then my other choice is Farwest Homes, they have done homes locally too.

I have also heard of the owner-builder center that some of you have mentioned and plan to take their 2-day class. It's a good price and I'm sure the info would be helpful.

I currently rent here in the $700,000 median price Bay area...and can't even hope to own a home here!

Anyway, I look forward to hearing all of your stories.

I also have a plan B.... pack up and move to the midwest !!! I found beautiful turn of the century homes listed in Milwaukee for $50,000!!!! ( but how much does it cost for those snow-shoveling/tornado-dodging classes?)

Jim


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By Eugene in Quincy, CA on 2/8/2005


We are in the mountains northeast of Sacto. The town is Quincy. We have been working on our planning to build for over 1 1/2 years now. We have settled between two panelized product dealers now, Landmark Homes and AllPro Building Systems. Depending on the numbers on the package...we should be able to come in at close to $85 per sq foot. This is without doing any tradework ourselves so far. We are going with geothermal heating and cooling. Has anyone in Northern Cal had any experience with this type of HVAC?


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By Jim in Plumas Lake, CA on 2/9/2005


Quincy is a great area. I'm going to build about 45 minutes from there on Laporte Rd. I have heard a lot of positive feedback in this forum about AllPro but not Landmark.

Just curious what you are including in your $85 psf estimate...

I plan to use a panel pkg. too. But figuring around $40,000 for a package, I still can't get it in under $125 psf. Maybe my guesstimates are too high. Anyone know what I should expect to pay for plumbing, electrical and framing labor in rural CA? Can't find this info anywhere!

Jim


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By Eugene in Quincy, CA on 2/10/2005


Jim,

I too had trouble coming up with figures under $100 psf with our "guesstimates", but after pinning down hard bids we came up with different numbers. We did have to work very hard on the bids and do a lot of dickering especially with the labor + parts bidders. We had to break it all down into small chunks and do labor-only with the framers, plumbers, paint, finish, etc.

It is not easy, but you have to hold your ground. The subs will want to charge what they always do. With the framers you really need to get it through to them that what they are dealing with is a very easy install of pre-made panels. With your foundation people, you need to do all the figures on the concrete yourself and negotiate the price of the material with the supplier yourself, or you will end up paying a "padded" price. We are saving $8 a cubic yard on the concrete alone. Are you hiring out of the Oroville area?


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By Jim in Plumas Lake, CA on 2/10/2005


Eugene,

Wow, your response was very informative. I'm saving it with the other info I've collected. I'm hoping that once I actually tie down some bids that I will also find out it will be less than $100/sf. I'm just afraid to be too optimistic at this time!

If I use the SIP company, they will assemble the walls, and as for the interior framing there isn't much, as my main floor is wide open except for the stairwell to the basement.

The "master loft" is also wide open except for the 9x6 bath. And the walk-out basement (or lower level) will be an unfinished space for two future bedrooms, a den, and 2nd bath. So the biggest unknown costs will be permits, septic, foundation, plumbing and electric. I've budgeted as follows:

  • foundation $12,000
  • septic $10,000
  • permits, fees $10,000
  • plumbing $5,000
  • electric, $5,000
  • roof framing and mat & labor $10,000

Yes, I do plan to hire out of either Marysville or Oroville, or as local as I can get. If you have any recommendations let me know. My project is still 24 months away, though, in the town of Clipper Mills.


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By Jim in Plumas Lake, CA on 2/10/2005


What is the formula you use to calculate the amount of concrete needed? And how much should I expect to pay per cu. yd.?


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By Gary in Sutter Creek, CA on 5/10/2005


Good to see so  many builders in the Sacramento area. We are in the process of developing 5 acres in Amador county, Sutter Creek area.  would like any imput on the cost of bringing in power.  We would like to bury  but have heard the price jumps way up. Also trying to get the price down on building a road to a driveway. Right now we are in the beginning stages of most of the work but looking to crank it up shortly as soon as we get though the county planning commission. 

What has been the experience in hiring an architect verses buying plans and then redoing them.  Look forward to spending a lot of time reading through this forum, great information.  Gary  


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By William in Orinda, CA on 5/10/2005


Sorry no luck so far on a Pex contractor in NAPA. Let me know if you have better luck.


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By David in San Francisco, CA on 6/14/2005


We are just in the initial planning stages south of San Francisco and are looking at around $250 sq ft. for construction costs alone. not including design, permits, loan costs etc.etc.etc.

We are working with an architect and plan to build an architectural quality home. Having said that we interviewed 8 architects and most were sayign the local GCs are quoting around 400-500 per sq ft. and going with top quality, building details, etc. 

we will use some panelized systems and some more traditional systems as well and i dont think we will get anywhere near under $200 sq ft. 


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By William in Galt, CA on 4/6/2006


There is a concrete calculator at concrete.com. Plug in your dimensions and it tells you how much you need.

The last load I bought was $100/cubic yard.

BILL

 


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By William in Galt, CA on 4/6/2006


Hello Denise, I am in Herald (right next door to Galt). I am still in the planning stages of my project and I'm having sticker shock too. Land prices are almost as stupid as finished house prices.

Good luck with your project!

BILL

 


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By Jim in Plumas Lake, CA on 4/6/2006


That price is very close to the price I was quoted in Northern California as well -- $98 cu yd 9 Ready Mix of Marysville CA.


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By Susan in Gilroy, CA on 6/14/2006


Hi Nancy!

I don't have an answer to your question as we are just beginning our project.  We have our plans in for the permits and it's not a total construction, it's a remodel and a second story addition.   It's practically a new construction!  Since your posting was 2 years ago (is that right?) I was wondering how your building has progressed?


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By David in Santa Clara, CA on 6/18/2006


Susan,

I just got approval from the planning department of Saratoga.  I am wondering if you completed your remodel in Gilroy and how did it go?  You were the General Contractor?  Did you try to stay in the house as they were doing the extensive addition?  My wife and I will be Owner-Builders for the home in Saratoga.

 

David


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By Susan in Gilroy, CA on 6/25/2006


Hi David,

We are just getting started...you are actually a step ahead of us as you have your plans approved!  Ours are in plan check right now.  I just found this great book, and I guess we did this backwards.  So, I am out getting bids from GCs and other sources right now.  Our plan was to do this ourselves, but my husband didn't do any prep work; just had the "vision" and went for it!  I will keep you posted on our progress.  We will do all of our own electrical and low voltage wiring; we have our roofers lined up; we'll do most of our own demo.  I heard construction is down, so there may be lots of folks who would be willing to do side work!  Anyway, good luck and keep us posted!

Susan


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By William in Galt, CA on 6/30/2006


Hello Leslie,

I am just south of Sacramento and I am still in the planning stages. I'm hoping to build my own home because the homes-for-sale prices in this area are out of control (and FAR from reality).

My best advice is to plan, plan, plan. Not only will things go smoother, but the more planning you do, the more (mentally) confident with yourself you will become.

BILL

 


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By Suzanne in Davis, CA on 4/18/2007


Jeff, Are you still doing work in the Fairfield/Vacaville area? We just closed escrow on land in Davis, CA and will be building over the next 12 months.  We are planning to do an owner-builder but are looking for someone to act as a "superintendent" for daily overview of construction.  Is this something that you might be interested in doing or do you know something that we could speak to? Thank you, Suzanne
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By Homewithaview in Mountain View, CA on 5/29/2007


David,

Your post is almost a year old, but I'm wondering how it's been going.  We're thinking of just building in Los Altos area, and I'm curious how you've done with the 'per sq ft' costs.  We're in prelim planning (not even an architect or designer yet), but I've heard that the BASIC house with no real frills will run $300/sf, and costs just skyrocket from there.  Would love to hear your experience.  It's amazing how there's so much new construction in the high-tech Bay Area, yet I can't even find a website/forum for all these builds!

Thanks, Jen

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By David in San Francisco, CA on 5/30/2007


We actually did something different on our house. We decided to hire our own people and not subcontract any of the job; we are doing everything from the ground to the roof. We have only hired an outside roofer, a crane, a concrete pumper, and a tile person. We have 6 guys working and our per sf costs are coming in around $150-$200 finished. But keep in mind that we are not paying anyone any profits for labor or materials.

I think $300-$400 per sf would be about right if you subcontracted out and used high-end materials/finishes. I would say $400-$600 per sf if you hire a GC in Los Altos. let me know if I can help out in any other way.

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By Homewithaview in Mountain View, CA on 5/30/2007


David, thanks so much for your reply!  Are you saying that if I do Owner-Build, find my own subs, etc, it'd be about $300/sf, and if I actually go with a GC, then it'll be about $400-600?  This'll make me rethink the entire thing, cause I reallly can only afford $300/sf (crazy area we live in!!)....

Just wanted to clarify...do you think I can get a really good quality, basic no-frills (I'm ok with Craft Maid cabinets, etc, don't need custom, or european fixures and granite....), GC'ed house for $300/sf?  I know it's just your opinion, but I'd love to know your opinion... 

 

Jen


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By David in Santa Clara, CA on 5/30/2007


Jen,
 
Well, we finally got serious over the last year and decided to do it, or at least see how far we go before it's obvious that it can't be done. It's been in the planning stages for about three years off and on. We are essentially approved by Planning and Building for Saratoga.  We just need to hand over the money for the permit after they see we took care of some tree issues and other minor things. 

We are building in the flat area, not the hills. It's a single story with a basement. It's about 4,000 sq. ft living space on a 10,000 sq ft lot.  We are going to knock down home that is presently on the lot.  My wife and I are doing this together. She will be at the site most of the time.  The basement really adds to the cost.  It's cheaper to go with a second story.  But in some sections of Saratoga, people have been able to prevent two stories from going up.  We decided to avoid the second story issue altogether.  But the cost is really high for the basement and may cause our undoing.
 
For the last month we have been trying to get three bids per discipline from subcontractors. It's been an experience.  We are not quite there yet, but close.  One last, somewhat big item is HVAC.  The rest is trim.  I figure we will develop a subcontractor short list in a few weeks.  In parallel we are putting the paper work together to get the financing as owner-builder.
 
In the process of doing the above, one General Contractor (GC) bid on the whole house.  He was a good guy and we may well go with him for some of the subcontractor work.   He said he was giving us a break on price for the whole house if we ultimately decided to go that route.  He came in at $250/sq ft, not including all of the fees with the city that we have already and are about to pay for.  I have a GC friend and he has told me that GC's in the area are charging anywhere from $300 to $350/sq ft. Unbelievable! But this is in line with your figure.  We are confident, based on what we see so far, that we can beat the $250/sq ft value as owner-builders.  I doubt that they could get these higher values today because of the depressed market.
 
One thing we have found in the process so far is the sorry state of the construction business. How some of these designers, contractors, etc stay in business is beyond me.
 
One final word of advice.  Decide on everything before you break ground, even down to the type of baseboards and paper holders. Don't try to make decisions as you go.
 
I hope this helps.
 
David
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By Lana in Los Altos, CA on 5/31/2007


Hi Jen. I just finished construction of a new house in Los Altos. This is a 5,000 s.f. house with partial basement  of 1,700 s.f. I was able to finish the project at $265/s.f. and I had a GC with fixed compensation fee. I was very involved in the project and did a lot of planning myself. Even I was involved in a bidding process for subs. All these elements allowed me to save a lot of money.

You can take a look at "my construction website", which has a lot of home pictures.

Lana


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By Homewithaview in Mountain View, CA on 6/3/2007


Lana, thanks so much!  You have a BEAUTIFUL home!  Do you mind telling me who your builder and architect/architectural designer are?  I'm trying to keep costs down, by looking at a designer instead of an architect, but I don't even know where to start...architects have websites, but I haven't yet found a designer with a website around here.  I'd definitely be interested in your book, if/when you write it!  Thanks, Jen

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By Homewithaview in Mountain View, CA on 6/3/2007


David,

Wow...that's GREAT info, thanks!  I'd love to know if you're going to put your experience up on a website, or journal.   Do you think you could give me the names of that contractor you were talking about?  We're also looking for a reasonable designer (or even architect, but I KNOW they're much more expensive around here...).  We're trying to build a craftsman-style home.  I definitely could not do what you're doing, but I am trying to find a reasonable GC for $300/sf (would like that to be the final cost, so I guess  I should be aiming to start with a $250/sf person...).  It really seems to be hard around here to find designers.  I've found many, many architects, though.  I'm sure they're also in the $50,000 to $80,000 range for plans alone. 

If you know of any architectural designers and builders that you could recommend, I'd definitely appreciate it.  Thanks for all your advice, really! 

Jen

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By David in Santa Clara, CA on 6/3/2007


Lana,

It's a beautiful house.

We are starting soon on ours and its also a mediterranean style house witha daylight basement like yours..
 
Were you working full time at another job when you built it.  Did you  spend much time at the site during constructiuon or did your GC do that for you.  Did he spend all day at the site?

Thanks

David

 

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By David in Santa Clara, CA on 6/3/2007


Jen,

Yes, I would like to give you the GC's name. He is a real good guy and from I could tell from our relatively short interaction to date, you should get  good service and a reasonable price from him.  He can show you the home he built for himself and extended family.  It's very, very nice.  I liked it a lot.  He may show you some others that he built on "spec" for investors. They are not as nice as the one he built for himself, but that's just my sole opinion.

But please be aware the GC's in general in Silicon Valley are essentially charging what the market will bear.   There are a lot of very rich Google people running around building houses they want right away.

The company is PCI Construction in Los Altos. He is in the Rancho - ??? Shopping Center off of Foothill Expressway.

Okay now for your question on designers.  First let me tell you they are hard to find in CA, especially those that use CAD to design the house.  I wouldn't go with anyone now that doesn't use the computer.  It's much easier to make changes, thus hopefully reducing cost to you.  My sense of why they are hard to find is because they can't afford to live here.  I will pass along my designer: Paladin Group in Campbell.  I strongly suggest you interview at least three designers and ask questions before you decide.

What we did was identify a house plan from one of those books ( I swear it took my wife one year to do this) that offered the plans in CAD software.  My designer than took those plans and made adjustments per my (mainly wife's) direction to get the final house design.  It still wasn't cheap, but a lot less expensive than an architect (10-15% of house cost, maybe higher for around here).

One of my big mistakes (yes, there were others!) was not getting a designer who had the same software that was used to draw the original design I got from the company.  The company used AutoCAD and the designer did not. I got the impression my designer had to redraw many elements using his software because it did not read AutoCAD format without error.

I have seen more designers come on the seen since I started this adventure.  Look in the classified section of the Palo Alto free, daily newspaper.  These guys advertise there many times.  Look for the ones that say they have CAD experience.  Also, I would go with one that uses AutoCAD.  It's file format is the industry standard. It's much more portable between companies because most use AutroCAD.

My advice is that unless you have a design, it's not a good idea to go with a designer.  Most of them, if not all, are not college educated in the finer, artistic details of  house design.  Also, anybody can call themselves a "designer" in CA. There is no state control.  Architects in CA must pass certain requirements to hang up their shingle. This is not true for designers.  A high school graduate could call himself a designer in this state. You really need an architect. If I had the money, I would have gone this route for sure.

I hope this helps.

David

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By Homewithaview in Mountain View, CA on 6/4/2007


David,

That's too funny!  I know exactly where PCI is, because I've often looked at the listings in the window of the real estate agent about 4 doors down from him!  I actually automatically assumed that he was one of those high-end builders, because he's located in Los Altos, and also there's a listing on mlslistings.com right now that advertises "built by PCI construction in 2006", like they do the $400/sf high-end projects.

I'll have to rethink the whole designer thing...we picked out a floor plan, and a front elevation/style of home, but they're not the same ones.  I'm looking for a basic house, nothing too fancy, but I certainly don't want to run into problems during the construction.  That's why I'm trying to gather as much info as possible.  Thanks so much for the info!  I"m sure I"ll have other questions, the farther I get into this whole thing!

Thanks, Jen

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By Guy in San Luis Obispo, CA on 6/4/2007


Hey I know a great CAD draftsman/designer who is looking for projects.  We both work for an architect in San Luis Obispo, California.  He (Don Love) is proficient in AutoCAD and Sketchup.  PM me if you want more info and I'll have Don email you back with samples of his work.  Aloha, Guy.

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By William on 7/31/2010


Average cost here runs about $8,000 for a two-ton unit... up to $17,000 for a four-ton unit with hot water on demand with all the bells and whistles. You can use wells... here it's 174 ft per ton, or you can run a loop 7 ft deep 250' per ton.
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