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Hi everyone! I'm a newbee, and have read tons of posts already! You are all such a great resource! We will be building the home ourselves with very little outside help.
Claudia in Glendale, AZ

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By Val in Port Townsend, WA on 2/12/2007


What have you found to be the best and most viable bargain building methods? SIPs (which?) Concrete foam panels or concrete foam blocks? Stick built with board and batten plywood? Straw bale? Other?

I'm looking for the most inexpensive method that is also relatively lightweight and fairly quick to build. I'm a middle-aged woman and will be having some help with the project.

Thanks.

Val


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By Michael in Cave Creek, AZ on 2/12/2007


In my opinion, the most economical home features a slab on grade, 2x4 construction lumber, roof trusses, textured plywood siding (T-111), fiberglass blanket insulation, plastic plumbing, and an architectural shingle roof with a somewhat flat pitch. The home will have a rectangular shape and might have an attached garage.

The next step up is a stucco exterior.

This describes 95% of all tract homes on the west coast. Straw bale may be very low cost if the labor is FREE, otherwise the labor makes it non cost competitive.  SIPs, ICFs, and manufactured building systems are never the lowest cost alternative when only one house is being built. Normally you can get a house framed by a framing subcontractor) (not a general contractor) for less $$$ than the cost of a package of materials dumped from a truck for an alternative building system.

There can be some advantages to alternative building systems and packages (e.g. convenience, energy efficiency, attractive and unique style like log homes, etc.), but lowest initial cost is not among the advantages.


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