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In the planning phase in Idaho


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By Steve in Meridian, ID on 2/22/2004


We are in the planning phase, is there anybody out there from the Boise area that is willing to share tips?
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By Connie in Syracuse, UT on 3/9/2004


Steve,

We live in Utah and just finished a 4,200 sq ft home. During the planning phase we read books on everything even if we didn't plan on doing it. Mainly so we knew what to expect when we got to that point. Then we read and chatted with people who know about the things we intended on doing ourselves. That way we found good deals and expertise help without paying for it.

We decided what we wanted and chose everything before we started. This made things go much more smoothly then trying to decide at the last minute. It also helped our budget, because we knew exactly what we wanted and what the cost was. If we found a deal along the way - bonus, if not we had it in the budget. We went to home shows to get ideas and had people look at our plans to see if there was anything that we should change or add. We went to model homes for ideas and things people are doing now. I think prep time is different for everyone. It depends on your learning curve and how much work you do on your own.

Good luck,

Connie
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By Gina in Yakima, WA on 1/26/2006


Steve,

It’s nice to see someone else from Idaho on the forum. We live in and are building in Twin Falls. We have been in the planning stage for about 5 months now. Our plans are almost ready and we have begun the search for financing and subs.

This last Monday, we visited Idaho Truss (in Meridian!) And spoke with Brad about the panelized walls and roof trusses they make. VERY IMPRESSIVE! We haven’t decided for sure that we are going this way, but it looks very good at this stage.

Just in case you don’t know, Idaho passed a law Jan. 06 that requires anyone doing construction over $2000 to become a registered contractor. The good news is that it is fairly simple and will make it easier to receive contractor pricing. The registration requires you to get several insurances, 2 of which you have to have for the bank loans anyway, a business license (fairly simple - just takes some extra time) and the $30 registration fee. There are a few more details, but most of them you need in order to build the house anyway.

If you can’t find the info, check or let me know and I’ll help if I can.

We are planning a 3000 sq. ft., 2-level (no basement) home. Lots are tough to find here, the price has more than doubled in the last 18 months and contractors are grabbing them up before they are even on the MLS lists.

From what I’ve found, the home $ in Meridian is close to that of Twin.

Good Luck and don’t rush or skimp on your planning hours!

Gina


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By Gina in Yakima, WA on 1/26/2006


Forgot to list the website on the Idaho law.

www.ibol.idaho.gov/CONT

Gina

[Editor note: Exemptions include: "Owners: Owners who do their own work on their own land and do not intend to sell the property within 12 months are exempt from registration." See Idaho SBDC.]


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By William in Galt, CA on 4/13/2006


Good luck with your project. I moved out of Twin Falls back in '93 and I'd hate to see how the house prices are now!

BILL


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By Gina in Yakima, WA on 4/13/2006


We moved two years ago. Our one-level (no basement) 1,830 sq. ft. home (brand new) cost us $149,000. It is in a nice area and the growth here has just boomed. The house was appraised in March of this year at $195,000 on a drive-by appraisal. Most of the value increase is in the land. A scary thought when looking to purchase property! But we found some.

Gina


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By Chad in Nampa, ID on 4/20/2006


Gina,

I appreciate the information you gave about the new law. However, I do believe there is an exemption for owner-builders. I think if you are building your own residence you do not have to be a registered contractor. However, any subs you hire should be registered. We are breaking ground next month just outside of Idaho Falls. We are finalizing the bank stuff and the building permit. 
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By Gina in Yakima, WA on 4/20/2006


Yes, there is an exemption if you are owner-building, but we figured for the extra $30, it would be easier to get the registration than to have to prove to the suppliers in the area that we were owner-building and didn't need the registration number.

We should be breaking ground sometime in July. We are waiting for approval of the subdivision (of acre lots) to be approved by the city council. Government red tape is so fun.

Gina
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By Chad in Nampa, ID on 4/21/2006


Gina,

That makes sense. I never thought of doing that, but perhaps I will on my next one. We are just waiting for the building permit and hope to start digging on May 20. We too are building on a one-acre lot. In fact we bought two of them together so we can build and after a couple years sell and build again without ever having to pull our kids out of school or anything when we move. Excited and overwhelmed. It will be a great experience.
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By Brooke in Burley, ID on 6/28/2006


We are building our first home in Burley and should be breaking ground within a few weeks. Everyone told us we were crazy to attempt contracting ourselves, and even I thought it might be too overwhelming to make it worth it. So far I have been surprised how smoothly it has gone. If we are able to stick to our budget we should be as successful as The Owner-Builder Book claims. I can't believe the spread on bids that have come in from subs. We have saved thousands already by shopping around and using some subs that are willing to travel to Burley from other areas like Malad and Twin Falls. 

There are a few banks in Idaho that will lend to owner-builders without a contractor's license with a little extra paperwork. Gina, I understand that the deadline for that contractor's license is approaching and we are interested in doing the paperwork to get the license ourselves. What were the two types of insurances that you were required to have - liability and workers comp? Where did you get these insurances? Any info would be appreciated. I would love to share the names of some subs we have found in Twin that have been very competitive, if you are interested.


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By Celeste in Idaho Falls, ID on 7/17/2006


Brooke,

I don't know if you found your liability and workers comp insurance. I just got them myself. Workers comp is easy to get through the state, but the liability insurance was tricky. I finally found a policy at State Farm but it cost a pretty penny.

Celeste


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By Christina in Twin Falls, ID on 3/29/2007


I was just wondering on how the process all went for you. How were the subs? I'm very excited to get going. I have about another 100+ hours of planning and we have a house to sell first. We will put up for sale next month. Looking for a place to rent soon and continue finalizing our plans. Please let me know whatever info you would like to share.
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