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I have been reading on this site for quite some time now. I read daily. I look forward to updating my journal as I look forward to reading other journal entries.
Greg in Zanesville, OH

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By Gerry in Burlington, MA on 4/14/2006


Does anyone know where I can get plans and/or a material list for a standard 2,500'ish sq ft Colonial along with a materials list for free? The materials list is what I am really very interested in right now, as I get close to closing on a piece of land and then starting the building soon after I want to start bidding to see what I am looking at. I have a home designer who will do the home design for me for $600 and I think it is a good deal, considering he will take the numerous pictures of the 2,500 sq ft Colonial that I want to build and design it from there with me. 

The thing that I don't understand is why does nobody share the plans or materials lists that they have and/or have used for their home building process? If anyone has these to share it would be much appreciated. I hope to start construction on my house soon and plan to document the heck out of the process! :) 

I will share my plans and materials list and intend on recording my entire process from start to finish on this very helpful website for the benefit of anyone trying to do this themselves. At any rate, if anyone has this stuff to share that would be great!

I will certainly return the favor in the near future.
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By Greg in Richmond, BC on 4/15/2006


Gerry,

If what you are looking for is a materials quote, I would suggest you make a sketch and a few specs of the house you want and bring it to a building materials supplier. They use rules of thumb and now software to estimate materials and don't bite. I brought my sketch to the local lumberyard and they gave me a quote right away. They also will have a stack of drawings on their desk with quotes and are happy to share. Hope this helps.

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By Jenee in Katy, TX on 2/12/2007


Greg,

I am glad you posted that suggestion. We are in the planning stages right now, and I was wondering how I could get a cost-to-build estimate on a stock plan without shelling out money to buy a particular plan only to find out it won't fit in our budget when we get ready to break ground. I also didn't want to pay a membership fee on sites that will estimate costs for you.
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By Dale in Richland, AZ on 2/12/2007


You can get some basic floor plans and elevations from any number of websites. After you get a basic idea of what you want, you can get someone to give you a basic idea of what it would cost to build.

After that you will need real plans for real numbers, because without plans all you will get are estimates. Depending on where you live and what kind of floor plan you want, plans will cost between $.50-$3 per square foot. If you go to an architect, expect to pay about $5/sf or more. And you may have to hire civil and structural engineers.

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By Jenee in Katy, TX on 2/13/2007


Dale,

Can I get an estimate from a GC with just a basic picture and floor plan or do I need an real floor plan for that?


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By Kenneth in Lees Summit, MO on 2/13/2007


Go to the library and look for the Means Manual for Residential Construction. It is a good starting point to determine house costs, and fairly accurate as long as you put in accurate information. Follow the process, and you will get a pretty good idea what it costs to build.

It starts with basic rectangle and square footage costs, and then you can add/subtract based on level of finish, level of trim, more complex shapes (more corners), different roofing materials, etc. From a starting point, it will help you narrow down quickly what you can and cannot afford, and then you can target your plans accordingly based on either your champagne or beer budget, and again based on if you like to drink vintage champagne from France, or if a Sparkler from CA is adequate. A lot of information in that one manual. Most libraries will have a copy.


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By Jenee in Katy, TX on 2/13/2007


Thanks for the info Kenneth. I will check out the library.
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