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New Home Build

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by Downtown Sniper, Jun 3, 2021.

  1. Downtown Sniper

    Downtown Sniper Contributing Member

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    Have any fellow Clutchfans previously built their home from the ground up?

    I'm in the very early stages of doing so - IE: I have narrowed down the suburbs I would like to just three and have narrowed down the homebuilder to a couple.

    I just want to get any feedback from anyone who has done so before.

    Is there anything you thought of after the fact that you wished you included during the build?

    Is there anything you know after the fact that was a waste of time/not worth the upgrade?

    Any other relevant information you'd like to add please feel free!

    This will be my first ever home after having rented for the majority of my adult life, so I would like to make sure it's a good one and future-proofed (for example I'm single, but I'm planning as much as I can for a house that can accommodate a family)
     
  2. Jontro

    Jontro Member

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    nope, but congrats breh. started from the bottom now we here.
     
  3. KingCheetah

    KingCheetah Contributing Member

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    Use wood screws instead of nails.
     
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  4. ThatBoyNick

    ThatBoyNick Member

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    If you live in Houston and want to future proof it, make sure it can withstand being smitten by god
     
  5. superfob

    superfob Mommy WOW! I'm a Big Kid now.

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    Your future wife will want something different and you'll either have to renovate, move, or put up with the nagging for the rest of your life.
    Just build it with your preferences in mind and like some extra bedrooms.
     
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  6. Xerobull

    Xerobull Salve Dicit Mater Tua
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    Wow.

    I guess that’s the first piece of advice, @Downtown Sniper ....stay away from entitled bitches.
     
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  7. Jugdish

    Jugdish Member

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    A bit of advice...firepoles. Everywhere.
     
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  8. pmac

    pmac Contributing Member

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    An uncle of mine did the general contracting for his house with zero experience and saved a ton of money, it's possible. His biggest regret was buying a plan for the house prior to talking to a civil engineer. It was basically wasted money since the engineer had to rework things any way. The city and civil engineer have plans you can use essentially for free.

    But, going with a builder eliminates that risk.

    Is this intended to be you're "forever" home? If so, just do what you like. But, I've renovated/flipped a couple houses. If there's any chance you sell this thing, avoid anything "unique" and don't cheap out on finishes. Also, build to the quality/size of the neighborhood.
     
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  9. bobrek

    bobrek Person, woman, man, camera, TV
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    Use 2x6 construction instead of 2x4
     
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  10. CrazyJoeDavola

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    On the electrical, definitely go 221 instead of 220.
     
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  11. ATXNekko

    ATXNekko Member

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    Sounds like your going with a traditional builder and not a custom builder. SO your choices will be limited to their plans additions. Currently Spray Foam insulation is on par with the cost of traditional insulation. If you can get the builder to go that way, it would be worth it. We just finished our build in Feb. we weren't allowed to make any changes but replaced every fixture and appliance in the house. Just waiting to replace the front door and screen in the back porch. I also had an additional R-30 blown into the attic.

    One item I would recommend is having a Loop installed so that it will cost less to install a water softener, purification system. Good Luck with the process, things a pretty crazy for Builders at the moment with most not wanting to give pricing until they know what the cost they have into it with all of hte price increases to materials.
     
  12. PhiSlammaJamma

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    Put a pole in center field and leave it there.
     
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  13. jo mama

    jo mama Contributing Member
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    lumber costs are so high right now that many builders are doing "adjustable" pricing...even after you sign the contract the price can change depending on cost of lumber when the put the order in for your house. lumber went up 20% just in may.

    also, many builders are pausing all sales at the moment so they can get caught up.\

    and pricing means nothing at the moment. most builders are not even posting pricing on their websites right now as each house is basically an auction going to the highest bidder.

    good luck dude! be prepared for a very frustrating experience!
     
  14. Xerobull

    Xerobull Salve Dicit Mater Tua
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    Serious advice- go overboard on the foundation and dirt underneath. Make sure it's absolutely level and thicker than a $2 Snicker. Dirt underneath should be high enough to avoid floods. Don't compromise.

    Think about your wiring, including data. Future-proof if possible. Wire your garage for an electric car plug (or two. or three). On that note, build a five-car garage with a mother-in-law suite above it. It can serve as your office and you can write it off.

    Look at what you can get federal tax credits on for efficiency.
     
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  15. leroy

    leroy Contributing Member

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    My advice from when I built many years ago is don't worry about adding the little features like extra outlets in the garage, upgraded counters and floors, etc. It all works out to pennies per month and not worth the expense of upgrading it later when you regret not doing it in the first place.

    Also, consider using a realtor. It doesn't cost you anything and they can protect you from the builder's reps getting greedy and contract pitfalls. They can help prevent things like this.

    From a current market perspective, plan for it being up to a a year before you get to move in. My gf's real estate client's signed a contract just recently. They won't even start construction until at least Oct and it's at minimum a 6-8 month build. They're basically doing one at a time right now due to the materials shortages.
     
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  16. Xerobull

    Xerobull Salve Dicit Mater Tua
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    Big advice based on this post: get a real project manager (with a PM certification and experience) to manage the whole thing. Using a real estate agent to build a house is really asking someone who isn't qualified to talk shop with your builder or subcontractors. This will also help you identify every little thing you need like extra outlets, etc. Don't half-ass your planning. Get a professional to help you.
     
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  17. leroy

    leroy Contributing Member

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    What builder is going to allow you to bring in an outside PM to manage their construction? And what PM works on a basis like that? That would seem to be extremely expensive. Using a realtor for your contract doesn't cost the buyer anything. They're paid from the builder.
     
  18. Xerobull

    Xerobull Salve Dicit Mater Tua
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    Edit- after re-reading this, I come off like a real dick, so I apologize.

    Both parties can have a PM. If you're the buyer and the builder/contractor doesn't let you have your representatives at the table, that's a huge red flag.

    I had a real estate license and nowhere in the training or certification do I remember anything about representing a buyer for a new home build. I guess it's possible but it's a crap shot, which is why I say you should have your own project manger who knows PM methodology as well as the construction business. You could get one part time for 5-10 hours a week to not break the bank.
     
    #18 Xerobull, Jun 3, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2021
  19. Supermac34

    Supermac34 President, Von Wafer Fan Club

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    Some advice and information from the son of a homebuilder and a person who has recently built a home (for the third time).

    -There are different types of builders. There are "tract home" builders and custom builders (and some that slide between the two). A tract home builder is a company that will have a set number of plans, any changes or upgrades are "extras" that are charged. A custom builder starts with a designer or architect and a blank piece of paper (or a similar existing plan) and totally designs your home from scratch.
    -You'll most likely have multiple choices on the type of contract. "Cost Plus" is you pay the "cost" and the builder gets a set percentage in profit. A lot of builders are doing this these days as costs are fluctuating in giant swings right now and it protects the builder. If you do this, you need to get a budget for the builders costs otherwise they have no incentive on keeping costs low. A "traditional contract" is a set price once the plan is complete. You'll then have "allowances" to pick your stuff. You'll have a $20K flooring allowance, a 10K appliance allowance, etc. If you are under on one allowance, that should transfer to another allowance, and if you're over...it'll be an overage that you'll pay. This protects you from costs getting out of control.
    -If its a "service" in the home (plumbing, AC, electric, etc.) and you want something extra...do it now. Extra plugs...do it. Better AC? Do it. These things cost much more to retrofit rather than doing them up front.
    -There will be 100 things that you'll have a decision on that "only cost $500 or $1000" more. Be conservative on these types of selections. Chances are you're not going to notice the $25 per piece hardware drawer pulls over the $8 per piece that look virtually the same in the long run.
    -Your house will look more custom and have a bigger impact that you realize if you do nice trim base and crown moulding. Even in in more contemporary or modern designs, there is moulding that is "modern"
    -Don't overspend on toilets. Get good American Standard, Toto, or Kohler. Nobody cares about a $200 toilet vs a $800 toilet in the long run.
    -Even if you are in a neighborhood that doesn't flood, if I were building a house in Houston today, I would always go 6-12 inches over the required grade for the slab. (The general rule is you shoot elevation to the middle of the street and go over that). It'll cost in dirt (maybe $5000 or so in dirt to raise it up), but it'll be worth it with piece of mind.
    -Make the builder spend a lot of time making sure your lot drains correctly.
    -Don't go TOO trendy in your selections on expensive stuff. White quartz or a super nice quartzite granite are good examples of being on trend, but will have lasting appeal. I worry a little bit about man-made quartz, because history is littered with "man made" countertops that were on trend and all the rage and then fell out of favor (Corianne, Silestone)...but that natural stones tend to have a longer lasting appeal.
    -Don't overspend on your faucets and stuff. Pick one or two "signature" pieces for your kitchen or master, then do the basics for everything else.
    -Absolutely don't overspend on lighting. Lighting has name brands that can cost 5-10x the alternative "generic" brand but they look identical (almost). Nobody will notice unless you make cheesy selections.
    -Paint, carpet, tile, and even wood floors are all easily changeable. Don't overspend on them. If you were to overspend on one, do it on the main wood floor
    -No matter what anybody tells you, there is no such thing as "premium vinyl flooring". Its a trend that is being pushed by designers and builders because its cheap and they get huge margins. You will regret it if you want to resell some day.
    -Don't be afraid to put in economical carpet in the secondary parts of your home. It is infinitely replaceable and it can save a bunch of money on flooring as you build. If you sell your house someday, they were going to rip out the carpet anyways (and you might too anyways). Its a good way to defer costs down the road.
    -Materials like lumber are way up, but should start to stabilize later this summer. Labor has been steadily increasing, especially in Houston. It'll cost you 30% more to build today than even 3-4 years ago.
    -If you have an upstairs...the decking WILL creak, squeak or pop in Houston. There is too much moisture in Houston while building. Ask your builder to go through and add screws to the decking over large spans of upstairs decking right before flooring is put down (after the house has been dried in).
    -You are well within your right to have a realtor help you through the process...but a New Home Build with a Builder is one of the places in real estate where you can negotiate that realtor fee to yourself. Chances are the builder is paying 0 realtor fee, or a set fee to a salesman. If you come without a realtor, negotiate for that 6%. Most builders would be just as happy to give it to you rather than a realtor.
    -make sure hurricane straps are included in the cost of framing. you want them for sure

    I'll try to remember some other things to post.
     
  20. Aware

    Aware Member

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    Throw some d's on that bitch
     

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