• Hi, I'm the owner and main administrator of Styleforum. If you find the forum useful and fun, please help support it by buying through the posted links on the forum. Our main, very popular sales thread, where the latest and best sales are listed, are posted HERE

    Purchases made through some of our links earns a commission for the forum and allows us to do the work of maintaining and improving it. Finally, thanks for being a part of this community. We realize that there are many choices today on the internet, and we have all of you to thank for making Styleforum the foremost destination for discussions of menswear.
  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

Marc Voorhees

Distinguished Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2012
Messages
2,197
Reaction score
2,252
9/10 or 9/100? This a Northern California 9 (a SoCal 6)? So many questions...
9/10 standard scale, 7/5 internet scale and blackwatch plaid on the danger list as designed from Phil Ken Sebbin from harvey birdman
 

NorCal

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2007
Messages
9,434
Reaction score
2,809
Rural MN. You guys might have the wrong idea, this is a 50k small house and I'm not risking my life savings on it. If it looks like I need to do little or no renovations or upgrades, I might buy it.
Get a contractor to come to look at it if possible. Pay them if need be. Home inspections make you feel better and cover the ass of your realtor, but a good contractor should be able to tell you a lot more about the real quality of the home.

Your agent should know how much to offer under asking, but cash is king and worth a discount. Waive some contingencies with your offer.

Know how much you can rent it for before you offer.
 

Bromley

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2015
Messages
817
Reaction score
1,469
@FlyingMonkey Thanks so much for sharing your homebuilding blog. It was really informative, and your house is beautiful! Since it's now a few years beyond your "Reflections" post, are there any additional major changes you wish you'd made?

I'm hoping to build a passive house in the northeast (at a nearly identical latitude) in the next few years. It was encouraging and exciting to read about your process.
 

FlyingMonkey

Distinguished Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2011
Messages
5,381
Reaction score
6,120
@FlyingMonkey Thanks so much for sharing your homebuilding blog. It was really informative, and your house is beautiful! Since it's now a few years beyond your "Reflections" post, are there any additional major changes you wish you'd made?

I'm hoping to build a passive house in the northeast (at a nearly identical latitude) in the next few years. It was encouraging and exciting to read about your process.
I'm glad you found it useful - that's definitely what it's for!

From a passive house point-of-view, I think the only other things I can think of that we might have done if we were starting again is 1. if you can afford get the solar PV done as part of the original build including the battery system. If just seems more of a hassle doing it later - unfortunately we didn't much of a choice at the time because all the local firms were so behind the times; and 2. Underfloor heating - funnily enough, not because we really need extra heat, but there's something about the comfort of it. If your preference is for a fireplace of some kind that might serve the same psychological purpose. Just from a practical point-of-view, I think we might have designed in a separate study / workroom. No-one could have foreseen the specific conditions of COVID-19 or course, but even without that, I think having a work space that can be closed off from everyone else is useful! We might still be able to do that with the attic of course.
 

Van Veen

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Jun 14, 2011
Messages
10,551
Reaction score
10,929
Market around here definitely seems to be slowing down. Everything I've been watching that closed this week went under asking. That mostly reflects the low quality of the inventory, though. I did something stupid and looked at everything that's gone under contract lately. It's all pretty terrible.

The really terrible one we saw that was completely vacant except for a '70s Camaro in the garage of the guest house (it clearly hadn't been driven in years given the giant weeds blocking the garage door) hasn't closed yet. Looking forward to seeing what that goes for.
 

bdavro23

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2014
Messages
2,688
Reaction score
2,898
We are moving along with our "build". The quotes are there since it will be quite some time before a shovel hits the ground. We are currently waiting on, in no particular order: a survey, a geotechnical report, a sewer availability statement, a building permit denial so that we can request a setback variance, and pricing from contractors.

Perhaps the most annoying part of all of this is dealing with GCs. They seem to be uniformly difficult and unresponsive, while getting paid a sizable sum. I'm sure it would be a mistake, but I would almost rather act as my own GC. I have also thought of hiring someone as a consultant to help me create a project plan and give me guidance when needed. If any of the GCs I've interviewed were actually making my life easier and representing value for money, I would be overjoyed to pay them...
 

sugarbutch

Bearded Prick
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Dec 10, 2010
Messages
19,169
Reaction score
25,097
We are moving along with our "build". The quotes are there since it will be quite some time before a shovel hits the ground. We are currently waiting on, in no particular order: a survey, a geotechnical report, a sewer availability statement, a building permit denial so that we can request a setback variance, and pricing from contractors.

Perhaps the most annoying part of all of this is dealing with GCs. They seem to be uniformly difficult and unresponsive, while getting paid a sizable sum. I'm sure it would be a mistake, but I would almost rather act as my own GC. I have also thought of hiring someone as a consultant to help me create a project plan and give me guidance when needed. If any of the GCs I've interviewed were actually making my life easier and representing value for money, I would be overjoyed to pay them...
The difficulty of finding someone who actually wants to take one's money is maddening. Especially if competent work is expected in return for that money.
 

bdavro23

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2014
Messages
2,688
Reaction score
2,898
The difficulty of finding someone who actually wants to take one's money is maddening. Especially if competent work is expected in return for that money.
Bro, you said it...

Thankfully, I'm in flyover land and not your neighborhood, so I'm hopefully parting with much less money. On that subject though, things are still crazy here. The first survey quote we got was for $9,000, and he wasnt going to do the work until mid January. He was taking off 12/15-30th. Obviously we went with someone else who is charging us $2,500, which is much more in line with the expected cost.

The worrying thing is that the first guy didnt ask for $9,000 out of thin air. It means someone has paid him $8,000 to do this work recently, at least in my logic. I am really upset I didnt become an electrician or HVAC contractor...
 

sugarbutch

Bearded Prick
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Dec 10, 2010
Messages
19,169
Reaction score
25,097
Money in the trades can be good if you're competent and have even a basic ability to communicate and follow through on commitments. It's fucking hard work, though, and the seasonal variability/cyclic nature of the business is not for everyone.
 

brokencycle

Stylish Dinosaur
Moderator
Joined
Nov 21, 2008
Messages
19,690
Reaction score
14,557
We are moving along with our "build". The quotes are there since it will be quite some time before a shovel hits the ground. We are currently waiting on, in no particular order: a survey, a geotechnical report, a sewer availability statement, a building permit denial so that we can request a setback variance, and pricing from contractors.

Perhaps the most annoying part of all of this is dealing with GCs. They seem to be uniformly difficult and unresponsive, while getting paid a sizable sum. I'm sure it would be a mistake, but I would almost rather act as my own GC. I have also thought of hiring someone as a consultant to help me create a project plan and give me guidance when needed. If any of the GCs I've interviewed were actually making my life easier and representing value for money, I would be overjoyed to pay them...
We GC'd our renovation. It saved us a fortune. Our completed project cost was about half what was quoted, and the GC's bill would have been much higher than quoted. He transparently billed the trades which were reasonable, but he then added 22% for his overhead & profit onto everything, plus there was the 'project management hours' and the like.

It likely would have saved headaches, and there are a couple of things I don't like how they turned out which would have been fixed with a GC.

For a whole new construction, I don't think I would take it on because I'm just confident enough on my knowledge of ground works/foundation work to oversee it all.
 

bdavro23

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2014
Messages
2,688
Reaction score
2,898
We GC'd our renovation. It saved us a fortune. Our completed project cost was about half what was quoted, and the GC's bill would have been much higher than quoted. He transparently billed the trades which were reasonable, but he then added 22% for his overhead & profit onto everything, plus there was the 'project management hours' and the like.

It likely would have saved headaches, and there are a couple of things I don't like how they turned out which would have been fixed with a GC.

For a whole new construction, I don't think I would take it on because I'm just confident enough on my knowledge of ground works/foundation work to oversee it all.
I would absolutely GC my own rehab, but the new build is a bridge too far I think. There are so many things I dont know, and a specific order of operations that I would definitely screw up. So, obviously I'm still considering it :)
 

brokencycle

Stylish Dinosaur
Moderator
Joined
Nov 21, 2008
Messages
19,690
Reaction score
14,557
I would absolutely GC my own rehab, but the new build is a bridge too far I think. There are so many things I dont know, and a specific order of operations that I would definitely screw up. So, obviously I'm still considering it :)
If you had the help of an architect and a couple good guys you trusted for key parts like the frame (particularly if you're going steel frame). I've seen people be successful on Grand Designs in those scenarios. I just think it can get really tricky particularly if you have a intricate design and things like big walls of windows or unique construction methods.
 

Gibonius

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
17,907
Reaction score
17,032
Bro, you said it...

Thankfully, I'm in flyover land and not your neighborhood, so I'm hopefully parting with much less money. On that subject though, things are still crazy here. The first survey quote we got was for $9,000, and he wasnt going to do the work until mid January. He was taking off 12/15-30th. Obviously we went with someone else who is charging us $2,500, which is much more in line with the expected cost.

The worrying thing is that the first guy didnt ask for $9,000 out of thin air. It means someone has paid him $8,000 to do this work recently, at least in my logic. I am really upset I didnt become an electrician or HVAC contractor...
I was getting some large-format (4' x 8') tiles installed for a fireplace, and two different sub-contractors quoted me ~$2500 to install two tiles. My GC ended up doing the entire job including the fireplace and gas work for $6k. wtf.
 

bdavro23

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2014
Messages
2,688
Reaction score
2,898
If you had the help of an architect and a couple good guys you trusted for key parts like the frame (particularly if you're going steel frame). I've seen people be successful on Grand Designs in those scenarios. I just think it can get really tricky particularly if you have a intricate design and things like big walls of windows or unique construction methods.
We are building using ICF (insulated concrete forms), so its pretty important that we get someone good for that. There are also a shit load of windows, but I would hire subs for everything and just cut out the GC and his cost + 15% pricing. I absolutely think I could do it, but our "dream home" might not be the one to try it on...
 

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Featured Sponsor

Work From Home: What's Your Attire?

  • PJs & Slippers

  • Cozy loungewear

  • Casual outfit (wool cardigan, chinos, etc)

  • Suit or sport coat and dress trousers


Results are only viewable after voting.

Related Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
452,066
Messages
9,788,002
Members
204,278
Latest member
Tracylestery
Top