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cibula11 07-25-2009 08:16 AM

Cost to have the home's "Shell" built
Just curious as to how much savings would be involved by having the "shell" of a house built (foudation, subfloor, walls, sheathing, rough in plumbing and electric). We would like a modern home around 2,000 sq ft. I've read I could save 50% on the cost of the home by doing it this way. I guess if we could build a 200,000 home for 100K with some headaches along the way, I'd consider it.

inspectorD 07-25-2009 06:28 PM

Just make sure you get what you pay for. What that means is , do your homework so you end up with a finished shell. Nailers for sheetrock and knowing where you will locate toilets and plumbing before you install the fixtures helps with cutting out framing later.
The headache is well worth it, as long as you are OK with a little stress. But you can also get that when you hire a contractor for the whole thing...go for it is my vote.
Just remember it will take longer, and we are here to help.
If you need to you can also hire a home inspector to help you out by the hour. My company does this all the time. We give folks a sounding board, and help keep the contractors honest before they come looking for a check.

cibula11 07-26-2009 06:56 AM

Do you really end up saving all that much? I know we can't afford to build a 350k-400k home on the land we want, but saving 100k or so could make it more of a possibility.

Our current house has been remodeled to the point where building would have actually been easier (new kitchen, bath, bedroom, flooring, doors, electric,...) I figure heck, if I had the shell up, I could do the rest for a fraction.

inspectorD 07-26-2009 07:45 AM

You need to write up a plan...more see if the numbers are feasable.
If you do the work yourself, you will save lots of money.
1 carpenter is a minimum $50 per man hour. If they are legitimate.
X40 hours...x 4 guys for 4 months....that's an average of 32 grand.
Now add a plumber, and electrician for 20 thousand each......getting my drift.

Actually sit down with a drawing and plan with some subcontractors in your area to get actual numbers.
On top of that, us contractors need to make our profit margins of at least 20% and that is the min...or go out of bis.:eek:

Do some homework for your area...I know it is cheaper..only it is a bigger headache and you must have the time. By the way...I'm on my 5th house.:clap:Looking to build the last one all by myself in 5 years...with no mortgage.

cibula11 07-26-2009 01:08 PM

Congrats. That is some accomplishment. I guess my questions are for future reference. I'm not at a moving stage right now, but in 5 years or so it will be something to discuss. I teach and have 3 mos. in the summer, so if planning went okay I could get a few things done. I don't want to spend thousands on plans if I don't end up building. So, I've just been trying to get my ducks in a row so that when that time comes, I know whether to explore buying a new house or building one.

Sunny H 10-01-2009 05:00 PM

I, too, want to just shell in my planned addition. I have the time to act as my own contractor, and I think it might allow me to afford to build the space I need. I have been looking for and getting prices from different trades, and trying to check references. I get excited about doing it on my own, then start worrying that I won't know if something is being done wrong or left out. So, I am trying to learn as much as possible. It's fascinating, to say the least. Have others done this? Others not in one of the trades or with family in the business?

Probably, but it does seem to me, so far. that most who have done it themselves have some connection to the construction industry - my tile guy and excavator have both done it. Well, I guess I will have to see if this empty nest mom can also. So far my estimates tell me I can go ahead, but I need to do quite a bit more research and get a few more estimates. Hope I'm not leaving out too many important things. :)

oldognewtrick 10-01-2009 06:13 PM

Sunny, if you are really going to go ahead with being your own contractor, my advise is if you have never done this before then don't do it. If you are still going to go ahead with this, go to the library and the big box stores and read all the books you can so that you are not taken advantage of and you will know the logical progression of when to schedule trades. There is more to being a contractor than just scheduling some one to show up and install stuff. Learn all you can so you can be an informed homeowner. Good luck and don't be afraid to ask questions.

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