Date registered: Sep 2017
Vehicle: 2008 CLK-350 Convertible
Location: East Coast Florida
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 92 Post(s)
Are you building it yourself or are you getting a contractor to do it turn-key, or somewhere in the middle? How much "specifying" can you do or does the contractor handle everything except your choice of interior colors?
Having built a house myself and getting ready to build another one, consider:
1) Steel studs and trusses instead of wood. Not much more money, MUCH stronger, no hammering to annoy the neighbors. Wood is for hippies, steel is forever.
2) Insulation under the floor slab. Comes in a big roll (3' wide by 100' long), looks like bubble wrap with silver foil on each side. Makes the floors much warmer and saves you money on heating bills. Tek-Supply and other farm supply stores sell it. Shop price!
3) Add some 2" diameter (minimum) PVC ducting inside the walls. This allows you to string wires for phones, networks, cable TV, security systems, fiber optics and whatever "must have" devices we don't know about yet. This is a completely separate system from the mains.
4) Make your interior doors 36" wide and your hallways at least 40" wide. Some day you might need to push a wheelchair through there, narrower doors and halls make that impossible.
5) Install a central vacuum cleaner system. Nobette will thank you for it and you will thank me for it if she insists you do the vacuuming.
6) Install plumbing, power and lights - LOTS of lights - in the garage at the outset, it will cost much more later. Make sure you have outside outlets, too, including a 220 volt outlet inside the garage and another outside the garage for when you buy an electric car - you'll need a place to charge it.
7) Use 4" diameter PVC pipe for the main drain, not 3". The larger 4" size is far less prone to clogging. Think about splitting off grey water from black water, the grey water can be used for irrigation, the black water goes into the septic tank, which will need pumping out at less frequent intervals because the grey water never goes into it.
8) Don't buy ANYTHING on clearance, closeout or scratch and dent. If you need parts for a discontinued faucet ten years from now, you won't be able to get them and will have to change the whole thing instead.
9) Use metal soffits, wood rots and always needs painting, vinyl is flammable and sags and looks like crap after a few years. It also gets brittle, so when you try to push it back into shape, it will crack.
10) Use as little exterior wood as possible unless you want to replace pieces of it constantly and caulk and paint it forever.
11) Steel roof. Shingles are heavy and don't last very long. They also tend to blow off in a storm. Further, unless the roofer KNOWS what he is doing, there will be leaks at the various joints around dormers and pipe penetrations and they can be very difficult to find and fix. In the meantime, the leaks will ruin the wallboard. Steel roofs are good for 50 years, shingles are doing well if they last 15.
12) Use inorganic wallboard (fiberglass faced) instead of "normal" paper faced wallboard. It costs something like half a dollar more per sheet, but it is not damaged at all by water, won't rot, won't support mold, it is altogether a superior product. If you ever have a pipe break and fill your house with a couple of inches of water, you won't have to replace the wallboard at all. (Carpets are another story.)
There's more, much more, but this will get you started!