Monday, October 13, 2014

Building our House (part 2):

For those of you haven't read part 1 just click this here LINK and you can check out where we left off.  For those not wanting to read part 1 or for those who have already done so here is a quick refresher...

We left last time with the simple fact that we were 4-5k over budget.  This left us with a few options, work, cut expenses, and save more so that we could come out on budget.

The Framing: After all of the concrete curing, and french draining, the real progress began.  The house was quickly framed in the basement, the sub-floor went on, and then the main floor was framed.  Next the trusses went up, sheeting went on, and the roof was ready to be done.  (During this entire process, every day after supper at about 5:30 my wife and I would drive out to see progress on the house.  This also allowed us to clean up after the construction crew.  I am not sure how much money this saved us, but I know it didn't hurt in the end!  Cleaning up the materials leftover allowed construction to run smoothly and much more efficiently.  Very few man-hours were spent cleaning our building site, so that was a sweet bonus!)

Now I'm not construction genius, far from it in fact.  I tend to be like lightening with a hammer and never strike the same place twice.  I did however have a willing grandfather and father who said they would help me on the roof.  The 3 days we spent roofing turned out to be a blistering 103, 107, and 105 respectively.  I wish I had MMM's attitude about the experience, but I didn't.  I'm not going to lie when I say it sucked.  Rolling out the paper went fast, but the actual shingling was a bit more tricky.  There was some conflicting opinions on just how to shingle, and I have a hipped roof so nobody on my crew had any experience with this type of roof.  In the end it all worked out and we haven't had a leak yet, so advantage us! 

We managed to save about 2k on labor, so now we were only about 3k off of our budget.

Lowes and a NICE gift:

We were shopping in Lowes for various house items/supplies when we ran across a killer deal for a wahser/dryer, dishwasher, and stove.  The total price of all these items came out to just above 2k.  Our original plan was to pay for all of the appliances within the loan.  The bid was about 6k for all appliances.  So even with the un-purchased fridge and microwave we would come in 3k under.

We were still about 3 months away from needing these items, and I really did not want to pay out of pocket as I knew there would be other items competing for our cash in a short amount of time.  My wife's parents agreed originally to loan us the cash, but then graciously gifted us the money.  Big thank you to them as we were now back on track and on budget!

Unexpected: 

Oh boy.  Here we go again with more unforeseen expenses.  First we had about 3k in additional gravel that had to be trucked in for our driveway.  Dang that wet spring!  Then our bid for our flooring went south as it was going to be much more expensive than originally thought (to the tune of 4k).  On top of that our wood stove instillation and cost was going to be about 1-2k over budget.

Wiring:

What is a man to do?  Having a mental relapse sounded fun but it would have done nothing to fix the problem...so I decided to take on some more projects and pay for some more materials out of pocket.  First I had a buddy who agreed to teach me a thing or two about wiring.  I want to tell you right now that turning off power to the entire house is totally worth it as I was shocked a few times throughout this process because I thought I had turned off the correct area.

Overall I spent more time than anything on this project.  I learned how to run wire, hook up boxes, switches, fixtures, etc... all from scratch.  I knew nothing about wiring and learned a lot in a few short days.  Thanks again to my buddy(s) for helping me learn and helping me wire.  I consider the knowledge I gained the most valuable as opposed to the money I saved.

We ended up spending about 2-3k in the overall process for materials, wires, fixtures, and advice.  We ended up saving about 2-3.5k on the original bid.

(Note that I did have a professional come by and install the box, house hookup, but that was covered in a separate section of our original bid).

Where did this leave us?

Rounding third base and heading for home, we were still over budget in some key areas such as the wood stove and flooring.  In the next post I will address how we fixed those problems, and how we finally got finished and moved in!

Happy Columbus Day!