Armchair Builder

Reader Question: We moved into our Wyoming home two years ago and we were told the home might have a ground water issue.  We added a sump pump into the existing sump crock in our finished basement.  The pump cycles every ten seconds, especially in the spring but this year due to extra precipitation it continues to [...]

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Build Your Own Home as a Team Still think you might want to build your own home but aren’t sure it’s possible? Our latest successful owner-builder story comes from Hyrum, Utah.  Here’s a quick article showcasing ten couples that took the plunge and built their own new homes from the ground up.  One important thing to note here is that anytime you [...]

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Owner Builder Disclosure Statements:  What are they? Many municipalities throughout the U.S. use something called Owner Builder Disclosure Statements to protect homeowners, or future homeowners, from unlicensed contractors.   It’s a document that owner builders must sign when they go to the local building department to pull an owner builder permit.  What kinds of things [...]

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As home prices continue to soar around the world, more people are choosing to become owner-builders and manage the construction of their own new dream home.  It can be a time consuming and challenging task, but the rewards can be significant in dollar savings and from the satisfaction from creating something that will last for [...]

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With what appears to be a never ending increase in home prices in many parts of the country, people are looking at all kinds of options for saving money on their dream home.  This doesn’t mean folks want to settle for less, but they are in many cases willing to do some extra work to [...]

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Because homes and contractors can be confusing, we try to answer all building questions that come to us at Armchair Builder.   We recently received a question  from a new home owner in Illinois regarding settlement and a high water table.  This new owner is concerned that a high water table may be causing the foundation [...]

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January 14, 2016 One of the big motivations for people to build their own home is to save money.   After all, it’s a big time commitment and there are some risks involved.  I mean sure, you get a sense of pride from building the family’s dream home and you get exactly what you want but [...]

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Owner builders thinking of tackling their own new home should be very careful when hiring workers.  Whether the worker is considered a contractor or an employee has major ramifications for the owner.  If the worker is considered to be an employee by law, the owner builder will be required to withhold payroll taxes, carry workman’s [...]

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Selecting the house plan to build your new home can be an exciting process.  Finally you have the opportunity to create the home of your dreams that matches your family’s lifestyle.  Besides square footage, the number of bedrooms and an inspiring design, there are some additional items you should consider when selecting the plans to [...]

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People that are having a new home built frequently pay a home inspector to come out and look for any possible areas of concern.  I think this is a good idea even if you are working as an owner-builder.  My feeling is, the more eyes you have looking at a product for quality, the better the final [...]

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