Armchair Builder

House prices and rent continue to rise as inflation is muted in the U.S., adding to the reasons one might want to become an owner builder.  By taking on the general contractor role for their own home, it’s possible to avoid paying the ever increasing monthly rent that does nothing but line the pockets of [...]

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If you are visiting Armchair Builder for the first time you may be asking yourself, “exactly how many people built their own home in 2014?”  After all, it can be a complicated, time consuming endeavor that many people aren’t prepared to handle.  To answer this question we take a look at the latest U.S. Census [...]

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With a carefully thought out kitchen design you can create a fully functional, custom look at an affordable price.  For this small kitchen, we needed to maximize the use of the space to make things work.  In order to accomplish this, we pulled out all the secrets from the kitchen design books.  Here we will [...]

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  Building your dream home can be an expensive endeavor.  From the gorgeous lot with the view to the sparkly quartz countertops, each item that will make your new home “yours” comes with a price.  But just like everything else we buy, there are deals to be had on building materials and labor to build [...]

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One of the more frequent questions asked by people that are thinking of taking on the general contractor role for their new dream home is, “What is the potential savings if I go through all the trouble of managing the building process myself?”  It’s a great question that is never easy to answer.  After all, [...]

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How often do you hear…It all starts with the foundation? Actually, it all really begins with the home plans.  A good, complete set of home plans can save you a boat load of headaches on your project.  As an owner-builder, you have many options when it comes to home plans.   From pre-designed stock plans to a custom [...]

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Is there an easy way to determine the cost to build a home?  The National Association of Home Builders periodically surveys professional builders to find out what it costs them to build a home.  This survey gives average house costs for new single family homes constructed across different states in the U.S.  The numbers are [...]

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If you’ve ever had problems with your house sewer lateral (the pipe that runs from the house to the street), you know how frustrating things can get.  A simple obstruction within the sewer line can cause backups into the home which can cause a huge mess.  On top of that, the bathrooms, showers and kitchen [...]

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Repairing Shower Leaks

Shower leaks can be a tremendous headache for homeowners.  Imagine spending thousands of dollars on a new shower to find water leaking through the new surfaces which can cause major damage over time and possibly even mold.  Here is a recent reader question who has this problem and wanted some guidance on diagnosing and repairing [...]

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Adding a Code Compliant Bedroom

If you are thinking of adding a bedroom to a new or existing home, it’s important to think about the building code requirements during the design phase.  One very important, and often overlook, requirement for bedrooms is the need for egress.  Whether you are finishing a basement with a bedroom or just turning a space [...]

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