Armchair Builder

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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Some builders like to make it sound impossible for people to build their own projects. I suppose it’s natural to want to protect their livelihood. But the truth is, the average person can take on the general contractor role to remodel a kitchen, basement, or even build a new home from the ground up. There [...]

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  It’s important to carefully evaluate land before making an offer for purchase to build your dream home. You don’t want to end up with an asset that is a hassle, doesn’t meet your building requirements or that causes you unforeseen expenses. As a home builder, I have a checklist that I go through prior [...]

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What do people mean when they say owner builder or build your own house?  Does this translate into swinging a hammer and physically building the home yourself or is this more about managing trade contractors?  Actually, both of these are correct.  When you take on a project to build a new home without a general [...]

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As your family’s needs change, your home needs to change as well.  Maybe a new baby is on the way and a second bathroom or third bedroom is needed.  If you’ve already finished your basement or don’t have a basement, you may have decided that putting a new addition onto your home is the best [...]

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