Armchair Builder

CAT | Owner-Builder

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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Last week we talked about how owner builders can save twenty to twenty five percent by general contracting out their own home.  This is the fee the builder charges for managing the project.  We also discussed how an owner builder can save even more by taking on some of the physical labor themselves.  From painting [...]

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An affordable basement finish can be a great way to add square footage to a home.  Whether you are building a new home, or just wanting to add more living space to the existing place, completing a lower level build-out can be accomplished without a huge budget.  In fact, a quality space can be had [...]

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Stone countertops are an expensive option that can add real value to a kitchen or bath.  Since these tops are so expensive, it’s important to get the design right.  We don’t want the stone to crack or worse, fall off the cabinet because of an unbalanced loading condition.  Here are some granite countertop support tips [...]

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At the top of the wish list for most home buyers these days is an “open floor plan.”  Whether they have a case of claustrophobia or just enjoy entertaining, removing walls for opening up spaces is a top priority for many future homeowners.  But creating these large rooms without dividing walls can create a bit [...]

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Ductless heating and cooling systems are becoming more popular as people are starting to realize the benefits associated with them.  The initial installation is quicker in many cases and because there is no ductwork to install, the home design has fewer limitations.  As a home builder that has a ductless system in my own home, [...]

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One of the benefits of building a new home is that we get to create exactly what we want.  An eye catching front elevation that combines unique materials and design to make us smile when we pull into the driveway…check. An open layout that meets the family’s particular needs for socializing and entertaining…check.  An engineered [...]

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Monthly Builder Secrets

The latest Armchair Builder Monthly Builder Secrets update was just published.  In this quick email blast we cover trade secrets that most professional builders won’t share with you like profit margins, pro builder design ideas, and insider tricks for getting more home for the money.  In case you haven’t committed to signing up just yet, [...]

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