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House from ground up

timex88's picture

Hi All,


I am a new member here, and already have a question, I hope I am in the right 

area to ask my question because its a big one.

Say I have plot of land wish to build a multilevel house by professionals.

How do I start , who do i contact ?

Thank you

Probably first the local (post #207364, reply #1 of 6)

Probably first the local zoning authority, to be sure what you're allowed to build.

Then an architect, unless it's a difficult site, in which case maybe an engineer.

And somewhere along the way the bank, of course.

And better get a lawyer online before anything serious is signed.

And if there aren't public utilities you'll want to get a rough estimate from a well driller and a septic guy.  Siting the house is sometimes limited by where the septic system has to go, etc.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

networking.. (post #207364, reply #2 of 6)

If it's possible to get friendly with anyone in your area who is in some stage of building you can learn a lot there also.


Be critically minded as to any anecdotal advice no matter the source, to include from this site.   


How do I start 1. You (post #207364, reply #3 of 6)

How do I start

1. You already have.  Now, try to separate the serious from frivolous (3 or more of the 8) from the following (as initiation).

2. are you wealthy, as being one of the greedy 1% who do not pay theri fair share, who we keep hearing about <G> If so, then just look for someone who says they build on craigslist.

3. if not part of the no 2 subset, a good place to start is the library,

4.  volunteer at habitat a few days to learn some tricks, get contacts, etc.

5.  if you would someday like to be a 1% er, then learn DIY, other wise, unless you have a 3 figure or over hourly income, you are just giving it away and will be poor your whole life, eh.

6. If you IS rich, you be helping the economy most by hiring some guys in the HD parking lot, they need non-taxable income - remember, you get more for cash...... those HD parking lot guys knows der stuff....

7. remember, the thinner concrete is poured, the easier it is,  and you will not see the difference for a few weeks, which is why the #6 folks wants cash..... .

8.  Really want it rubbed in initiation wise ?  try

How do I start 1. You (post #207364, reply #4 of 6)

sie is so slow this duplicated, eliminated duplicate

Visit your public library (post #207364, reply #5 of 6)

Your question is so general the best place to send you is to the library. There are dozens of books written to help the unknowing with all the aspects of building a house. Go... become educated. Then come back here with specific questions.

I recommend getting Building (post #207364, reply #6 of 6)

I recommend getting Building your first home for Dummies (I may be off on teh title but it is a "Dummies" book) which is really good for pointing you in the right direction.

1. Contact the county where teh property is, find out how it is zoned, if it is allowed to have a residence on it, then you are good and can continue, if it is Agriculture, or timber, or some other special zoned land, you may have to start a whole process to get new permits or try to get it re zoned or special permission to build but the county will be able to tell you.

2. If it is near ANY flood plain, get it surveyed and find out exactly where that is.

3. Find plans you like, there are THOUSANDS of plans online. Keep in mind that any plans you find, will still need to be "adjusted" by an architect to fit your local area since they are all generalized, your area may require a roof that can bear more weight than a house designed to be built in arizona for instance. Plans online run anywhere from $200-$2000+. 

3A. Find a local builder that has his own plans that are tailored for your region and you don't have to pay for.

3B. Go talk to an architect (either ask friends/family for referal, or start googling local people) and sit down and tell him you want a custom built house drawn up. Expect to pay around $1.50/sq foot of home designed (+/- a bit) to end up with plans you can take to the county and get a permit to build.

4. Find a local reputable builder, look at other houses he/she has built, ask for past customer refs you can call. Talk to 2-4 and show them your plansm, get a bid from each, go with the one that seems the most competent balanced with the best price. You get what you pay for so if you go cheap, you will end up with cheap.

5. You can bypass 3&4 if you go to "kit builders", these companies have 10+ specific floorplans they build hundreds of and make their money by building entire subdivisions at a time but most will build single homes for individuals. You get less "tweaking" ability and pretty much have to choose from specific available options with these guys but they are usually much cheaper than an independant builder, but again, do your homework and talk to people that ave bought their "brand" of home and see if they are happy, some can be cheaply built and I don't mean just the cost of building it. You don't want to invest in building a house and later discover that it is worth far less than you expected due to build quality.


Once you find the builder, he will begin giving you a whole NEW list of things to worry about, like provisioning for utilities and septic/sewer etc etc. It's a LONG, involved process but can be very rewarding and fuun if you do your research.