HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Environment & Energy » Frugal and Energy Efficient Living (Group) » "Your Dream Home - H...

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 09:28 PM

"Your Dream Home - How to Build It For Less Than $3,500" (1950)


It's a fun book, but a little disheartening to think how much the price of building your own home has soared astronomically in 60 years...

What do YOU think is a reasonable price for a well-built home of decent (not tiny, not enormous) home?

(I also posted this in the Lounge ... am very interested in what my fellow frugals think).

22 replies, 6620 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 22 replies Author Time Post
Reply "Your Dream Home - How to Build It For Less Than $3,500" (1950) (Original post)
Flaxbee Sep 2012 OP
mopinko Sep 2012 #1
Flaxbee Sep 2012 #2
cbayer Sep 2012 #3
mopinko Sep 2012 #4
cbayer Sep 2012 #5
mopinko Sep 2012 #6
jwirr Sep 2012 #7
Curmudgeoness Sep 2012 #8
Flaxbee Sep 2012 #9
lumberjack_jeff Sep 2012 #10
dimbear Oct 2012 #11
TxRider Jan 2013 #12
dimbear Jan 2013 #13
Flaxbee Jan 2013 #14
oldandhappy Jan 2013 #17
Flaxbee Jan 2013 #15
Kaleva Jan 2013 #16
Flaxbee Jan 2013 #18
Squinch Feb 2013 #19
Flaxbee Feb 2013 #20
Squinch Feb 2013 #21
BobUp Dec 2013 #22

Response to Flaxbee (Original post)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 09:33 PM

1. where?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mopinko (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 27, 2012, 10:00 PM

2. you mean, where to build?

Hm. Good question. Wherever you are, I guess.

I'm in a rural part of northwestern Virginia; it would certainly cost less to build here than the DC area...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Flaxbee (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2012, 10:37 AM

3. Depends on land prices, I guess.

I think you could build the actual building pretty cheaply.

I have also seen some fascinating things like reusing abandoned planes, railroad cars, and other containers.

Maybe we will just put our boat on a little piece of land when we (if) ever leave the water. Now that could be fun!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cbayer (Reply #3)

Fri Sep 28, 2012, 11:18 AM

4. an old 747 is a pipe dream of mine.

but the train thing is cool, too. i think the supply of train cars might be about gone.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mopinko (Reply #4)

Fri Sep 28, 2012, 11:32 AM

5. Did you see the article that was posted here previously about the planes?

One thing I thought of was how many solar panels you could put on those wings.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cbayer (Reply #5)

Fri Sep 28, 2012, 12:09 PM

6. no.

a lot of times they have to take the wings off to move them, but i suppose you could put them back on.
got a feeling i wouldn't get it past the zoning people.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Flaxbee (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2012, 01:32 PM

7. My parents built their 24' X 24' two story house which was unfinished inside for $2000 in the 50s.

My brother and his wife still live in it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Flaxbee (Original post)

Fri Sep 28, 2012, 07:10 PM

8. Since I am always shocked at the prices

of just simple remodelling jobs, I cannot begin to imagine what a reasonable price to build a house would be these days.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #8)

Fri Sep 28, 2012, 11:44 PM

9. I know -- $50k to remodel a kitchen, $30K per bathroom, or some ridiculous pricing

like that.

No freaking way.

My husband and I remodeled our kitchen for about $2000 10 years ago in our former house -- might have cost a bit more if we'd gotten a new fridge. And I should have paid someone to lay the tile (oh my goodness that was difficult).
But even if we'd sourced out some of the work, it would have been TOPS $4-5K.

I don't think it should cost that much. People's entire net worth should not be tied up in their homes.... and that's the bubble Bush tried to create.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Flaxbee (Original post)

Sun Sep 30, 2012, 10:50 AM

10. Exclusive of land prices, $50.00 per square foot.

 

Key to building for that price is to get/make a plan that fits within the "prescriptive building code". If your house fits within that range of criteria, the plans don't need engineering or a bunch of mitigation.

Unfortunately, that code kind of enforces a "ticky tacky little box" architecture. Interesting architecture and a strong structure are mutually incompatible, the interesting architecture requires a bunch of additional structure to make it sound.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Flaxbee (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 08:11 PM

11. If you're young and spry, offer to demolish a condemned home for a ridiculously low price

if you get to keep all the materials. Take it apart and put it back together on the new lot.

Should be able to break even on the deal.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dimbear (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:41 AM

12. esier to have the house moved

I moved out to 11 acres I own this year, bought a 1950's house that was on some land that a gas station was built on and had it moved to the property and set up for about $13 per square foot. Plus I went from no house to having a house in less than a week.

After I upgrade it by tightening up the insulation and getting it a lot more energy efficient and remodeling most of the interior myself I will have maybe 50k in the 1900 sq ft house. My living expenses should be down to under $1000 per month as soon as I finish paying the land off in a few years.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TxRider (Reply #12)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 04:56 AM

13. Congratulations on an economical home, which also sounds very nice! n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TxRider (Reply #12)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:04 PM

14. sounds very nice -- an idea situation, to find a house in good shape that can be moved...


I'd really rather not have to start from scratch; sounds like you found a really good solution!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TxRider (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 08:54 PM

17. good job

You did well.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dimbear (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 02:05 PM

15. I'd do this if I found the perfect piece of land... and hated the house.

So many people, though, still want upwards of $100K for a shitty house just because there's a (questionable) foundation, well and septic.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Flaxbee (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:07 PM

16. I bought my 1152 sq. ft. home (includes the basement) for $24k 12 years ago.

It did and still does require a great deal of work to get it up to code and make it a very nice, energy efficient home. Off the top of my head, I'd estimate it will take about $20k to $25k to accomplish this and those figures include money already spent.

Improvements accomplished

Home is re-plumbed and that includes new water lines.
New high efficiency furnace
Adequate insulation in attic

Projects more then 50% done

House re-wired
Kitchen remodeled
Bedroom hardwood floors redone
Living room floor

Projects less then 50% done

Bathroom re-modeled
Windows and doors replaced
Unattached garage re-wired
Enclosed entry way interior (drywall and flooring)

Projects not started yet

House re-sided
Garage re-sided
Two old maple trees in the yard removed
New drywall in bedrooms, upstairs landing area and living room
Entry way supports replaced
New garage door
Basement walls painted
Gas water heater replaced
10k btuh vent free space gas space heater installed in living room
Woodstove in basement replaced

Much of the work I can do myself and that saves a great deal on labor and where I need help, I can get that for free from family members as I do electrical, heating and plumbing work for them for nothing.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Kaleva (Reply #16)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:45 PM

18. why removing the maple trees?



How much land do you have?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Flaxbee (Original post)

Sun Feb 10, 2013, 08:38 PM

19. OMG!!!! My father actually used THAT book as his guide to build the family home in 1952-1953.

I'm at the bottom of a large family, so they had moved by the time I came along, but the house is still standing a few towns away from where I live now.

Even then, though, he thought the house cost him more than $3500. He estimated that it cost something between $6000 and $7500..

The last time it sold it was over $500K.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Squinch (Reply #19)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 01:18 AM

20. probably an extremely soundly-built home with excellent materials...

in the 50s it seems the materials were much higher quality.

It's an incredibly detailed book! Did your dad build the entire house 'from scratch', so to speak?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Flaxbee (Reply #20)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 04:13 PM

21. He did most of it himself. He got a guy in to do stonework, I know, and I think he

got a licensed electrician. But the rest he did.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Flaxbee (Original post)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 02:52 PM

22. My plan went kaput

My wife and I spent about 5 years kicking around New Mexico, kind of scouring the countryside for a cheap place to go. I browsed craigslist for cheap land to either put a travel trailer on or a container, yeah! Cheap! 1/2 acre lots priced @ $500 or slightly more, awesome, I thought.

No you can't do that here. uh oh.

You must own one acre to put anything on it, alright I thought, not that difficult. Except, the people selling those 1/2 acre lots knew full well what they were doing. They split them up, so no one person could own two 1/2 acre adjacent lots, smart huh?

The other catch is that your "structure" must be at least 500 sq. feet in size, that rules out the travel trailer idea, but not the container idea. But, other problems arise with my strategy, to drill a well for water costs about $15K to $20K, plus, you must install a septic system, and also pay the electric company to run your line to your property from a main road.

The ads running for 1/2 acre lots is funny...
snip
No time limit for building.

Meaning, take all the time you want trying to build... not funny.
This this in a Google search, follow links.
Deming New Mexico lots for sale

Anywho, we also thought about just buying a improved lot in small cities in New Mexico and planting a travel trailer or a couple of shipping containers bolted together, but that state must have a 500 square foot minimum structure size law somewhere because none of the communities we looked into allowed any thing smaller.



For people out there who might be considering buying a small piece of land or a lot, do some looking around pertaining to local and state laws before you open your wallet and buy anything.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread