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13 Answers

Working with tract builders

Regrettably it looks like I may have to pull the trigger on a new tract built home.

The dwelling will be your typical townhouse with a drive under garage and a rear two-story cantilevered section.

As I was saying, I really do not like tract builders because they can't control their subs but due to high land costs they're the only game in town unless one wants to spend over $750k for a custom home.

From my own experience with this design of home there are two what I consider typical failures.

Asked By John Clark | Mar 2 17
27 Answers

Getting an accurate price to build

Greetings! This is my first post on the forum; thanks in advance for the help. We are in the early stages of planning our new custom home (in Tucson, AZ, similar climate to Phoenix, so hot and dry with cooler nights). I'm just a person (not an architect, builder, or real estate professional), but have done a lot of research and have done a lot of DIY remodeling in the past.
We've met with two builders so far and neither interaction was the great. I'm looking for advice on how to salvage either relationship or how to avoid these mistakes for the next builder I talk to.

Asked By Lisa Mason | Feb 12 17
15 Answers

Who should fix this one?

My wife sent me a text today, as I am out of town, showing our garage door completely smashed in. We had a concrete contractor at the house today and at least two loads of rock brought in. The concrete guy said it was like that when he arrived, just after the first rock truck. The rock trucking company also has not claimed responsibility. Any thoughts on how I should resolve this? The rock was ordered by the concrete guy and not me for clarification.

Asked By Mike M | May 21 16
0 Answers

Not a question but a thank you Martin, Dana, et al.

Although our own project has been suspended indefinitely I've been exposed to a tremendous amount of information regarding building science and for that I say thank you. This site along with the sister sites are a great asset to the layman such as myself. May you all have a great 2016!


Asked By John Clark | Mar 7 16
2 Answers

Consultant needed

My wife and I are looking to build a new home in St. Louis, MO. We would like to find an architect who can help us build a very green home.

I have a good architect in mind, however green is not their focus. We were thinking it would be useful to work with a consultant who could guide us and work with the architect to design an extremely efficient home. We are not necessarily looking to be net zero, but we would like a home that is built to the very best efficiency standards available.

Asked By Peter Perkins | Feb 22 16
12 Answers

Planning a dual-purpose residential post frame

Or pole barn if you prefer… I’m in the process of planning, have tried to scour through pertaining threads. I am choosing post frame for combination of cost to build and to minimize thermal bridging. My goal is to find the best compromise between cost of building and energy efficiency, in a similar fashion to a Pretty Good House. Building planned to be 48’ x 64’ x 14’, with 20’ x 48’ of that to be living space. I am planning slab on grade with radiant floor for both the living area, and the shop/garage.

Asked By Dave | Jan 15 16
3 Answers

Long-term storage of rigid foam

I plan to use reclaimed foam on a REMOTE wall home with the build beginning in June. The insulation will likely not be installed until August. I live in a remote area and am not sure when a supplier may have a source nearby, so I want to get the order in early (now?) and hopefully not end up paying for shipping from a distant site. I have two concerns:

1. Has anyone in Central Maine had good luck with a reclaimed foam supplier on shorter notice? In other words, can I safely wait until closer to the install date to place my order?

Asked By Jim | Jan 5 16
2 Answers

Insulating the attic in a brick home

I am getting ready to insulate the attic of a brick home that was built in the 1950s. I have all the old insulation removed and plan to blow in either cellulose or fiberglass insulation.

Around the perimeter of the attic there is a 1 inch gap between the brick and sheathing on the exterior walls. These gaps appear to extend to the foundation and were not insulated at all and just vented into the attic. I have a couple of questions.

Asked By Tom | Dec 4 15
5 Answers

How to get a Pretty Good House built?

Designing a Pretty Good House (PGH) is easy. Just spend a year or two reading at GBA, pay for a GBA Prime/Pro membership to get access to detail drawings, and bam, you're done. Kinda, not really, but go with it for a minute. So now that you've designed it, how do you get it built? This is the one article that I don't remember being specifically addressed.

Asked By Andrew C | Aug 24 15
2 Answers

Looking for a local designer/ builder in southern Rhode Island

A local designer/ builder in southern Rhode Island, by Todd Buckley.

My wife and I are interested in renovating a 1986 built passive solar house but cannot find local builders that can meet our needs. Do any of you know of someone like you that works in South Kingstown, R.I.?

Asked By todd buckley | Mar 12 15
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