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Ford wanted to pay their employees enough so that they could afford to buy the product they make. Seems reasonable to me.

20 years into the trade and I'm still in my one bedroom apt.

Been saving every penny, no vacations in Hawaii, no marriage ceremony, no $$ hobbies, etc.

Want to build a 1200 sq foot modern/geometric/bare bones/industrial home for 50k.

Any tips?

I'm thinking in terms of material cost/reuse in particular since that is a big component.

For example, Is it possible to make my own diy concrete forms that I can use for the basement and reuse them for sheathing?





Other ideas I've come up with:

electrical run in conduit aka commercial look

Simple post and beam timber frame (need to find how to get 10x10's straight from the mill and dry them cheaply)

Exterior finish material is a big expense. There are many modern panels made of concretious material that are screwed in palace and then caulked in between, but it's hard to find inexpensive supply/brand.

Same goes with SIPS panels/ They really gouge the timber frame buyer since most have deep pockets but in my case, I will need to make my own with ply/foam/inside material and glue it up with a homemade press of some sort. Any ideas here would help

Pier foundation I know is least expensive but I've always had a dream for a basement.

Simple geometry of the house saves on time and roofing. Simple shed or gable roof and metal roofing is the plan although I know shingles are less expensive/

One bathroom directly above the kitchen sink and laundry next to it/

Plywood (1") would serve for my finish and structural floor if I use a marine tough like finish/

Another issue is plans/ I will be using a timber frame and all common plans in the $500 range are stick framed. I will likely have to get out the drawing board and make my own rough set to satisfy the local building dept/ Of find a college student to help me out etc. Any ideas here would help since this nonsense is a big unnecessary cost since I could build the house without a single plan/

Any ideas, throw 'em out. appreciate/peace/stop the wars
 

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Super Moderator
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Your AHJ will dictate many of these costs.

Engineering, Title 24 calcs, septic, etc etc.....

Metal products may be cheaper in the long run but can significantly raise construction costs. As will timber frame.

Basement is excavation, masonry walls, water proofing etc....

all additional costs....

Simple rectangular plan, panel siding, conventional framing, stock windows & doors, comp roof, romex wiring, standard finishes will keep costs down and are mostly can be up graded in the future as $$$ permit.
 

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Always Learning
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I don't see it happening. Most of my homes material costs are $50 plus a square foot. Plus, your time away from paying jobs will cost you. You can save some serious money doing a lot of things yourself, but 50k seems unrealistic to me. Do you own your lot already? Why not finance some of it? Money id cheap right now.
 

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Steal the materials.
You could call favours from all your friends. But if the were my friends, I would not be able to afford the beer.
 

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Steal the materials.
You could call favours from all your friends. But if the were my friends, I would not be able to afford the beer.
Would you really want to live in a house where every time you looked at something you know it was stolen?....:whistling:laughing:
 

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General Contractor
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Build it to code, you not gonna get it done any cheaper than that :thumbsup:

As Ford goes, at that time they cut a tree in the back yard and make a header...this days are over my friend.

Good luck
 

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To the OP.. how about a barn-dominium?

Doesn't get much more industrial than that
 

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Remodel
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For people paying cash out of pocket, no home loan, most I've seen build smaller and then expand it. What may work for you, wanting a basement, is to get the full basement dug / poured, and put a roof over it, and finish the "attic" as living space. Put in your doors and have enough dormer windows, and you're good to go. Plan it out so it's easy to lift the roof (no metal at this time). When you get the money to add another floor, lift the roof and pop your next level in. Insulated foam panels are actually expensive.

I don't see that that will get you in at $50 a sq ft.

Form plywood and boards have been used for roof sheathing for a long time. Building the forms takes a fair amount of labor. If you haven't done it, you might consider the ramifications of having a form blow out.
 

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Making a living
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I built a 600 sf master bedroom suite addition on my home for 24k I hired the dig out but did the rest myself. I always fed well those who helped me. And called the inspector when I had a code related delema. It took about a year but it turned out to be a turning point in my life. At the time I was managing retail store and whenever anyone came to our house they were always amazed and said " you should be a contractor". The rest as they say is history and I never looked back
 

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You still have to meet codes, but stain and seal concrete and you have a finished floor, paint the subfloor and you have a finished floor. Or use boards and natural finish them. That's been done in houses over $600K.
 

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Head Light Bulb Changer
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Are wanting that 1200 sf to include the basement? If so, I would think a 600 sf house, w/full basement, for 50K is doable. IF you have the lot AND good friends. A hunting buddy of mine built a pretty nice 2500 sf house for 125K a few years ago using a lot of friends labor.
 

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The Dude
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You still have to meet codes, but stain and seal concrete and you have a finished floor, paint the subfloor and you have a finished floor. Or use boards and natural finish them. That's been done in houses over $600K.
aren't slabs more than conventional up front? yeah you could paint the subfloor, but upgrade the ply ... carpet might be cheaper even though I hate hate hate carpet! also gaps between sheets - what do you do about that?
 

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Accidental Painter
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Why not think outside the box? Your already considering recycling materials so just take it a little further.

-geodesic dome
-carve out the side of a hill
-modular housing that can be expanded over time like previously stated
 

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aren't slabs more than conventional up front? yeah you could paint the subfloor, but upgrade the ply ... carpet might be cheaper even though I hate hate hate carpet! also gaps between sheets - what do you do about that?
Full basement around here is conventional. What's less expensive overall will really depend on the site and what his local materials costs are. Tough to say what will work best for him, since local codes, site conditions, etc are all unknowns. The absolute minimum is meet or exceed code, and do what is required for an occupancy permit, which (besides the obvious plumbing and electric, etc) means finish and safety has to be there, but he doesn't have to have hardwood or carpet yet, and he doesn't have to have moldings, etc.
 

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Head Grunt
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Building a home at that cost can be done but the area and the local codes will determine that. Around here it can be done. But, you need to have your own saw mill, property with logs, you would have to build it on piers or a slab to save money. Here there is nothing in code that you cannot use rough cut lumber so builders on the cheap will cut their own beams, rafters, joists, board/batten siding, sheath the roof with boards, sheath the floor with 2 layers of boards, etc.

This requires a lot of time on your hands too. And then have at least a tractor to skid and lift the logs with. The septic you can do yourself as long as it has been approved by an engineer and inspected, electric/plumbing you can do yourself also but needs to be inspected. Most folks will go to a mill and buy v-joint pine with blueing to save money, make their own cabinets or shop around for a cancelled order or decent cabinets from a remodel. Windows/doors? There are a couple places around here that sell new windows of odd shapes or minimal damage.

I know one fella who opted to buy a doublewide, but the two halves were from different homes. When he put them together he had 2 kitchens, 2 baths, 2 furnaces, and 2 living rooms. He attached the heat ducts and keeps one furnace as a back up. He knocked out one wall and removed one kitchen. Now he has a remodeled kitchen/living room that is at least 20'X30'. The kids have moved out and he has one bedroom as an office for his business, one bedroom as a gun room, a guest bedroom and a master bedroom with attached bath. His initial cost to purchase and set the home on a slab was $15k, $5k for the home and $10k for the slab. Property already had a mobile home, a well and septic which he paid $28k for. It took him several yrs to do this but cash out of pocket, now the home is all resided and he put cultured stone around the bottom for the skirting. On a driveby you can hardly tell it is a modular home.
 

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Goin' Down in Flames....
Highwayman
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Build it to code, you not gonna get it done any cheaper than that :thumbsup:

As Ford goes, at that time they cut a tree in the back yard and make a header...this days are over my friend.

Good luck
Not really. The Timber-Frame guys are really into it. There are alot of people who supply their own materials from their own property.

It's only in the last 50 years or so, that all of society is 100% dependant on a Corporation for even the bare necessities of life. Doesn't have to be that way.




Delta
 

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Goin' Down in Flames....
Highwayman
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6,460 Posts
Your AHJ will dictate many of these costs.

Engineering, Title 24 calcs, septic, etc etc.....

Metal products may be cheaper in the long run but can significantly raise construction costs. As will timber frame.

Basement is excavation, masonry walls, water proofing etc....

all additional costs....

Simple rectangular plan, panel siding, conventional framing, stock windows & doors, comp roof, romex wiring, standard finishes will keep costs down and are mostly can be up graded in the future as $$$ permit.

Very true, but there is also the rural owner-built homeexemptions here in Cali. That can change things up significantly. :thumbsup:




Delta
 

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Have a look at places built out of shipping containers would easily fall within your budget.
I'v seen it done over here very cool!
 
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