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Toying with an idea about building a home

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posted on Aug, 23 2015 @ 12:05 AM
Any thoughts on building a large garage with an apartment on top?

So here's my thoughts. I've been following minimalist living and tiny houses for awhile. I realize that tiny homes aren't for me, I want about 1500 sq. ft., not much less not any more. I want to have my own home built, and I want to have a large enough property so that I can have horses again with enough room to enjoy them without having to trailer out. I've been browsing log homes and barn homes (I love this style) and ran across the garages with apartments on top. This seems like a really good idea for a number of reasons.

It would be quick and fairly inexpensive to build one. I would want a detached garage eventually anyway. A large garage area is incredibly flexible, and you don't HAVE to park in it, the space can be used for storage. The apartment area could be a source of income, or a way to have a place for guests to stay very comfortably once the house is built (making a smaller home even more feasible). Being able to live on the property would enable me to be more involved with building, and it would also allow me to skirt a lot of cost associated with finishing. I want to see my own work in the home I build, and living on site would make that a heck of a lot easier. This could also easily convert to a barn, or garage/few stalls.

I have a number of concerns about the idea too. I want to have kids in the next 5 years, and I'm wondering how hard it would be if in the best case scenario I had two. Would it be a huge pain to live in such a small space? I know there are a lot of people that raise a kid or two in apartments, but I think it would suck having the parent's bedroom close to the kids (and also necessary, I'm torn). Anyone have experience with this?

I currently own (yay no mortgage!) and live in a house that's about 1k square feet with my girlfriend and two dogs (medium size crazy herding breeds). We only use the master bedroom, bathroom, living room and kitchen (dogs have a big yard that helps). The other rooms are just sort of there, two smallish bedrooms and a dining area that connects the kitchen and living room. It's the perfect amount of space for us and the pups, so I'm thinking perhaps we could get away with the same size house and kids if we were to actually utilize the spare bedrooms. The layout here is a bit wrong, and I would be looking at a two story place that's flexible with walls (none on the second level would need to be load bearing).

Does this seem like a terrible idea? I'm not seeing many downsides. What do you think something like this would cost "turnkey" to build (excluding property and whatever I run in to with permits/running electricity/septic/and all the other nonsense). I'm going to be doing this in WA state, North and East of Seattle without getting to snuggly with the mountains. I'm thinking having the place built to "turnkey" would cost me about $130k. Any tips? Anyone built a home?

posted on Aug, 23 2015 @ 12:27 AM
It really depends on EXACTLY where. The same house, 10 miles apart, can go from $100/sqft to $130/sqft, just because they can. My next house I want a complete gut job, seems to be cheaper than a complete build right now.

posted on Aug, 23 2015 @ 12:49 AM
a reply to: OccamsRazor04

Dude, shutup and buy me a house and ponies!

Yeah, that's one thing to worry about. I'm more than capable of doing finish work, and I don't mind going cheap on some materials that would bring the cost down significantly. If we consider that the garage area isn't going to be finished beyond maybe drywall (I'm comfortable hanging sheetrock), I think I can get it done for well under $200 a sq. ft.

So pretend cost wasn't an issue. Do you think it's a bad idea? If I were a multi-millionaire I would have the same questions. I would probably want to go the same route. I don't like buying something like property and not being hands on with it's development.

posted on Aug, 23 2015 @ 01:15 AM
Nice thread topic. I used to be a custom home builder. I specialized in spec build modern-rustic style.

The homes would have the look and feel of a rustic cabin style, but completely modern build qualities like 8" walls, spray foam insulation top to bottom, geothermal heating and cooling with radiant heat in floors, 2x10 acid patina pine siding. Built like a brick.

You could easily cover materials with that price point and hire a couple laborers with you guiding them.

The most often overlooked expenses in this type of rural build are always site layout, in my experience.

Road/driveway building, even with gravel, is extremely expensive, when built to last. As well as running utilities back to the property.

Dirt work is not cheap either, so make sure drainage and a flat lot is available, and as close to the road as you could get.

I am doing an off grid next summer in colorado, if plans continue as planned.

The cheapest type of build I have done was an a-frame similar to this. Minus the log material, drywall interior, fur trusses and loft.

Major cash can be saved by building on piers vs. basement or slab and you only need to snap out your corners, auger holes, set posts and add as needed for spans that floor joists can hold. Laser level and chainsaw tops even, and start your floor.

Sounds like a fun project.

The reason I would only build a small off grid cabin at this point is because there is so much inventory around.

If I wanted to do what you are picturing, I would find a field with a barn that has good framing to it and go from there. You would easily cut that price in half.

Wrap it, side it, roof it if needed, insulate, wire, plumb, drywall etc to get it finished and habitable. Deal with a materials supplier that will show up a deliver it all in one shot.

posted on Aug, 23 2015 @ 01:22 AM
Kids need a play area/

Outside is the best play area.

A large corner of the garage is also a great play area that can change as they get older.

Bedrooms should be to sleep in and not much more


Make the kids bedrooms big so it is their space (and then shut up about how they use it) about 12 * 14 feet.

Kids are adaptable.

What you are considering is great. possibly invest in a cheap, crap trailer while you build.


posted on Aug, 23 2015 @ 03:49 PM
a reply to: Mandroid7

The homes would have the look and feel of a rustic cabin style, but completely modern build qualities like 8" walls, spray foam insulation top to bottom, geothermal heating and cooling with radiant heat in floors, 2x10 acid patina pine siding. Built like a brick.

Exactly the kind of thing I want.

posted on Aug, 23 2015 @ 07:29 PM
a reply to: Domo1

I have been following tiny houses too and here's my feeling, they are so cheap the property tax is so low it will be outlawed. Very few places want them, my city just let the first one get built but container homes are cheaper, they are made from $2500 shipping containers and are tornado proof. In Puerto Rico they put rebar in the cinder blocks to make cheap homes hurricane proof but that's apparently illegal here too. All about the dollars.

posted on Aug, 23 2015 @ 09:10 PM
a reply to: Domo1

There is no such thing as a bad idea, only what is right for you.

posted on Jul, 1 2016 @ 02:59 AM
Yeah, we should do what we feel is right for us. I also dream of a tiny house with the interior of my mother's choice. She loves art works and admires psychedelic art. I have referred many important websites like bluediamondgypsy and listed out the best. Paintings of Jimi Hendrix are the one which both of us like the most.

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