On Topic The "Custom House Build" Thread


N20GT

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Fuck it, the heathens in the bored thread convinced me to start a thread, plus it's been a slow week on here.

OK this is a goal 8 years in the making, so i'm going back pretty far here.

Summer 2013, 6 months after closing on our current house: Then-gf and I are driving to valpo for wedding planning stuff and come across a gorgeous subdivision that's pretty far off the beaten path. Still in its infancy, maybe 10 houses up at that time (there are about 60 lots, it's a wraparound one-street development). We immediately fell in love but it was a laughable thought at that point in our lives. We were in our mid 20's and had just barely afforded furnishing our current house and didn't have shit for cash lol. But we knew that we wanted to build in there one day.

We kept tabs on it as the years went on, worked hard, saved cash, advanced in our careers and continued our education. By late 2018 we were about ready to buy a lot. I shopped around to make sure nothing else had come up worth looking at, and nothing had. If anything this lot was even more important to me now because there is almost nothing else going up in this area. With Lake county exploding with FIPS, and good developments in south valpo almost impossible to find, it was time to jump.

Spring 2019: Met with the developer of the original subdivision and bought the only remaining lot that I liked. .46 acres, 130' wide and about 160' deep, almost perfectly square. It's on a slope but I didn't really care, great view out the back and you won't be able to see my neighbors from inside the house. I had always planned to sit on the lot for a couple years while we saved cash, developed a floor plan with an architect, etc. It's important to note that the lot purchase agreement designated the developer as our builder, more on this later

Spring 2020: I found the perfect 1.5 story floor plan on homeplans.com. Legit PERFECT to change in to what we wanted. Send it to the builder, he calls me. "I literally have someone about to sign across the street, and their plan is based on the same one". I lost my mind. Had literally looked at thousands of plans and this was the first one that fit the bill (wife and I are both very particular). He talked me down, explained the changes they planned to make, I told him everything I'd want to change, and it sounded hopeful but I was just in a holding pattern until they finalized theirs since they'd already signed. What are the odds....It's not like we were choosing plans from a preapproved list of 5-10 of them, you can literally pick any plan you want from ANYWHERE, tens of thousands of them. At that point I thought i was going to have to start from scratch with an architect, which I was not enthused about.

Summer 2020: I watched the house across the street start to go up, talked with the builder about things we'd need to change (due to the lot layout) and everything else we wanted to change. It became pretty clear that the houses were going to look nothing alike, and that I was going to have a hefty architect bill because this entire house layout was going to be redone. The offset garage would turn to front facing, which in turn basically meant we needed to scrap the entire upstairs and start from scratch due to window placement, the house would be flipped, the pantry/bathroom/master closet/office were all different in our plan vs how they did it, they were going with blue siding, white trim, beige-ish stone and we are going with very light stone/stucco/siding and all black accents (door, roof, garage doors, gutters, soffit etc). This was a major relief.

Fall 2020: Send marked up plans to the architect, with probably about two dozen changes (to start). This kicked off an expensive 5 month process lol. Back and forth and back and forth between myself, the architect, and the builder. Like every change had an unintended consequence or made me think of something else, but I did learn a lot.

Winter-Spring 2021: Meet with the builder about all of our "non architectural" wants. Really started to get a bad vibe at this point, the first time I had thought that after a year of frequent communication. I knew he wanted to retire at EOY and you could tell he had one foot out the door. He takes a month to quote it out, and the price comes back sky-high given the budgets he put in there (in custom homes most items are budget items, ie the homeowner can pick whatever they want but you have to pay cash for any overages to the budget). Long story short I eventually got him to waive my obligation to use him because we were getting to to the point that he wouldn't be able to build our house and retire on time. Tried to get a friend to build it but couldn't get him approved, but we ended up going with a super helpful young guy that gave us a MUCH MUCH MUCH more competitive price than the developer did.

May 2021: Sign Contract

August 2021: Broke Ground (engineering and permits took forever)

Pics to follow
 
OP
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N20GT

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The house highlights & design, not going to post the interior because they are full prints

Main floor master
Huge fucking closet thanks to the wife, it's literally almost as big as the master bedroom
1,130 sq ft garage
11' walkout basement (had to make it deeper due to the grade of the lot)
20' ceilings in the foyer and living room

1630072846405.png


1630072902203.png



The color scheme will be exactly this, but with a black roof as well.

Colors.jpg
 

SpeedSpeak2me

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Landscapers are required to use the finest German scissors to manicure the lawn. Each will be given a Jethro Bodine sized bowl of sugary cereal for boundless amounts of hyperactivity.

1630075467653.png
 

blakbearddelite

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We really enjoyed watching our cookie cutter house being built back in 2018. We weren't gutsy enough to go with a custom home. That looks like a pretty sweet set-up!

We're likely going to have one built next year, but likely just another cookie cutter home.
 
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We really enjoyed watching our cookie cutter house being built back in 2018. We weren't gutsy enough to go with a custom home. That looks like a pretty sweet set-up!

We're likely going to have one built next year, but likely just another cookie cutter home.
We had a lot of fun with our current cookie cutter home also. Signed the contract when they had already poured concrete and started framing though, so we couldn't make many changes.
 
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Gonna be beautiful. How much more does a custom home cost than a cookie cutter home?
Thanks! Really it all depends on what you choose. You're out the architect costs for sure. Aside from that, if you choose all basic stuff, it won't cost much more at all. The problem is the sky is the limit with options. Guy across the street recessed his basement floor 3' in one area and is putting a golf simulator in there lol, I'm sure that wasn't cheap.

It can also cost more if you design a house that would be considered unattractive to most. Then the builder has more risk and probably is not very interested in the project, so if they're smart they are going to charge you more and want more $$ down.

I was careful to make sure we had plenty of room in the budgets because I know how my wife picks stuff. So far we've gone over $2500 on the front door and around $4k on the garage doors and that's really all we've chosen :ROFLMAO:. BUT I'm good with it because lumber is also an "allowance" item in my contract and i'm going to save a literal fuck ton of cash relative to the original quote, so we're way in the black even with our overages.
 

Blood on Blood

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Will pick up trucks and Heap GMs/Fords be allowed into your gated community or is this a High-end German vehicle only subdivision?
 

The Beast

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We really enjoyed watching our cookie cutter house being built back in 2018. We weren't gutsy enough to go with a custom home. That looks like a pretty sweet set-up!

We're likely going to have one built next year, but likely just another cookie cutter home.
U can always do semi custom
 

BADAZZTEALCOBRA

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Fuck it, the heathens in the bored thread convinced me to start a thread, plus it's been a slow week on here.

OK this is a goal 8 years in the making, so i'm going back pretty far here.

Summer 2013, 6 months after closing on our current house: Then-gf and I are driving to valpo for wedding planning stuff and come across a gorgeous subdivision that's pretty far off the beaten path. Still in its infancy, maybe 10 houses up at that time (there are about 60 lots, it's a wraparound one-street development). We immediately fell in love but it was a laughable thought at that point in our lives. We were in our mid 20's and had just barely afforded furnishing our current house and didn't have shit for cash lol. But we knew that we wanted to build in there one day.

We kept tabs on it as the years went on, worked hard, saved cash, advanced in our careers and continued our education. By late 2018 we were about ready to buy a lot. I shopped around to make sure nothing else had come up worth looking at, and nothing had. If anything this lot was even more important to me now because there is almost nothing else going up in this area. With Lake county exploding with FIPS, and good developments in south valpo almost impossible to find, it was time to jump.

Spring 2019: Met with the developer of the original subdivision and bought the only remaining lot that I liked. .46 acres, 130' wide and about 160' deep, almost perfectly square. It's on a slope but I didn't really care, great view out the back and you won't be able to see my neighbors from inside the house. I had always planned to sit on the lot for a couple years while we saved cash, developed a floor plan with an architect, etc. It's important to note that the lot purchase agreement designated the developer as our builder, more on this later

Spring 2020: I found the perfect 1.5 story floor plan on homeplans.com. Legit PERFECT to change in to what we wanted. Send it to the builder, he calls me. "I literally have someone about to sign across the street, and their plan is based on the same one". I lost my mind. Had literally looked at thousands of plans and this was the first one that fit the bill (wife and I are both very particular). He talked me down, explained the changes they planned to make, I told him everything I'd want to change, and it sounded hopeful but I was just in a holding pattern until they finalized theirs since they'd already signed. What are the odds....It's not like we were choosing plans from a preapproved list of 5-10 of them, you can literally pick any plan you want from ANYWHERE, tens of thousands of them. At that point I thought i was going to have to start from scratch with an architect, which I was not enthused about.

Summer 2020: I watched the house across the street start to go up, talked with the builder about things we'd need to change (due to the lot layout) and everything else we wanted to change. It became pretty clear that the houses were going to look nothing alike, and that I was going to have a hefty architect bill because this entire house layout was going to be redone. The offset garage would turn to front facing, which in turn basically meant we needed to scrap the entire upstairs and start from scratch due to window placement, the house would be flipped, the pantry/bathroom/master closet/office were all different in our plan vs how they did it, they were going with blue siding, white trim, beige-ish stone and we are going with very light stone/stucco/siding and all black accents (door, roof, garage doors, gutters, soffit etc). This was a major relief.

Fall 2020: Send marked up plans to the architect, with probably about two dozen changes (to start). This kicked off an expensive 5 month process lol. Back and forth and back and forth between myself, the architect, and the builder. Like every change had an unintended consequence or made me think of something else, but I did learn a lot.

Winter-Spring 2021: Meet with the builder about all of our "non architectural" wants. Really started to get a bad vibe at this point, the first time I had thought that after a year of frequent communication. I knew he wanted to retire at EOY and you could tell he had one foot out the door. He takes a month to quote it out, and the price comes back sky-high given the budgets he put in there (in custom homes most items are budget items, ie the homeowner can pick whatever they want but you have to pay cash for any overages to the budget). Long story short I eventually got him to waive my obligation to use him because we were getting to to the point that he wouldn't be able to build our house and retire on time. Tried to get a friend to build it but couldn't get him approved, but we ended up going with a super helpful young guy that gave us a MUCH MUCH MUCH more competitive price than the developer did.

May 2021: Sign Contract

August 2021: Broke Ground (engineering and permits took forever)

Pics to follow
How much of your planning got changed when you found out you were having a kid? Or was that always the plan anyway?
 

BADAZZTEALCOBRA

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Do you get a better vibe from the new builder than the one who was retiring, or do you wish you would have been able to get the guy you knew approved?

Was there any concerns about getting the friend in there that you might jeopardize the friendship working together?
 
OP
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How much of your planning got changed when you found out you were having a kid? Or was that always the plan anyway?
We always figured we’d have a kid after 5-6 years of marriage, it didn’t change anything. We bought the lot 4 months after he was born

I did always want to be settled in to the “forever house” before he started school though. Mission accomplished there
 

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