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Author Topic: How much does it cost to build a house in NH?  (Read 32923 times)

eukreign

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How much does it cost to build a house in NH?
« on: September 09, 2005, 12:07:53 pm »

Instead of buying a house in NH we are thinking of bying land and then building our own house. Possibly get a trailer to live in while we build the house. So here is my question: Would it be possible to build a house (4 bedrooms, 2.5 bath, basement, 3 garage) in NH for around $150-200k? Under the following conditions: we are going to be our own contractors (we'll still hire someone to come and check on certain critical jobs) and we'll only hire workers to put in the foundation, frame/walls and roof of the house while we do the interior ourselves (we'll put in floors, kitchen cabinets, bath tub/toilet, etc).

I'm just looking for any kind of input on anyone in NH who has built their own house and what their experience was.

Any advice on buying/renting a trailer to live in for a year or so while the house is being built? How much do they usually run for? Are there better alternatives than getting a trailer?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
« Last Edit: September 09, 2005, 12:16:06 pm by eukreign »
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freedomroad

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Re: How much does it cost to build a house in NH?
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2005, 07:19:09 pm »

So here is my question: Would it be possible to build a house (4 bedrooms, 2.5 bath, basement, 3 garage) in NH for around $150-200k?
I can not afford $150-200k.
$50k would be stretching it. But I still need 2,000 square feet. Can this be done in NH? Will NH building codes allow "novel" construction methods and materials that could build such a house?  Would they even allow the same sorts of log cabins that people had two hundred years ago (though with more insulation and better waterproofing for roofs).

Other Examples
http://radio.weblogs.com/0119080/stories/2003/04/09/theMythAndPromiseOfDirtChe.html

Why not build a big, poorly insulated steel building?  Seriously, though.  It is kind of silly to expect to build a 2,000 square foot house in NH for under $50,000.  I don't understand why you cannot afford $125,000 or so other low number.  That could likely be done if you built in a very depressed area.  Just take in a roommate if you don't earn $10 per hour at your job (or enough to afford to pay your monthly housing bills).
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bartmy

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Re: How much does it cost to build a house in NH?
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2005, 06:36:39 pm »

I am a licensed (I know, big whoop)construction supervisor in Massachusetts, My wife and I just bought 6.1 acres in Grafton, NH and I will be building our house in short order. In the mean time, we will be living in the existing MH at the site (we've already started moving stuff) and I'll be using the barn as my workshop. Building in NH is not very expensive, compared to other New England areas. Wood prices have been fluctuating tremendously the past few years, and that has a huge impact, especially on those 2000 square foot plus homes. I will be building something on the area of 1250 well designed and usefull square feet. I will sub out the foundation digging and pouring, the HVAC system, and probably the drywall. I will be doing the rest with the help of my son (currently 13) who has been apprenticing with me as part of his homeschooling and my wife. I will be doing all electrical, plumbing, masonry, tile, furniture, etc and I expect to spend about $85,000 on materials and subbed labor. Granted, I won't have granite countertops or a tumbled italian marble tile shower but it will be very tastefull and detailed.

I would guess that an inexpensive, RECTANGULAR, two story house with a SIMPLE roofline with a 25' x 40' footprint (1000SQ FT per story) and good quality mechanical systems (furnace, etc) and INexpensive bath and kitchen components and fixtures could be had for about $150,000, if I am judging your skill level correctly and also correctly accounting for the aspects of the build you will handle yourself.
The reason I highlighted rectangle and simple roof is because every foundation jog costs money and livable space and every extra roof plane costs extra materials and labor...Keep it simple and save big. A rectangle is easier to build and easier to heat and simpler to maintain in the long run. Forget those McMansions, they are a waste of materials.

I would recommend reading AS MUCH as you can about the construction process, codes, and supervising crews unless you are hiring someone to do it for you. There are many, many, MANY pitfalls to being your own General Contractor, arm yourself with AS MUCH KNOWLEDGE AS YOU CAN, and maybe you will only go over your budget by 10%, and miss your completion date by two months. I am not kidding!

Good luck to all of you!!! Go for it!!!


Finehomebuilding.com forums are a great resource as is Taunton press in general, they have many, many books.
http://www.taunton.com/finehomebuilding/index.asp
« Last Edit: September 18, 2005, 06:42:28 pm by bartmy »
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ThomasPaine

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Re: How much does it cost to build a house in NH?
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2005, 09:08:07 pm »

Are you asking whether you can build a 2000 sqft. house in NH for 150-200K that includes the cost of land?

TeePee
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eukreign

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Re: How much does it cost to build a house in NH?
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2005, 12:34:54 am »

Are you asking whether you can build a 2000 sqft. house in NH for 150-200K that includes the cost of land?

Excluding land. 150-200K is for the materials and labor of building the house and the well+septic tank.
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ThomasPaine

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Re: How much does it cost to build a house in NH?
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2005, 05:07:12 am »

Are you asking whether you can build a 2000 sqft. house in NH for 150-200K that includes the cost of land?

Excluding land. 150-200K is for the materials and labor of building the house and the well+septic tank.

Yes.

Typically standard construction costs should be in the $100/sqft range.

TeePee
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lloydbob1

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Re: How much does it cost to build a house in NH?
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2005, 06:45:40 am »

The government disaster in New Orleans is, if it hasn't already, going to raise the price of plywood and OSB, which, of course, sheaths every square foot of wall, floor and roof.

I once(70's) read an article in Mother Earth News, although I could not find it in a search of their site, about building with green lumber, unmilled boards right off of the saw. This is how houses were built hundreds of years ago.  They were sheathed with individual boards, although, kiln dryed, 50-60 years ago.

Ther is plenty of this material available in NH.  If you have the time you could purchase it and air dry it yourself.

I know this is not ideal and you won't find a contractor who will build using this material, but, for someone building themselves, this could be an option.
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ThomasPaine

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Re: How much does it cost to build a house in NH?
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2005, 08:46:09 am »

If a sheet of 4' x 8' plywood covers 32 sqft what equivalent board stock would be needed to be just as efficient in sheathing a house?

TeePee
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lloydbob1

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Re: How much does it cost to build a house in NH?
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2005, 10:22:19 am »

32 square feet.
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ThomasPaine

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Re: How much does it cost to build a house in NH?
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2005, 10:33:25 am »

Do they make 1 inch thick by 24 inch wide by 16 foot long board stock?

TeePee
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maffew

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Re: How much does it cost to build a house in NH?
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2005, 10:51:50 am »

Do they make 1 inch thick by 24 inch wide by 16 foot long board stock?

TeePee

I would imagine it is possible to find it, but i bet it would be way more expensive than a sheet of plywood.
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lloydbob1

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Re: How much does it cost to build a house in NH?
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2005, 11:03:20 am »

The government disaster in New Orleans is, if it hasn't already, going to raise the price of plywood and OSB, which, of course, sheaths every square foot of wall, floor and roof.
\
Correction.
"The government NATURAL disaster in New Orleans is, if it hasn't already, going to raise the price of plywood and OSB, which, of course, sheaths every square foot of wall, floor and roof."

Those prices were already nearly doubling due to other causes. Every hurricane season spikes demand for plywood just like every snow season spikes demand for snow tires and every winter spikes demand for heating fuel. Hurricane Ophelia kept demand up after Katrina. Hurricane Rita, Philippe and the continuing string of hurricanes that will hit the American mainland will keep demand up as more people get a clue to board up or else. Eventually the high prices will spur construction of more plywood plant capacity. Meanwhile we have to compete with spiking demand from the southeast every hurricane season.

Quote
I once(70's) read an article in Mother Earth News, although I could not find it in a search of their site, about building with green lumber, unmilled boards right off of the saw. This is how houses were built hundreds of years ago.  They were sheathed with individual boards, although, kiln dryed, 50-60 years ago.

There is plenty of this material available in NH.  If you have the time you could purchase it and air dry it yourself.

I know this is not ideal and you won't find a contractor who will build using this material, but, for someone building themselves, this could be an option.
Why not switch to other materials?  Why not concrete? How does the price of one thousand square feet of stick built wall compare to one thousand square feet of concrete wall?  Roofing systems do seem to have few alternatives to wood sheathing though lighter concrete could be used there as well.

Since New Hampshire, especially seacoast New Hampshire, is has been hit with hurricanes in the past and likely will get hit again, stick built might be better replaced with stronger construction materials.

Correction:  The flooding in New Orleans was a government caused disaster.  I grant you the damage caused by the winds of Katrina in the gulf  is due to natural causes, although, the buildings that were damaged would either have not been there at all, or, would have been damage resistant if not for the government using our money to protect the inhabitants from the realty of nature.

Your right about other causes.  Repairing the damage we did in Iraq caused a major hike in the costs of sheetgoods in this country.  Another government disaster!

I'm sure poured cement is more expensive than stick built, but, I'm not sure about cement block. Laying block is more of a learning curve for the self builder than stick built,  as is stone, using the Flag Method, or, using  short logs ( peeled, 10-16 inches long, running from inside to outside) laid in cement, both of which are more attractive then blocks, and like green lumber, have the advantage of using local materials.

As for a roof, I guess you could use a Ferro Cement method, but, I would just use steel laid over spread out boards nailed to the frame instead of the continous plywood usually found under roofing material.

Damaging hurricanes are rare in NH, 1938 being the worst by far, http://www.nhoem.state.nh.us/mitigation/nh%20Hurricanes%201635-1985.htm
but, it is better to be preparred.  Tornados, also rare, occur in New England  too.
A stick built house can be inproved by strapping the roof to the walls and the walls to the foundation, and using strapping any where else that seems like a good idea. Many early timber frame houses have hurricane braces, diagonal pieces of framing pinned to posts and beams (plates)at the tops of walls and, sometimes the bottoms between posts and sills, a bane to insulators everywhere!
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lloydbob1

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Re: How much does it cost to build a house in NH?
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2005, 11:06:43 am »

Do they make 1 inch thick by 24 inch wide by 16 foot long board stock?

TeePee

There is a premium on boards wider than 12 inches at sawmills.  They may even charge less per square foot the narrower the board.  Cheaper, but, more nailing for you.  Narrower boards are less likely to warp.  16 feet is no problem.
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ThomasPaine

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Re: How much does it cost to build a house in NH?
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2005, 11:21:47 am »

Do they make 1 inch thick by 24 inch wide by 16 foot long board stock?

TeePee

I would imagine it is possible to find it, but i bet it would be way more expensive than a sheet of plywood.

Not if milled on site from the trees available.

TeePee
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ThomasPaine

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Re: How much does it cost to build a house in NH?
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2005, 12:12:30 pm »

Quote
Building near and below sea level in a hurricane-prone coast was stupid and maybe even criminal

How do feel about the loss of wetlands which increases storm surge significantly?

TeePee
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