The Secret Of Building A Great House

by : Gerald Mason

Here are some tips to help you build your own house:

Sometimes a contractor can be found who will lend his prestige and name to your job, inspect your work, give you information and advice as you need it, help you buy your materials for a reasonable fee and the profit on the things he buys for you.

Since he can usually get a liberal discount which is not available to the ordinary buyer, his profit does not cost you anything extra. If such a working agreement can be arranged with an honest contractor, it will greatly simplify both the problems of getting the loan and putting up the building.

The contractor may also be willing to help you with parts of the building on a cost plus a reasonable per cent for his profit, allowing you to do as much of the work yourself as you wish to do. You merely contract with him to do parts of the building. Your contractor would also help you in negotiations with the subcontractors who will do the parts of the building you cannot very well do for yourself.

They will be glad to help you and give you information. You can always find friendly people who will be proud to share their information with you, showing you how to do things. (Some may not want to help you, so don't go back to them the second time.) Be sure the information you get agrees with common sense and what you find out from other sources, as it is sometimes great sport to mislead a beginner who seems to be gullible.

Sometimes you can hire an experienced carpenter by the hour for a few days now and then to help you with complicated parts of the building, as framing the floor, walls, or roof. This way you can do most of the work yourself, having help only when you need it.

Don't let anyone embarrass you by telling you that you have done a certain thing "wrong" just because you have done it differently from the way he is accustomed to seeing it done.

True, there are certain accepted ways of doing many things, but even in our own good old U.S.A. things vary greatly from coast to coast and from border to gulf. Western framing is scoffed at in some places, yet Western houses seem to stand up about as well as any other, even in earthquake zones. Some people are sure that a house with no boards on the exterior walls (just paper, wire, and plaster) is cheaply built and will not last, but many houses are being built that way today, and some of them are very excellent houses.

A two-story house without corner posts-who ever heard of such a thing?-boxed with diagonal sheathing well nailed can be stronger than many braced frames by actual test. Some people even insist that studs go down and rest on the sills, when that is frequently the cause of a gap that often develops between the walls and the floor, and also gives the rats a chance to get into the walls.

If you do a thing so that it makes a permanent and satisfactory job, don't let anyone say that you have not done the work "right;" even if it isn't done the way he has seen it, tell him not to be provincial, that out West or somewhere else it is done the way you have done it.

You are sure to be right, because somewhere things have been done every possible way you could think of doing them, and perhaps some ways that you would never dream of.

How much time does it take to build a house? Several friends of mine have spent their spare time, vacations, and week ends for about two years on the average in getting their houses completed, where they did most of their own work.

If you sub-let practically all of the work, a house can easily be completed in from three to five months.

Houses are often built in a month, but that requires better organization and correlation of the various sub-contractors than is usually possible, except for one who is experienced in the business and who knows the local market and workmen, and has work for them often enough so that they will come just when he wants them.

If you purchase property always use a mortgage calculator to help you get the best mortgage possible.