How To Build A House To Be Proud Of

By: Gerald Mason

Do not be in too big a hurry to begin the finish work.

Wait until the plaster is thoroughly dry; two or three weeks should elapse from the time the plaster is completed before the finish lumber, flooring, doors, and cabinets are even brought into the house. Otherwise, the moisture from the plastering will swell the wood and damage the surface of the finish lumber. An extra few days' waiting will result in a much better job of finishing.

An accurate account of the cost of a building should be kept as the work progresses. This is not too difficult if one is careful to keep all bills, vouchers, receipts, check stubs, and all other papers involved in buying the materials, getting the permits, and paying the labor. It is also a good idea to keep an account of the hours you spend in the building work.

Keep a separate account of the time spent in actual labor on the job really building and the work spent in buying, negotiating with contractors, subcontractors, and building officials. It makes an interesting record if a note is made of the exact kind of work done each day, to see how the various kinds of work

consume time. A very young man may wish to hire help for the more skilled types of work and do the more strenuous physical work himself, while a man in his fifties or sixties might prefer to hire the heavy work done and do the skilled and more puttering kinds of work himself.

This will vary with the individual, and the type of help he can get. A person should usually plan on hiring some help in building a house, as it is rare to find a person who can do skillfully all kinds of work necessary to do in a building.

If you would rather build a house than buy one, there are several ways to go about it. You can get an architect to plan the house and get a contractor to build it; this should result in just the "perfect" house for you, but can be expensive unless you are more than careful.

Hire the plans drawn and be your own contractor, letting the work out to sub-contractors, as concrete men, carpenters, electricians, plasterers, etc. Do this only if you have had considerable business experience and have plenty of time to devote to it, as the supervision of these workmen is what you pay the general contractor to do.

You might get plans out of a magazine and proceed as suggested above; or get some experienced person to help you with the plans and build part of the house yourself, hiring professional help only where necessary.

Of you could buy a lot, draw your own plans, and do the whole job yourself, with the help of your family, hiring specialized skills only where absolutely necessary. This is the most work, but can' also be the most fun and the least expensive. Much depends on your experience, your skill, and the time you can afford to devote to the work.

If you decide to hire a general contractor to build for you, select him with care. There are several criteria by which to judge a contractor's ability and competence.

Ask to see several houses that he has built; let him show you the houses, which he should be proud to do, and look them over carefully.

If you do decide to purchase a house always use a mortgage calculator to help you get the best mortgage.

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