Guys, my husband and I are newly married, and are in the process of building our first house. We live in the Caribbean, Trinidad, so building right now is not possible because we're in the rainy season, the dry season starts from february/march or so. House-building here is the most feasible option rather than purchasing a porperty, however, house-building is really stressful. We are going to take a mortgage to start our house, it's a 2 storey, 4 bedroom, 3 1/2 bath, 2 car garage house on 1 plot of land.
Any tip on ways we can save and do things ourselves, apart from painting the house ourselves. We are trying to save as much as we can. The currency exchange here is US&1 = TT$6.4. The estimated cost to build the house from the contractor is TT$850,000. We want to cut that cost and do things ourselves. Also, our plan is to build the house entire house, put in roof, no ceiling until we can afford it, fix and furnish the downstairs and live there while we fix and furnish the upstairs as money comes in.
Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.
Have either of you ever built a house before? Are there any building codes you have to build to?
Unlessopne of you has built a home from scratch and finished it and can prove it, have a ton of collateral or one of you is a licenced contractor there's no bank I've heard of that would lend you the money to even build it.
No one here knows what experience you have, what tools you have.
I'd never suggest a first time DIY do any of the foundation, electrical, plumbing, hanging and finishing sheetrock, framing or drying in, (sheathing, roofing, installing windows, and doors.) it would take you to long and it's a one shot deal to get it right.
There's a 100 and one things that a real contrator has to deal with on site that have to be delt with on the spot and quickly or the whole job can get held up.
In the US no contractor wants a home owner on site "helping" there insurance simply would not allow it.
And it would throw off the whole dynamics of the job site.
Painting, picking out fixtures, lighting, and flooring, installing trim if you have done it before are things home owners could do.
Thank you for your response.
Neither my husband nor myself have ever built a house before, however, we have chosen a contractor who came within our budget. He will be doing the augar piles, foundation and ground floor, decking and step, blocks and ring beams, roof, guttering and underceiling, plastering, plumbing and electrical. He quoted us on other activities such as painting, tiling, ceiling, railing, cupboards etc.
We have a sum of money to start with, how the banks work here is you go in with your downpayment, and they give you the rest that you qualify for. My husband and I both know how much we qualify for, and it works well in our favour.
you might get a buy-in for an "unfinished" home from the general contractor... all the base permits completed, closed in, utilities in... but no interior finishment (floors, walls, cabinets, paint, carpet, etc.)
used to have homebuilders specialize in unfinished homes here in the twin cities area, back before bling was the cart that pushed the horse.
if you were to do that, you still have to do a credible job in finish plumbing, wallboard hanging, taping, sanding, floor installation, cabinet design and hanging, countertops, painting, and the ever cranky finish carpentry of doors and trim. it would have to pass a final inspection before you get a certificate of occupancy, whatever it's called in your neck of the woods.
you will get a fixed time, generally, to do that, like 3 or 6 months. fail, and congratulations, you own the biggest shed in the county... which is now illegal because of size, take it down. and your construction loan is immediately due when the permit time is up.
that's how it works up here. you'd better know those skills before you jump in, or you're taking a massive risk. and you're going to have to convince the local inspectors you know those skills, or they won't trust the work you did and pass it.
it's not as easy to slap up your own house as it was between WWII and Korea.This message has been edited. Last edited by: swschrad,
sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
Seems like you have taken up a great adventure stalpa25. I can only wish you the best of luck with that project. Seems like a big one: 2 storey, 4 bedroom. A big piece for someone with little to no experience if you ask me. Good luck
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