After talking about it for a few years, my husband and I are ready to start the process of renovating and adding a second floor to our house. The next step, we're reasonably sure, is hiring an architect--but I've been dragging my feet because I want to walk into those first meetings with a good idea of what I'm hoping to learn from the conversation, rather than just being wow-ed by their sales pitch. The hitch is: I have no idea of what smart questions might be, since I have only the vaguest idea of how this process works. I'm hoping AskMe can fill in the details of "what does an architect do?" and "what do you wish you had asked your architect before hiring them?" [more inside]
This house was once a very nondescript ranch until it received this facade. I'm asking especially about the style of the "fence": The fence is purely cosmetic, as it is about 3 feet from the house and serves no purpose other than to look cool. I've seen this style that uses these horizontal lines, accent lighting, dark natural woods, oversized windows, and is very clean and geometric, though it is very rare where I live. House in question here.
We just bought a new house. Yay! It needs a LOT of work. Boo. How do we make it through the next year with our sanity intact? [more inside]
I have a bunch of (mostly small) jobs that I need done around the house, and I'm trying to figure out how many different tradies I need to hire to do them: installing a bathroom vanity; replacing about ten tiles in the shower; installing a new pendant light; servicing the ducted gas heating; installing underfloor insulation (although I'm considering DIYing this); and removing half a staircase. Do I need to hire a different person for each task, or can they be batched somehow? (I assume the tiles and vanity can be done by the same person at least). [more inside]
I have this pipe dream of settling down somewhere extremely rural and building a self-sufficient, environmentally friendly home. I've got a lot of ideas floating around in my head, but I'm always looking for new ones. How would you go about setting up such a dwelling? (Or how did you do it, if you've done it yourself?) I'm ideally looking for ground-up plans, but all ideas are welcome. [more inside]
My husband and I are at an impasse and I need help either figuring out how to make my case more clearly or ideas how to get myself on board. [more inside]
Has anyone built a guesthouse/in-law suite/studio on their property? [more inside]
I have a deeply nostalgic love for my grandparents' former home, a generic but beloved split level they lived in from the 1950s to mid 2000s. As an artist and crafter with an obsessive love for details, I have long noodled with the idea of making an incredibly accurate recreation of the house in miniature... but I struggle with where to start. Architectural models, dollhouses? What is the best route forward? [more inside]
My husband and I are thinking about having a home built -- a production home -- in one of the many subdivisions in our growing area. We have purchased a home before (and sold it later; not in our current area) but it was older and had been flipped. What do we need to know about the production home process? [more inside]
My husband and I are interested in building a low-cost house (in India, where we live). We've been researching building materials/technologies and cob is something that interested us. But we aren't sure whether cob houses might be prone to getting dusty (in particular, dust-mitey) and set off my allergies. [more inside]
The Mrs. and I are planning to build a house next year on some land that we bought recently. What should we know about house building before undertaking this massive endeavor? [more inside]
My neighbor has expressed a desire to rebuild the wooden fence between our houses. We share one side of the fence with her, and it's definitely in need of repair--warped boards, aging, etc. Should she be fully responsible for paying for the fence, since it was her idea to fix it? Or should we contribute some money since we share one side of the fence? [more inside]
Everything I do, all day, every day, hurts. The more I do things that are painful, the more the pain snowballs. We're going to build a house that we hope will help reduce the accumulation of pain, and maybe even let me recover a little. Help me make sure I'm covering all the bases in house design accommodations. [more inside]
I need help with sourcing unusual building materials for my DIY doghouse that looks like my ridiculous-looking house. [more inside]
Filtering through lenders for a mortgage in a home building situation. [more inside]
Looking into building a house near Golden/Boulder CO area. Planning on using ICF's. Looking for suggestions of almost any kind. Would like the house to be about 2000sqft. Am a teacher and worked construction for several summers (but only w/ stick built houses) a few years ago so I will have some time and rudimentary knowledge. Trying to keep the house as simple as possible to keep costs down. Simple rectangular shape and roof and trying to avoid the need to any custom building supplies. If we keep it under $300,000ish we won't need financing. Is it possible? [more inside]
I want to build a Monolithic dome home! (I think) [more inside]
Say I wanted to buy 1000 metres squared of suburban land to build a house on. Is my family allowed to live in a couple of caravans on the site while the house is being built, or will my local council nix that? I'm in Australia by the way.
My cousin and I live in separate parts of the country currently, but we'd like to go in together on a 10+ acre piece of land roughly 30 minutes outside of St. Louis now with the intentions of both building on it several years down the road. What are we not considering? [more inside]
I am thinking of getting a conservatory put on our house. It's a traditional UK terrace with a "wing" at the back containing the kitchen, bathroom above. About 6 ft wide. The yard to the side includes our back gate so we can't fill that with a conservatory. Our kitchen doors are on the back. I want to find plans that show how a conservatory can work, but googling just brings either conservatory companies (no plans) or estate agent sites (all terrace houses with a conservatory for sale). [more inside]
I want to pay cash for a lot, then have a modular house put on it or have one built. Have any MeFites done this, and what sort of books or people should I be referencing for getting started? [more inside]
Free or cheap or scavenged or used building materials in the GVRD or BC. Where? How? [more inside]
We've never built a home before. Help us not look or act like n00bs! [more inside]
After noticing some small cracks on the interior walls of one room, I went outside and saw several HUGE zig-zag cracks have appeared between the bricks at the back corner of my house. All the indications of a bad case of subsidence. Time to panic; the house is now worthless! What are my options? [more inside]
I'm going to be building a modest split-level home this spring – 1900 sqft – in Madison, WI. Should I expect the cost of materials to be lower or higher than it was to build the exact same house 6 months ago? [more inside]
I want to build a house: 1,500 sq.ft., passive solar/energy efficient features, $100,000 - possible? [more inside]
Is Habitat for Humanity fun? How does living (or not living) in the volunteer housing affect the experience? Tell me about your experiences...
I bumped into my neighbour the other day and he asked to meet with us and his neighbours on the other side. Apparently it is a legal requirement in Ontario that when you undertake serious renovations that you discuss it with the neighbours. So I asked him what he planned on doing. His response: we're going to demolish the existing house and build a new one. [more inside]
Can anyone recommend a good contractor / home builder in the Boston / Metrowest area? [more inside]
What are some advantages and disadvantages of buying a newly built home? [more inside]
Is it cheaper to buy a house or build one from scratch? [more inside]
What causes houses to "beat"? It's very windy here in St. Louis today, and every time the wind really kicks up, I hear a distinct "hoom, hoom, hoom", at a frequency of about one per second. When I was a kid, i thought it was the spinning vents in the attic, by the house I live in now doesn't have those. Spurred by this thread on beat frequencies, I thought I'd pose the question to the AskMe hive.