We own a lot in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. Its value has tripled since we bought it; at this point we could sell it for $100k if we wanted to. We don't want to sell it. We want to build a 500 square foot house on it. We already paid for the permits, saved up the money, and now it's looking like we might fall $10k-$20k short on the total cost to build. Neither of us is employed. Given our extended explanation, how do we make this happen? [more inside]
Where can I find the simplest possible instructions for building a Little Free Library, from wood, from scratch? [more inside]
I am looking for 1 week to month long classes that do hands-on teaching of basic carpentry, plumbing, and wiring skills for people who want to rehab houses. I am considering buying a fixer-upper and need to know what tools I need, how to use them safely, how to conform to the local building code, and when I will need to hire outside help. [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]
Has anyone built a guesthouse/in-law suite/studio on their property? [more inside]
I'm looking to build a ~1200 square foot house in west central Florida. It seems like modular construction (specifically Palm Harbor Homes) is a good option. They claim that due to the home having to be transported from the factory to the site, it has to be built better / to a higher standard than site-built construction, which is especially beneficial in a hurricane-prone area. Do you have any experience or opinion about modular construction? Particularly experience with Palm Harbor, but experience with other modular builders also welcome. [more inside]
Do I need an egress window in a basement bedroom that has no door? [more inside]
Basically I have a very tiny tiny yard behind my place. It gets no sun and there's green carpet there now. One of my thoughts was to make a little 3x3 or so deck to put a couple of chairs on it. But rather than have someone build it, I was wondering if there's anything like a little pre-made, pre-treated deck - like shipping pallets or something only not awful - that anyone sells. It'll save me sawing off a finger or hiring a handyman or filling out permits. And I'd rather not do way too much for something so little.
I have a design for a new construction product, and I'd like to protect my interest in it while I develop and try to sell it. I know very little about searching patents, but my casual searches haven't found any prior art. What should my first steps be? I'm in Australia, but I have family and funds in the USA so I could probably file a patent in either country.
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]
I'm going to be a regular for a friend's live show once a month. My "schtick" is to be a Lucy-esque sidekick to her as a host. The stage is small and I will be transporting it in a car. Any suggestions on how to build something low maintenance and portable? It doesn't have to be fancy or complex, I just have no idea where to start in terms of materials and potential construction ideas. TIA!
Orange Board is a "fully compliant insulated cladding system". Basically, it's sheets of a foam-like plastic material that gets covered with mesh and stucco / render to serve as the external skin of buildings. I'd like to know how this or similar cladding systems compare to traditional building materials, particularly single-brick (brick veneer) and concrete. How does the longevity compare? Energy efficiency? How easy is it to restore the surface, and how often would it be necessary? I'd be happy for any information people can provide.
Soliciting suggestions from handyperson types: How can I reinforce my futon to withstand heavier loads? [more inside]
I'm looking for plaintext or PDF searchable versions of the New York State and New York City Codes. I'm specifically looking for something within the Building Code, but I would also like to have basically every state and local law, rule, ordinance, regulation, recommendation, and suggestion in an actual searchable format. [more inside]
What are good resources for seeing sample house plans and construction drawings? [more inside]
Is there a step-by-step tutorial on how to create working construction drawings with Google SketchUp? This must be on the Internet somewhere but after a weekend of searching and watching tutorials, I still haven't found it. [more inside]
What do you call the metal bars that have two flat parts with a 90 degree angle with screw holes on both sides? I'm thinking of getting some and cutting them to the lengths I need but I have no idea what they're called, any other information on Erector Set like prefabricated elements would also be appreciated. [more inside]
I have decided that I want to start doing some basic woodworking, but I have absolutely no clue what I'm doing. Where to get started? [more inside]
I need to get a piece of 1" thick, 48"x24" wood cut to a simple pattern. The supplier should accept credit cards and be able to ship. Where can I email this pattern to and have the work done? [more inside]
Moving to the (north) Bay Area of California: How do I best ensure that I (and my assets) survive The Big One unharmed? Eg. What should I look for in an apartment (and why), in terms of geology, design, construction, location, building codes, corner-cutting, etc. to best handle a massive earthquake? Expert or engineer advice would be great. (I'm more interested in how to find an earthquake-proof building and area, than in how to earthquake-proof my stuff once it's inside a building.) [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]
How was this ceiling constructed? And what are these "lines" running in it for? [more inside]
Help me design a ramp to fit over a staircase for a dog to go up and down. My parents’ dog has arthritis. My parents house has a hardwood floor staircase that she can’t go down comfortably. She slips and frequently falls down the stairs and it’s obviously painful and stressful for her to go down. I’d like to build her a ramp with some ridges (i.e. pieces of wood set up as crossbars so her feet don’t slip). Two catches inside. [more inside]
Architects, builders, and engineers -- what is the best software for drawing up a basic set of floor plans? What's the most cost-effective way to get a set of working drawings for a basic house rehab? [more inside]
Builders and contractors: is there anything that can be done, after-the-fact, about very uneven, sloped concrete floors? [more inside]
How do I (and possibly my company?) become LEED certified? [more inside]
Books/websites on construction and remedial building techniques for use in developing countries and disaster zones?
Do you know any good books or websites on construction and remedial building techniques which might be considered 'achievable best practice' in developing countries and disaster zones, ideally using resources readily available in those areas? [more inside]
How different are "wholesale" vs. "retail" construction cost estimates? Is there a reason that numbers are varying by 100%? [more inside]
Free or cheap or scavenged or used building materials in the GVRD or BC. Where? How? [more inside]
Set designers, cinematographers, hobbyists, LARP people, carpenters, welders, and geeks: I need tips and tricks for building a one-person "space shuttle" out of cheap materials. It's for an independent HD video sci-fi short, and I would like to build it myself. Budget is $600–$1500 for materials and in-store material cutting/processing. [more inside]
Help me think about and plan boat building. [more inside]
Where can I pick up strenuous physical labor in DC on an occasional, volunteer, or (extremely) part-time basis? [more inside]
I like the mood and health benefits of exercise, but hate the inherent pointlessness of the activity. Short of going into construction work, what are some activities or hobbies that involve physical exertion, but to some other purposeful end? [more inside]
It seems to me that bricklaying would be more efficient if house bricks interlocked like Lego blocks. Why aren't they made like that?
I want to build a house: 1,500 sq.ft., passive solar/energy efficient features, $100,000 - possible? [more inside]
Is there anywhere to look at Pella replacement windows in or around London? [more inside]
CarpentryFilter: What solutions, traditional or otherwise, might I employ to fix the problem of exposed points of wood screws?
CarpentryFilter: What solutions, traditional or otherwise, might I use to fix a problem exposed points of wood screws? [more inside]
I'm relatively crafty, but inexperienced and largely ignorant of building construction. What are the best tools to learn masonry, preferably stone masonry, first as a hobby but potentially as a career? [more inside]
Construction/Surveying: Optical level vs. transit/level. Exactly what is the difference? Level only does horizontal vs. horizontal and vertical? How much advantage (in real use) is a transit/level? If I get a Northwest 500A Standard Level and not a Northwest 500A Transit Level, will I kick myself later? I never expect to do "real surveying". TIA
Cost of building a tennis court? [more inside]
Can anyone recommend a good contractor / home builder in the Boston / Metrowest area? [more inside]
I want to build a shed-sized cabin, but don't know how to design it, in terms of making it attractively-proportioned and inviting to be inside of. It must be shed-sized (treehouse-sized) in that its floor plan can't exceed 120 sq ft, so we can make it without planning permits or beaurocracy. [more inside]
How do you build a house? [+] [more inside]
What the hell is that thing that builders use for checking something is level called? The ones with the yellow liquid, and the bubble that has to be between the lines. I can't for the life of me remember.