Effendi builds a Howse

After fixing up many houses I decided it was time to actually build one. Well, supervise the build, it would take forever if I did the actual work. Though with a nod to my actual fathers porridge wog heritage, and my step dads Yorkshireness, I shall of course, being a tight b'stard, be doing some bits myself, like putting in the kitchen, bits of plumbing, some painting, and other odds and ends......better a quid in my pocket than theirs.

The land is in our possession as of last month, should have been January............"Covid ya know"......allegedly. Everything seems to be late due to the plague.

I spoke with the designer chappy this week and he is amending the plans/drawings as we speak, then they will be off to an engineer to do his bit. Unlike the UK where architects are clever people who spend 7 years becoming fully qualified it appears that here either a BS degree, or a quick masters sees you ready to rock, more or less. Unlike the the UK here an architect draws pictures of houses with little to zero understanding for the work that goes into actually building a house. Therefore you have to send it off to a qualified engineer to transform the architects magnificent pieces of artwork into functional engineering quality drawings that take into consideration the practicalities of an actual build.

This is the place I am planning on building, a real far king gin palace of a place in a style that is called contemporary ranch style. It will be built using insulated concrete forms, they look like big polystyrene lego bricks, and the roof will be raised seam steel to cope with the Texarrse weather. External walls will be stucco over Austin snake stone.

430057LY_Render_1573063513.jpg


I'll post the odd piccy and report on progress.
 
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I know it's Texas but it's spelt house.

Howse, as in Piglets Howse.

Not that most Texans would know which was the correct spelling anyway.
 

Ritch

LE
Good luck! One piece of advice.

Do not... I repeat - DO NOT - take any advice from @MrBane .
 
Is that not unusual for the States, to use stone/concrete instead of wood? Better plan though.

Good luck.

The usual is, as you rightly say, to have timber framed houses. Originally they were built as a cheaper alternative to brick homes. The they decided that they should charge as much for them as they used to charge for brick homes and they became the norm. Timber framed houses are a bag of wombats pooh, they leak air, they need constant maintenance as the shifting and variable wind conditions causes cracking. They are also no good in high winds whereas ICF houses will stand up to 200mph winds rather than blow away when there is a light tornado, or hurricane. It used to be that it cost around 5% more to build an ICF house, yup a whole 5%, and they never bothered. Then with covid the cost of lumber for construction went up 300% making it much cheaper to build with ICF. Now lumber seems to have settled at 70% above the pre-covid price and shows no sign of coming down anymore - why bother, they paid 300% over, so they'll pay 70% over.
 
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I just bought a new one. Time to downsize now the boys have left home. Went for a 5 bedroom split, the deciding factor was the full length bar with brass foot rail, beer taps, full fridge, theatre popcorn machine, and dishwasher in the basement. I am in the process of commissioning a neon sign to inform all and sundry that they are now in "The Fox and Gynecologist", and looking to add a bandit or two.
 

Awol

LE
The usual is, as you rightly say, to have timber framed houses. Originally they were built as a cheaper alternative to brick homes. The they decided that they should charge as much for them as they used to charge for brick homes and they became the norm. Timber framed houses are bag of wombats pooh, they leak air, they need constant maintenance as the shifting in variable wind conditions causes cracking. They are also no good in high winds whereas ICF houses will stand up to 200mph winds rather than blow away when there is a light tornado, or hurricane. It used to be that it cost around 5% more to build an ICF house, yup a whole 5%, and they never bothered. Then with covid the cost of lumber for construction went up 300% making it much cheaper to build with ICF. Now lumber seems to have settled at 70% above the pre-covid price and shows no sign of coming down anymore - why bother, they paid 300% over, so they'll pay 70% over.
Incidentally, the price of building materials over here have gone through the roof (SWIDT?), but I honestly can’t see why. Most people have worked through the pandemic and a lumberjack in a forest has no reason to hide at home, he’s only going to speak with a couple of people a day. I suspect it’s just a reason to jack up the prices to obscene levels. By the same token, tradesmen are now charging nearly double for their services.

I’m getting job offers literally everyday from agencies who have mysteriously found my email address from somewhere offering work (carpentry and joinery) at £30 an hour, double the rate of a couple of years ago.

Again, I can’t see the justification for it, but it is what it is. Unfortunately my (half a) stomach has a habit of turning itself inside out every couple of weeks, so I can’t take advantage of the current gold rush.

Oh, ICF?
 

Arte_et_Marte

ADC
Moderator
Incidentally, the price of building materials over here have gone through the roof (SWIDT?), but I honestly can’t see why. Most people have worked through the pandemic and a lumberjack in a forest has no reason to hide at home, he’s only going to speak with a couple of people a day. I suspect it’s just a reason to jack up the prices to obscene levels. By the same token, tradesmen are now charging nearly double for their services.

I’m getting job offers literally everyday from agencies who have mysteriously found my email address from somewhere offering work (carpentry and joinery) at £30 an hour, double the rate of a couple of years ago.

Again, I can’t see the justification for it, but it is what it is. Unfortunately my (half a) stomach has a habit of turning itself inside out every couple of weeks, so I can’t take advantage of the current gold rush.

Oh, ICF?
When you say 'over here' are you talking about the UK? The price of a lot of stuff has increased because there is a shortage. Our kid (a builder) travelled 40 miles for 6 bags of cement yesterday. That cost and hassle will go to the customer I'm afraid. It's outrageous really. The big builder snaffling it up doesn't help either. Four large pallets in Jackson Buildbase were reserved and they can't say when the next delivery is coming in.

Timber has increased 30% since March, the choice (low) and price (high) of house bricks is staggering. Trying to get an exact match on a twenty year old house is getting harder and harder. 6' Plaster board is running low, so he's using the smaller stuff. That's more expensive because he needs more per sq ft and it takes him longer. All added to the customer bill.

I blame Dianne Abbot.
 
That’s ******* lush!

When’s the top floor going on?

I know its a joke, here though single storey is better because of tornadoes. Sometimes they can skip over a single storey house where if it was a two storey job it would just lift the entire (timber framed) lot off the foundations. The wifes boss was hit the year before covid; the edge of the tornado hit the house of the bloke over the road so that it took the brunt and it more or less skipped over H's house, still causing a couple of hundred $ worth of work.......prices all seem to go up when there has been a tornado.
 

Awol

LE
When you say 'over here' are you talking about the UK? The price of a lot of stuff has increased because there is a shortage. Our kid (a builder) travelled 40 miles for 6 bags of cement yesterday. That cost and hassle will go to the customer I'm afraid. It's outrageous really. The big builder snaffling it up doesn't help either. Four large pallets in Jackson Buildbase were reserved and they can't say when the next delivery is coming in.

Timber has increased 30% since March, the choice (low) and price (high) of house bricks is staggering. Trying to get an exact match on a twenty year old house is getting harder and harder. 6' Plaster board is running low, so he's using the smaller stuff. That's more expensive because he needs more per sq ft and it takes him longer. All added to the customer bill.

I blame Dianne Abbot.
I always blame Diane Abbot.
 
After fixing up many houses I decided it was time to actually build one. Well, supervise the build, it would take forever if I did the actual work. Though with a nod to my actual fathers porridge wog heritage, and my step dads Yorkshireness, I shall of course, being a tight b'stard, be doing some bits myself, like putting in the kitchen, bits of plumbing, some painting, and other odds and ends......better a quid in my pocket than theirs.

The land is in our possession as of last month, should have been January............"Covid ya know"......allegedly. Everything seems to be late due to the plague.

I spoke with the designer chappy this week and he is amending the plans/drawings as we speak, then they will be off to an engineer to do his bit. Unlike the UK where architects are clever people who spend 7 years becoming fully qualified it appears that here either a BS degree, or a quick masters sees you ready to rock, more or less. Unlike the the UK here an architect draws pictures of houses with little to zero understanding for the work that goes into actually building a house. Therefore you have to send it off to a qualified engineer to transform the architects magnificent pieces of artwork into functional engineering quality drawings that take into consideration the practicalities of an actual build.

This is the place I am planning on building, a real far king gin palace of a place in a style that is called contemporary ranch style. It will be built using insulated concrete forms, they look like big polystyrene lego bricks, and the roof will be raised seam steel to cope with the Texarrse weather. External walls will be stucco over Austin snake stone.

430057LY_Render_1573063513.jpg


I'll post the odd piccy and report on progress.

Most splendid. Our house has an ICF foundation; you’re exactly right, big polystyrene Lego blocks. Best of luck!

4F25F4AC-976F-4190-A324-5FD1EFF5B90C.jpeg
 

Joker62

ADC
Book Reviewer
Someone please tell me what ICF stands for????

;-)
Inter City Firm, the West Ham hooligans, other than that I can't help.
 
Someone please tell me what ICF stands for????

;-)
[wah] Insulated Concrete Forms / Formwork.[/wah]

Essentially a polystyrene mould that's then filled with concrete so you get a solid one piece concrete wall rather than individual bricks held together with mortar.

You probably could have googled "icf house bricks" like I just did though or read it in Effendi's post at the start of the thread ;)
 

ex_sigs

Old-Salt
If anyone has a question house related, I’m a chartered building surveyor and design and manage many a new build. I’m happy to Chuck my thoughts out there if you have a question.
 

Awol

LE
[wah] Insulated Concrete Forms / Formwork.[/wah]

Essentially a polystyrene mould that's then filled with concrete so you get a solid one piece concrete wall rather than individual bricks held together with mortar.

You probably could have googled "icf house bricks" like I just did though or read it in Effendi's post at the start of the thread ;)
Thanks. I’m not an idiot and, not being an idiot, obviously I did google ‘ICF’ but it brought up two pages of institutions and companies using those initials. After that I gave up because I’m weak and can only stand a limited amount of business jargon.

I didn’t google ‘ICF house bricks’ because I had no idea they were anything to do with house bricks.

Having said all that, I appreciate your common sense reply, and think the polystyrene filled with concrete is about as good a building technique that you can get..... as strong as hell and with more insulation that almost anything else.
 

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