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    SitePrep/Must Haves.

    Some Good Ideas.

    Now that you have done all the leg work and paperwork to get to this point, you can get started. But first I am going to run down a short shopping list of things you might need and will need.

    DO NOT FORGET THIS, Lumber and copper are a commodity, prices go up and down like yoyo’s so keep a check on them. I did some research on this recently and found that lumber prices are usually at their lowest in, Nov, Dec and Jan, but ask that question at the suppliers when you go to get an account set up (that was a stock price based on an average 10yr history and may take a bit longer to trickle down to the retail market) It might help in your timing to start.

    Copper, and I wish I had known this at the time, copper prices change all the time by a lot, eg; when I got mine it was $75 for a 250ft roll of 12/2 That was at Lowes and it was lower than the wholesalers by price. Three months later at Lowes it was $45, did I kick myself, Hmmmmmmmm! Just something to keep a look-out out for.

    If you have not got or thought of yet, get yourself a couple of notebooks.

    One notepad you will need for keeping track of the expenses, payments for the help and contractors, the money you paid for materials, etc. and a good place to keep a contact list

    The other notepad is for, notes, ideas, to-do lists, shopping lists, questions for the inspector and so on.

    For miscellaneous expenses, (allow about 5K in the loan budget for this).

    Set up a business (not a personal) account at Lowes, for the unexpected things that come up, and the delivery charge for materials is about half the cost of the personal account. I also had a project account at Home Depot.

    Another good idea is to get with your local building supply merchant, tell them about your project, and open an account with them, and ask about their prices and what kind of contractors discount they would be willing to give you if you got all your materials from them (you probably won’t get them ALL there).

    I did get all my lumber from mine for three reasons, 1, I had been going there for about ten years, 2, the prices were very competitive and 3, they also did the take-off for my materials from the plans for free, that also saved me a lot of time.

    Always be on the lookout for a deal, I had most of my cabinets before I even broke ground, I had found them on craigslist, brand new and it saved me more than a couple of thousand, the cabinets I didn’t have I made.

    BIFEN. This is an absolutely have to have, you will need it throughout the project, this is something you can get from a local seed or feed & supply store if you’re not familiar with it, it’s for bugs and comes in a 1Qt container, looks off-white and creamy and costs around $30. But you WILL need it and it will serve its purpose throughout the build, you might also think about some hand pump sprayers you will need some of these. I started out with need 3, 1 gal, and 2, 2 gal bleach resistant sprayers, I found these to be less expensive to get in the late fall.

    If you don’t have one yet, get a 100ft tape measure, you will need it.

    A nice comfortable pair of timberland work boots, I wore mine for the whole build they keep your feet warm in winter and cool in summer.

     A roll of caution tape (just for site safety reasons)

    If you are doing a lot of the high up work yourself. Be on the lookout for some scaffolding that someone might be selling cheap, (craigslist is a good place to look) again this is something you can re-sell at the end and get your money back, 4 to 6 stages should do it, I got lucky I knew someone who knew someone who had some and was not using it anymore and loaned it to me for the duration of the build.

    An extension ladder is something you will need.

    Site must haves.

    The Pole, The Pipe, and the Potty

    ACCESS. Every home site is going to be different, mine is in a farmland field that has a ditch running along the road frontage side and north and west sides, the south side was my neighbor’s yard, so I needed road access. Now I am starting to ask questions, I didn’t know the deal, What I had to do was go to a pipe supply company and get some DOT approved driveway pipe and get it to the site, set it on the inside of the ditch where I wanted it put and call the DOT, they actually come and put it in for you for free, “Yay” another winner!

    Storage space, If the building inspector will allow it, get a conex shipping container for storage. They run around 2k delivered and is something to sell on at the end or rent one. At the least have somewhere to store things protected from the weather.

    Before you can get really stuck into it, you are going to need a temporary power pole put in, your electrician should have one or know where to get one,(its better if he has one already then you don’t have to pay extra for one) and he should know exactly where to locate it, my pole was placed about 20ft from the main power line (that may have been the requirement by the county or the power company, I don’t know, I DIDNT THINK TO ASK, DUHHH!).

    Next, you will need a PORTA JOHN, definitely shop around for this one as prices can vary quite a bit, and adds up over the time of the build especially if you run over on the completion time. Don’t forget to include this in the construction loan costs.


    Site Prep.

    Now at this point, you want to get everything ready for your first inspection. Temp power pole will have to be inspected, once this is done you can call the power company to get you hooked up with the meter

    Good idea, if your pole is more than a 100ft away from the home location, Get a roll of 12/2 wire and make up a cord that will reach all the way to the back of the home with at least 4 outlets on it, in an exterior box of course, as it will be open to the elements until you get dried in.

    Is the location of the home on the property high enough to where water doesn’t pond up, or will you need to create some drainage, do you need to bring extra dirt in to build it up, do you have trees and shrubs that need to be cleared, as I mentioned earlier all sites are different, ask questions if your not sure what you will need to do, ask your mason doing the footings and foundations what he thinks should be done, having got this part done, what the inspector will need you to do is stake out on the site where the house is going to be and mark where the front door will be, this is for the benefit of the health inspector so that when he comes out he can figure out where the well and septic need to be, and after he does his soil and perk tests he will leave a marker as to where each of these need to be located.

    Having got all this done and passed inspection, again depending on your location and situation with access to water, you might want to get the well put in and inspected and install the pump so that your mason ( aka, “Bricky” where I come from) can do his work.

    This is also a good time to check in with the log supplier and the crew to erect them, let them know what stage you are at and check on what their schedule looks like. This will give both parties a time frame to work with.




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