I need a few answers from someone living up North (like Northern Minnesota): I asked for a bid to build a house, but it came in more than we thought we'd have to spend. This house is about 3100 sq ft (1300 walkout basement, 1300 main floor, and 900 upstairs. Question 1): Would there be any problem just getting the house framed and finished only to the point that there would only be a roof, doors and windows, and siding without any insulation? (in other words, no drywall, ceilings, etc - we'd work on it ourselves next summer and travel south for the winter)Question 2): Since money is an issue, are styrofoam blocks really that beneficial for the basement? (we know that in the long run they save money and solve problems, but for now I'm thinin' we should just use concrete blocks and add framing and insulation at a later date).Thanks - standing-by...
Good evening. My name's Kel. I work in Minneapolis and have a cabin in northern Maine. Let me study your question and I'll be back in a minute or so.
Great ! Thanks !!
There's no problem in finishing the house in stages. Since you're building new do some research to find out how user-friendly the plumber makes the piping. YOU want it easy to drain. With no insulation you can't leave water on and in the pipes. You should talk to your insurance agent about the partially finished status. Sometimes there can be fire hazards if there's not finished drywall in place. Styrofoam blocks give you the best performance. I'd find some other way to control costs. IF you do let it go -- framing, insulating and drywalling later would work. Just not as efficient. Greater chance for mold.
IOK, we'll keep the styrofoam blocks, especially since the house will be about 100' from a lake. I didn't think about the insurance, so that was a great input; the bank does not have a problem as long as we get an in-house loan. We'll have the plumbing winterized. Would you recommend that the insulation and drywall be part of the initial stage?
If you can swing it -- yes -- getting the insulation and drywall in the first stage would be a better strategy. Recall -- all the electrical and mechanical rough-ins need to be complete and inspected before the insulation and drywall work. This approach will be safer and more comfortable. You'll be able to work longer before you head south for the winter.
Great! One last: The bid we got used materials from the small town lumber yard, which was 33% higher than Menards or Lowes. Do the smaller lumber yards offer higher grade materials?
You'll have to check the specs CAREFULLY. The reason Menards and Lowes are cheaper is they spec much lower grade materials. This makes working with their lumber quite tedious. Menards and Lowes will spec #3 grades rather than #2. Everything will be lighter, less durable. If you or your builder are quite good at specifying and you're sure lower performance will work for the application will work and last -- then by all means -- go with the cheaper. The onlyt time I buy from either big box guys is when I need to run for a few pieces and can hand select. When you order it, the loaders will throw almost anything on the truck. The old rule Does this make sense?
The system locked up on me. I was trying to end with the old rule -- you get what you pay for.
Pardon the typos. The system is making it hard for me to edit right now.
No problem - Thanks, Kel ! That's what I was going to say, I guess you get what you pay for!! You have made us very comfotable with the choices our builder has made. Great inputs!!
Thank you. Any other questions?