Building Materials List?

che1seaAugust 31, 2008

Does any one have a comprehensive building materials list they could share or suggestions on how to come up with one? I want to estimate the cost of building our house but I am afraid I would forget/not think of enough materials to make the estimate quite low.

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We are owner-building, and getting together that materials list was a daunting task. A very good place to start is at your building materials store - I used Lowe's. Leave your plan with a commercial sales rep and they will work you up a materials list with prices. After that my DH did lots of thinking, sketching and planning to come up with some quantities. Mentally walk through your house making note of light fixtures, flooring, ectera. If you're doing this yourself, there will inevitably be something you forget (mine was nails, and we're buying a ton of them!), but you can get relatively close and leave some padding in your budget for extras.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 9:42PM
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I would feel kinda guilty taking the plan to Lowe's for a list right now since I any Lowe's near us won't be one we are likely to buy from. It is also tricky since we are doing post and beam, straw bale.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 1:34AM
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Search the forum. This is a commonly discussed issues.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 9:11AM
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Try this web site and download their Excel spreadsheet

Here is a link that might be useful: Excel cost estimate format

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 1:25PM
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Thanks for your responses. I didn't find quite what I was looking for when I searched last time but I will try again, merging lists and different search terms. Are there many out that that are more specific (ie nails/screws/12-2 wire vs plumbing/wiring)?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 6:59PM
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An owner's construction cost estimate should not be calculated from the size and length of each run of wire or pipe. You are trying to predict what subs will ask for the work so it is best to use unit prices for each fixture and outlet just as they do, unless, of course, you plan to build the house yourself.

You buy a residential cost book from RS Means or others and it will give you every possible category of material with its unit material and labor cost with a modification factor for your location.

If you want it in all on a spreadsheet it will cost quite a bit more. No one does this kind of work for free.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 7:24PM
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Are you saying your house is gonna be built with straw bails? If so, I don't know where you would find an estimate on that because it's very unusual. You would need to find a GC that has done several to get a good estimate.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 10:59PM
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The walls will be made with straw bales (and posts and beams) but we will be building it ourselves, because you mentioned it is unusual and few builders have any experience with it. I am just looking for suggestions on how to estimate the cost of materials only, not labor. I suspect I will just have to gradually make a list as I go about researching and learning how houses are built.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 1:52AM
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The generally accepted estimate is that in the USA, [loadbearing] strawbale will save about 15% materials & labor cost compared to an equivalent stickbuilt house. A number of years ago, the estimate was 5% to 7% saved if you use a non-loadbearing style. People have a tendency to overlook that non-loadbearing strawbale is primarily an insulative value with higher costs in framing and sills. The greater savings in using loadbearing methods is, of course, the differential cost of supportive studwork. The interior walls, flooring, appliances, roofing, etc is the same as for stickbuilt (minus less than ¼ of the separate cost of finishing the outside interior walls). Due to the high insulative values, HVAC may be much less or somewhat more costly, depending on climate and personal preferences. There have been excellent reference books written by structural engineers on the subject of strawbale building (my favorite is by the guy who began his study of SB almost totally anti-strawbale; he minces no words explaining his negativity and is precise in his findings after studying numerous SB constructions). I suggest reading as many as references as you can find; if you must choose between Mr. X (OB), and Mr. Z (structural engineer), choose to believe the engineer.

A secondary contributor to cost-savings is that SB homes are usually quite simplistic in design, often using open floor plans and little hallway space. This very simplicity means there is less money spent for walls and finishes.

And finally -- and this goes for anyone who designs their own house, regardless of materials used -- have your plans approved by a knowledgeable structural engineer. Because SB plans are usually simple, the cost is often way less than $1k for his comprehensive and expert knowledge, which is considerably less than the cost of lives lost due to a roof falling down. IMO, there is no excuse and no forgiveness for someone who builds an unsafe house.

I apologize for what seems to have turned into a rant. My hot-button lights at those who -with no knowledge of the subject- sneer at all SB, AND at those who -with no knowledge of the subject- feel that their designs require no counter-checking by a structural engineer.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 7:47AM
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I'll second meldy's "rant". We paid $2,000 for a Str Eng to draw up a framing plan, and it was money well spent. Makes sure we transfer loads from top to bottom and keep stiff floors... and it can be part of your contract with a framer to guarantee that it's done correctly.

I'll also second that most (but not all) of the folks in the home building line of work don't accept new construction techniques well. Spray Foam, SIPs, Straw Bales, HVAC zoning, Tankless Water, etc. Most just don't want to mess with the unfamiliar.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 8:32AM
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meldy-thanks for the input. I hadn't heard of the 15%/5% study before. I think I may have read the book by the anti bale guy you mention. I know when I first heard of it I thought "what a bad idea.
We will definitely be getting an engineer for the post and beam part of the structure. I don't have the time or desire to learn all I would need to know to be sure the house doesn't fall down on our heads.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 1:11PM
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WTH is this post on the first page????????

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 10:11PM
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please note that this forum has a policy of:

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 5:50PM
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Does anybody realize this is a 5 yld thread?? That's why I was wondering HITH did it get on the FIRST page??

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 7:02PM
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Another spammer showed up the other day, but his post was deleted.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 7:33PM
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