Trying to keep this build "modest"...
Many of you know my saga in this new life, but since DH has passed, it is more important than ever to keep this 1635 SF house build in a "modest" price range.
My contractor came last night for his first draft for the digging of the crawl space, removal of trees, and the cement work done in the foundation and garage floor....BUT it was over his estimate by $7,000!...this was the first and I hope the last shocker!...seems the cement contractor's bid did not include the garage area~~DUGH!...but he did do a great job, so paid the bill and trying to think of ways I can maybe cut down on some costs.
I am "thinking" of changing from 9 to 8 foot ceiling height..would save on lumber, sheetrocking, insulation, siding, paint, etc. Since it is just me living there, I don't mind 8' ceilings. So my question...would this be a wise decision?
I am using a pearl painted cabinets in the kitchen...could save by using stained, but there is only one window in the kitchen and it is covered by a porch roof, so doesn't get much light in there, so need to keep them light. I think I have decided to use laminate counter tops other than granite.
I do want hardwood flooring in the kitchen, and I am looking at hickory. Has anyone had any experience with Lowe's flooring? They are about $3.00 SF cheaper than a flooring company. I will be using carpet in the bedrooms..about $2.00 SF, and tile at $1.79 SF.
I also decided that I will not put in a fireplace...but will buy a electric one instead. We had a gas fireplace in our former build and we really didn't use it all that much and I can get the same "feel" with an electric one....they have really improved them so much.
My contractor likes to use Anderson 400 series windows...he thinks they will help in utility bills. He is pricing double hung compared to the casement. Some think that a person pays for the "name" using them.....so is there another brand that meets the same quality at a less expensive price?
I will use a walnut stained birch for the cabinets in both the master and guest bathrooms with onyx molded tops.
My contractor likes hardiboard (I think that is the name) for siding...prepainted at factory...so I can keep everything as maintance free as possible, because at 70, I don't need to try to keep up the outside. We will use a 30 yr. shingle. I'd like to put some stacked stone to trim up the front, but will have to see what that costs.
Is there ANYTHING else that any of you seasoned builders think I could do to keep within modest budget? I am building cost + with an Amish crew that has a great reputation for being honest and they make sure everything is done according to code.
Since my departed husband was an architect and contractor, who was "supposed" to be here helping me build, I have to rely on the opinions of others....but I have built three other homes...one by myself, so I have a little knowledge of the building process, but funds are not what they used to be now...so your help is GREATLY appreciated. I am trying to think of this build as an "investment" other than spending it...I am just moving funds from my bank account into this house...and hopefully, myself or my kids can make a profit when it is sold...this might save my sanity writing these big checks! Thanks!