Having Just Built A House
I built my first new construction house. Overall, I learned a lot. Having a good blueprint is critical. I also learned that making changes to the plan after you start construction can create confusion if not properly communicated to all the contractors. For me, since it was my first one, I tried to keep it simple. I had never framed before so I worked along side a framer who had built dozens of homes and garages. He was very experienced at framing, windows, siding, roofing, and soffit and fascia. It was cold building in the winter, which I wouldn't do again. It makes building more difficult with the snow and cold. Also, if I did it again I would want to frame with a framing crew so I could get the shell up faster. If I built the same house again I would do it a lot quicker this time.
It was a valuable lesson to start from scratch. I just had the land and we started digging a big hole in the ground. I hired an excavator to dig the hole and a concrete contractor to build the foundation. It was pretty amazing to see and experience the transformation from start to finish. I was the general contractor and owner and helped with pretty much everything, but the excavating, foundation and the electric, plumbing and HVAC. It takes a lot of work and a lot of experience to get good at building. I would have to do a few more to get really good at the trades. Now that I have experience building one I think I can get the process down a lot better. The trades takes a lot of experience or natural talent to really get everything squared the first time.
I would and will build again. I would like to do a one story single family home, but the price just doesn't work with the cost of construction. Right now I like duplexes and triplexes and fourplex because I would be looking to hold for the long term. New construction is risky though if you don't know what you are doing. I would not advise anybody to do it without getting experience first or work with a very experience framer or carpenter. Hire somebody that knows about foundations as well. If you get the foundation right and the house square then it should be ok if your mechanical guys do their job.