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Old 12-28-2019, 11:58 AM
rerod rerod is offline
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Default Would two 700' houses be cheaper and more DIY than one 1400' ?



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Hello people.

I want to build a small retirement home on a acre in the sticks I bought a few years ago. The property has a 1990 16x80 mobile home I considered renovating, but it leaks air like a sieve, has missing insulation in the floor and storm windows so I don't think trying to make it energy efficient is worth the effort and cost. But taxes are super low..

So Ive drawn up some house idea's with a big tall attached garage tall enough for a car lift, but I wonder if building separate structures would be cheaper because I wouldn't need a poured foundation.

I wondered if building two 700 sq' houses built on piers would be cheaper than one 1400 sq' house on a concrete basement.. I think I can pour piers myself so considering I'm a HVAC guy, I could build the entire house myself.

Has anyone here made the decision to build multiple structures instead of one so that they could DIY and cheaper?

Or should I reconsider the 16x80 mobile home. I figure it costs $100 more each month to heat and cool, but my taxes would jump $2000 a year if I built a new house..

Thanks!
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Old 12-28-2019, 12:04 PM
Nomad, 2nd Nomad, 2nd is offline
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Look up dogtrot houses
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Old 12-28-2019, 12:06 PM
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Barndominium
https://www.google.com/search?q=barn...obile&ie=UTF-8

Tell the county it's an agricultural building
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Old 12-28-2019, 12:10 PM
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I would personally replace the trailer. I dislike trailers from my years of working on them and living in one for a year. They lose value and all the materials are more expensive and are weird sizes. Also they are poorly insulated.

I would go with 1 bigger building instead of 2 small ones.

-I bet taxes would be more on 2 smaller buildings.
-I prefer pour foundation to piers.
-Wouldn't your cost increase because you need 2 water heaters, 2 furnaces, 2 electric services.

Finally the resell value would suck in comparison to 1 big house. Both for price and less people would be interested in 2 small house compare to 1 big house.
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Old 12-28-2019, 12:11 PM
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What you learn from the first you can apply while building the second
Figure the cost of pouring the die versus the cost of digging a hole then Pouring a floor then the walls for the basement consider a masonry collar.
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Old 12-28-2019, 12:12 PM
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Replace the mobile home with another protect it with a large "carport" type structure or a pole barn? Make that large enough to put the lift under it next to the new mobile home? What would doing something like that do to your taxes?
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Old 12-28-2019, 12:56 PM
rerod rerod is offline
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All good points, thanks guys..

The county guess's a value and then levy taxes the structure depending if its AG or living space.. And you can hide from the county, but they eventually catch up and back charge you..

It does make sense to build one structure because whatever savings you have building off of piers would be eaten up with mechanicals..

Rough drawing..
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Old 12-28-2019, 01:41 PM
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How bad is the trailer? Can you fix stuff yourself or do you farm out the work? Would you build the new place or have it done?

Even at $100 a month for the full year is only $1200 out of your pocket instead of $2000.

Have you considered a walk in grease pit instead of a lift. You can have metal strips in the side walls with pegs every 2" vertically. That way you can adjust the floor height for comfortable working.
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Old 12-28-2019, 02:05 PM
Florida Jean Florida Jean is offline
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My grandfather was a builder. He felt that if you wanted to go as inexpensive as possible to aim for something as close to a 'square' as possible.

Example:

10 by 10 sq. ends up being 40 linear feet of wall material.



5 by 20 sq is still 100 sq feet, but 50 feet of of wall.

Roofing is also generally less. And 'square' as opposed to 'long' means it is easier to back to back your plumbing.
***************
Do look at the 'dog trot' home design. [you will also find the type googling 'cracker dog trots'.] The newer versions do use the longer version, but the original were essentially log cabins connected by a roof. Thus, 'sq. log cabin covered area then another sq. log cabin'. Doors often opened on the porch to keep out the weather [optional if porches ran the length of the house].

Of course, the dog trot was a southern adaptation to encourage air flow; the extra roof area would give you more space for solar panels. You can also just warm one section in the winter for living, and the other just warm enough not to harm it.
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Old 12-28-2019, 02:34 PM
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They make residential pole barns ...this may give you some ideas. https://mortonbuildings.com/projects/residential
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Old 12-28-2019, 03:10 PM
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I don't know the definitive answer but from an economic standpoint, economies of scale mean 1 big house will be cheaper than two small ones.

First, the space will be more useful in a larger space. Small houses make for small awkward spaces. Consider a 1000 foot house with 2 medium bedrooms versus 4 small ones.

Secondly, you will need to double everything for 2 houses. 2 furnaces. 2 kitchens, 2 sinks, 2 faucets, 2 front doors, double the number of windows, double the toilets, double all the plumbing and wiring, doubling the showers, etc. Seems very expensive.

Heating and cooling two smaller spaces will be more expensive than 1 house of double size. Also, a lot more work maintaining two homes IMO. For instance, putting a roof on 1 will be simplier than putting a roof on 2 each of 1/2 size. The square feet are the same, but the work will be more than double (e.g. starting a roof, moving all the equipment, etc.). Same with most projects.

I'd go for 1 bigger house. And simply design it to maximize efficiency and cost savings.
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Old 12-28-2019, 03:20 PM
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Two houses have two sets of outside walls to insulate, and lose heat from. One big house would be less expensive (to heat, and cool) in the long run.
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Old 12-28-2019, 04:06 PM
rerod rerod is offline
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More good points, thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charliemeyer007 View Post
How bad is the trailer? Can you fix stuff yourself or do you farm out the work? Would you build the new place or have it done?

Even at $100 a month for the full year is only $1200 out of your pocket instead of $2000.

Have you considered a walk in grease pit instead of a lift. You can have metal strips in the side walls with pegs every 2" vertically. That way you can adjust the floor height for comfortable working.
The 16x80 is pretty solid and someone installed residential doors, but the windows and roof are junk. 2x4 walls and updated 80% furnace but everything else is original. I'm with you, sort of.. I could easily spend 300k on a new house, taxes jump 2k and now I'm paying a **** load of taxes and I'm out 300k.. But what happens if propane jumps from $1.19 to over $2.00 and a kWh jumps from 12 cents to 25? I guess 300k would buy allot of propane though.

What I hate about trailers is crawling around underneath. Like when I leveled it this summer and fixing all the racoon holes in the black plastic rodent barrier, which clearly wasn't a barrier at all. But if I build cabins on piers, i would have a similar "crawl space" but Id be smart enough to enclose it with plywood instead of plastic fabric. At 55, Id like to minimize how much crawling I do, let alone at 70.

I don't know.. Maybe I should re insulate and seal the 16x80, but I better get on it now.. I'm not getting any younger, and then set the trailer up for when I'm old.. Like run the water close to the side, so I can put new heat tape on without crawling under. And also move the deck out of the way..


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoka-hey View Post
They make residential pole barns ...this may give you some ideas. https://mortonbuildings.com/projects/residential
I'm ok with wood for a foundation for a AG building, but I'm not sinking allot of money into a house that has wood in the ground. Id have to use Perma column's on mine, but that doesn't take care of frost heave unless you bury insulation around the perimeter. Plus you need studs every 24" anyway so...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Florida Jean View Post
My grandfather was a builder. He felt that if you wanted to go as inexpensive as possible to aim for something as close to a 'square' as possible.

Example:
10 by 10 sq. ends up being 40 linear feet of wall material.
5 by 20 sq is still 100 sq feet, but 50 feet of of wall.

***************
Do look at the 'dog trot' home design. [you will also find the type googling 'cracker dog trots'.] The newer versions do use the longer version, but the original were essentially log cabins connected by a roof. Thus, 'sq. log cabin covered area then another sq. log cabin'. Doors often opened on the porch to keep out the weather [optional if porches ran the length of the house].

Of course, the dog trot was a southern adaptation to encourage air flow; the extra roof area would give you more space for solar panels. You can also just warm one section in the winter for living, and the other just warm enough not to harm it.
Yeah, I love old four square balloon construction farm houses.. Especially the attic's except the roofs are all cut up. In fact scandinavians I believe build balloon style for less thermal bridging and I'm letting in a ribbon board in the garage wall where the lift is so that I could add another bedroom floor when I, or the next owner, don't need the lift.

I like how dog trot homes look, but they complicate the roof unless it was one big simple roof, and foundation. The cracker dog trots I googled had way to many piers and I wouldn't want more than 6 per cabin. A attached garage would lower my utility bills and I could walk out there in my slippers. And Id want my decks to be on the outside walls of the home for the view, not in between. But a breezeway between two small 700 sq' homes would definitely be needed if I go that route.. My GF and I agree that if we had our own spaces, we'd probably get along better and maybe that's why she hasn't moved in.. But we would need two bathrooms anyway, and the kitchen would be in her cabin, office in mine lol..

One bedroom cabins with lofts or second stories is what I would build, if i did.
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Old 12-28-2019, 04:39 PM
Copymutt Copymutt is offline
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From the breaking ground to the furnishing, no way are two cheaper. Each build has infrastructure of electrical, plumbing, heating, appliances, probably inspections, permits, taxes for each. Around here a new 1600sq ft home goes for around $270.00 per square. ft. The tiny homes run around $500.00 sq.ft.
You’d be duplicating all the infrastructure and possibly service taps for each.
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Old 12-28-2019, 04:49 PM
Don H Don H is online now
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One big house is cheaper than two smaller ones.
A two story house of the same sq. ft. is cheaper than a single story house.
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Old 12-28-2019, 05:01 PM
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The luxury of having a flat home is worth the extra expense to me, if you have the space.
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Old 12-28-2019, 05:07 PM
rerod rerod is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don H View Post
One big house is cheaper than two smaller ones.
A two story house of the same sq. ft. is cheaper than a single story house.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoveman View Post
The luxury of having a flat home is worth the extra expense to me, if you have the space.


You guys are killing me because you both have good points!

So many paths you can take when building. My kid says i should build a underground bunker.. haha

Quote:
Originally Posted by Copymutt View Post
From the breaking ground to the furnishing, no way are two cheaper. Each build has infrastructure of electrical, plumbing, heating, appliances, probably inspections, permits, taxes for each. Around here a new 1600sq ft home goes for around $270.00 per square. ft. The tiny homes run around $500.00 sq.ft.
You’d be duplicating all the infrastructure and possibly service taps for each.
You would cool both of them with mini splits, and from what I'm told, could heat them..

Or why not a boiler in one cabin that has water lines buried to heat the other combined with mini splits for AC? Because Ive read crappy reviews for mini split heat.

Definitely not cheaper, and thanks for clarifying that. But intriguing because of how you could move from one space to the other.

Like.. " Hey honey, Im out" lol
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Old 12-28-2019, 05:14 PM
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Thank you for the new vocabulary word



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Barndominum
https://www.google.com/search?q=barn...obile&ie=UTF-8

Tell the county it's an agricultural building
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Old 12-28-2019, 05:35 PM
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2 or 3 story has the same roof but make sure the stairs can accommodate some sort of old person lift unit. Be sure the bathroom is big enough for a wheelchair, same for all the internal doorways.
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Old 12-28-2019, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charliemeyer007 View Post
2 or 3 story has the same roof but make sure the stairs can accommodate some sort of old person lift unit. Be sure the bathroom is big enough for a wheelchair, same for all the internal doorways.
Very good point. A multi-story uses the same footprint, foundation, roof, furnace, garage, kitchen, front door, wiring and plumbing, etc.
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