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Constructing an Owner-Built Home in Greater Victoria - Personal Experience


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#21 MarkoJ

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 08:18 AM

Ditto, though my partner is in love with our current 80s split level, so probably won't happen till I downsize in a few decades!

Are the roof slopes as low as they look in the rendering?

 

Yes, it is a 4 on 12 roof.  I went with 9' ceilings on two floors which left limited height for the roof.  4 on 12 also cheaper to roof and with 4 skylights you want a low slung roof.  When you have a high slung roof with skylights you get long skylight tunnels and less light.


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#22 concorde

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 03:38 PM

you should talk about your personal liability for up to 10 years from the date of occupancy should you sell



#23 MarkoJ

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 03:56 PM

you should talk about your personal liability for up to 10 years from the date of occupancy should you sell

 

Looked into it and personally not concerned as this isn't a flip.  If you are building to flip it shouldn't be an owner-builder situation by any means.

 

"The statutory protection provision of the Homeowner Protection Act (the Act) outlines the specific obligations of the owner builder during this period. These obligations are similar to the protection from defects under a policy of home warranty insurance. That is, two years against defects in material and labour, five years against defects in the building envelope, and ten years against structural defects. Please refer to section 23 of the Act for details."

 

If I have to sell after 5 to 9 years due to an unforeseen circumstance it's pretty simple in my opinion.  Call an engineer, have her or him inspect the foundation, if no issues, put the place up on sale.  It's not like you sell after 9 years and buyer can call you back to fix the toilet.  There are limitations to liability.  If there is a structural problem after 5 years I have much bigger issues than selling the house at that point.

 

If the house was on clay I may have considered buying a warrantee but it's all bed rock plus professionally engineered with additional structural walls.  I am dropping $350 each time the engineer comes out it inspect the footings/foundation/etc, not to mention the initial engineering design cost.


Edited by MarkoJ, 07 November 2014 - 04:00 PM.

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#24 concorde

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 11:35 AM

^that pretty much sums it up, I just thought people should know about their personal liabilities, even if they don't intend to flip. 2, 5 and 10 years are a long way out

 

you don't have to have an engineer inspect foundations at 9 years if you sell.  Don't forget the wood framing is also part of the structure

 

I also believe you are required to be registered with Homeowners Protection Office as an owner builder and pay the $425 fee

 

You might also want to discuss the Lien Act, dealing with liens if they are right or wrong, and implications of a lien

 

Not trying to step on your toes, just picking up certain things that may have been overlooked.  You are going a good job so far



#25 MarkoJ

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 01:27 PM

^that pretty much sums it up, I just thought people should know about their personal liabilities, even if they don't intend to flip. 2, 5 and 10 years are a long way out

 

you don't have to have an engineer inspect foundations at 9 years if you sell.  Don't forget the wood framing is also part of the structure

 

I also believe you are required to be registered with Homeowners Protection Office as an owner builder and pay the $425 fee

 

You might also want to discuss the Lien Act, dealing with liens if they are right or wrong, and implications of a lien

 

Not trying to step on your toes, just picking up certain things that may have been overlooked.  You are going a good job so far

 

I know that you don't need to have an engineer inspect after 9 years, but if I was worried about liability I would get an inspection just to make sure I am not selling a home with a potential structural problem.  The framing has so many layers of protection and in my opinion is over-engineered that there is little to worry about there too.  After engineering you hire a competent carpenter, then there is the city inspector, then the engineer who designed the structure also has to come out and inspect everything from beams to nailing patterns.  I am not saying there isn't a chance of a structure problem but you don't see it too often on well-built custom homes.

 

Yes, the fee is $425, you need the HPO registration letter otherwise the municipality won't issue the building permit.  The HPO also did some pretty serious investigation to make sure neither of us had built a house before.

 

Regarding lien act, personally I am too laid back to be concerned with that.  My philosophy is if someone does a shitty job and still demands payment I'll pay them but I certainly won't call or recommend them ever again.  All contractors I am hiring I know one way or another.  I guess the risk is there someone tries to screw you but such is life.

 

If you are an owner-builder new to Victoria and are looking to hire people off usedvictoria then you might want to study the lien act closely :)

 

There is obviously risk to doing an owner-builder approach, but hiring a builder also carries a large amount of risk. From my real estate experience and having seen literally thousands of titles there are quite a few builder liens on new custom homes.


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#26 MarkoJ

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 01:34 PM

There are places in the house where the engineer put in 2 - 3 ply 20'' deep LVLs.  If that structurally fails than so be it :)


Marko Juras, REALTOR® & Associate Broker | Gold MLS® 2011-2018 | Fair Realty

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#27 Mike K.

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 02:02 PM

What's an lvl?

Know it all.
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#28 Nparker

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 02:06 PM

What's an lvl?

Laminated veneer lumber?



#29 concorde

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Posted 08 November 2014 - 06:24 PM

^ you win the door prize



#30 MarkoJ

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 11:56 AM

After the footings were stripped of the formwork there was quite a bit of work to do on the slab including all the plumbing installations and inspections, gravel backfill of the slab, insulation of the slab with at least R10 insulation, and then the actual slab pour itself.  On the outside of the footings we worked on the drain tile installation and city inspection.  After the inspection passed we started backfilling.  Framers coming back next week to frame structure.

 

Video Commentary Part #6 - 

 

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Will pour the garage slab when the roof is on...

 

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Marko Juras, REALTOR® & Associate Broker | Gold MLS® 2011-2018 | Fair Realty

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#31 lanforod

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 12:16 PM

Looking good! What is your timeframe for completion?



#32 sebberry

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 12:48 PM

Planning any exciting structured wiring or home automation installations?


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#33 MarkoJ

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 01:03 PM

Looking good! What is your timeframe for completion?

 

Haven't really thought about it....maybe 8 to 10 months from today?


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#34 MarkoJ

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 01:12 PM

Planning any exciting structured wiring or home automation installations?

 

We don't have anything in the budget for home automation and there is nothing that really screams to me, "I need this."  Wiring just the basics, media panel with cat5e/coaxial in each room, throw in a bunch of in-wall speakers (inexpensive) with volume controls, half decent thermostats, and wire for security system. 


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#35 MarkoJ

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 01:19 PM

Struggling with what to do in terms of heating?

 

Force air (most expensive and would be complicated given design of home) or combination of gas fireplaces, heated tiles in all bathrooms, front foyer and kitchen, inverter heat pump with 3 interior heads, and baseboards for bedrooms?


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#36 sebberry

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 01:25 PM

If you're tiling the kitchen floor, heat that too.  You spend more time in the kitchen than the bathrooms. 

 

Forced air with heat pump for cooling would be nice for keeping the main house comfortable for living and sleeping, then think about a ductless system for the office area over the garage.  This could easily be added any time later on. 


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#37 MarkoJ

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 01:49 PM

If you're tiling the kitchen floor, heat that too.  You spend more time in the kitchen than the bathrooms. 

 

Forced air with heat pump for cooling would be nice for keeping the main house comfortable for living and sleeping, then think about a ductless system for the office area over the garage.  This could easily be added any time later on. 

 

Yea, you are right ideally if money was not an issue I would go forced air with heat pump, natural gas fireplace in living room, heated tiles in all tiled areas including kitchen, and ductless system above garage.  That is the dream setup :)  But I don't think I can afford that much and I think it would be overkill.  The new gas fireplaces put out a ton of heat plus forced air plus heated tiles?!  The force air system alone would be $15,000 to $20,000 when you factor in sheet metal/ducting, additionally framing costs, electric furnace, and heat pump.  With force air to make the budget work I would have to kill the natural gas fireplace, ductless system above garage and maybe heated tiles in a few bathrooms.....not sure I want to do that.

 

I was thinking about not doing the forced air and having an inverter ductless system with 3 or 4 interior heads (one for above the garage, one in main living area, one in master bedroom, and one somewhere else?)  The ductless systems are cheap compared to force air -> Airlux Ductless Pump

 

Also, it lets us have one outside unit while the 4 inside units can all be individually controlled.  

 

One issue I do have with forced air is maintenance.  I've been involved in three real estate transactions this year on homes less than 10 years old where heat pumps needed in excess of $1,500 in repairs (one had to be replaced, one need new coil, etc.).  


Baseboards have a bad rep but in newer well insulated homes I don't think they are as bad as people make them out to be.  Not as efficient as other systems but extremely economical install costs and maintenance (if any) and you also aren't heating the 3 bedrooms you never use :)


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#38 sebberry

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 02:00 PM

I'm not sure how effective the ductless will be at cooling/heating multiple rooms.  Properly sized it will be fine in living/dining areas, but bedrooms and other rooms not directly served by an interior evap unit may end up at a significantly different temperature due to the lack of air exchange. 

 

With those units, all they're doing is recycling the air that's in the room.  With forced air you're pressurizing the room with new air, and return ducts pull air back out of the room. 

 

What about a high velocity HVAC system?  I don't know much about them but installation might be a little more flexible. 


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#39 dasmo

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 02:03 PM

I would go radiant throught. Some floor some base board. Then you can setup some basic zones. Forced air is dusty and noisy. Add an HRV with this for energy efficient air exchange. Job done.

#40 lanforod

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 02:13 PM

radiant is by far my favourite. for carpets, modern baseboard heaters are nice.

 

one advantage of forced air is easy A/C addition.



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