5g and some change. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 48 Old 03-05-2019, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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5g and some change.

Almost a complete newbie here with a ideal and a little money to throw at it.

I want to build as much of my new house as possible in about three years. One of the resources I will be using is pallet wood as I have access to useable (free of chemicals) pallets for free. I plan on, as of now, using this resource for floors, countertops, and anything else we can think of that makes sense. I’m also thinking about making my own doors, windows, and whatever else I could learn to make in the next three years.

I have a some room to put in a wood shop and between 5 and 6 grand to buy equipment some core equipment to get me going.

I have a cheap miter and bandsaw now, and a few hand tools.

My question is this. What should I buy? I was thinking 36” Sawstop, 6” jointer, plainer, and dust collector. I’m limited to 115v for.
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post #2 of 48 Old 03-05-2019, 02:19 PM
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I have never built a house. I have little practical knowledge. I will ask, are you prepared for the significant increase in time needed to use salvaged wood?


I wish you good fortune in your upcoming project.
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post #3 of 48 Old 03-05-2019, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by subroc View Post
I have never built a house. I have little practical knowledge. I will ask, are you prepared for the significant increase in time needed to use salvaged wood?


I wish you good fortune in your upcoming project.
Thanks
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post #4 of 48 Old 03-05-2019, 03:37 PM
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How long do you expect this house building project to take?


Finding pallet wood that is suitable for use in eating area could be a problem.


George
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post #5 of 48 Old 03-05-2019, 03:39 PM
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How thick is the wood? Flooring is thicker than the top slats. Remember that they would be rough cut. Would you have to plane them smooth? Building your own home- what is your time worth and how much do you have in every seven days? Let us know how things go.

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post #6 of 48 Old 03-05-2019, 05:21 PM
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I think it is an iteresting idea, but I don't see it as viable.

Pallet wood is not high grade wood, it has defects, and typically isn't kiln dried.

With enough time and effort you could likely make some flooring, I wouldn't use it for counters, if you want inexpensive I would do concrete.

Windows and doors need straight, stable lumber. Not the typical attributes for pallet wood. Plus you want some degree of energy focus on windows, doesn't make much sense to use free wood, and spend thousands over the life of the window because it isn't efficient.

I've seen people do a lot of atypical things, it will be your house, so it is your choice, I personally wouldn't do it.

To address your question, table saw, good miter saw, air compressor, various air nailers, drills/drivers, sanders, the list goes on...

Last edited by shoot summ; 03-05-2019 at 07:05 PM.
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post #7 of 48 Old 03-05-2019, 06:42 PM
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Do you have a plan which step (electrical, plumbing, insulation etc) of the house is first? I would highly advise getting the house framed and in the dry first and foremost. Do you have enough time to mill all your materials and a place to store them ahead of time. You will find that would save you a lot of time. It can be very frustrating to mill as you go because you will have to stop, set up and mill quite often.

My main advice would be plan, plan, plan. Research, research, research. You will be very sorry if you don't. Do you know what size the rough openings are for specific size doors and windows? Do you know what size headers for each open span? Do you know how to place fire stops and where? Do you know codes for each part of the house? If you live where inspections are required, an inspector can eat your lunch if you don't know the codes.

You should buy a book or find some one knowledgeable in knowing what sequence each phase of your build will be first. If you get them out of order it can be a nightmare to work around somethings that have been installed before their time.

I am not trying to talk you out of anything, I am just giving you a heads up from my own experience. I did build my own home but I also built many others as well. lol
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post #8 of 48 Old 03-05-2019, 07:06 PM
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I designed and drew my own plans .....

I hired a general contractor who then hired different crews for rough framing and drywall. I did footings but not the slab. I did HVAC duct work. I did electrical. I hung most of tyhe doors and did the trim. The windows were installed by the rough carpenters and the T111 siding as well, but that has all been replaced by me, and every exterior window has been moved/relocated by me. I did a roof bump up on the main house and shop requiring steel beam inside for support..... 660 lbs X 20 ft long up an Oak tree on a block and tackle X 2 for the second floor. The garage addition was built by my buddy a great framer. That needed a 1500 lb beam 29 ft long. The shop required 2 - 27 ft beams about 1000 lb each up 10 ft from the floor. I did the drywall on the ceilings 5/8 X 10 ft sheets, maybe only 8 ft? but dang heavy. Im did the electrical in the wood shop, the main shop and the garage and had it inspected. It was so well done the inspector asked who did it. Me, I said. Nice work, he said.
I did a kitchen addition which cost about 40K including quartz counters, appliances, 13ft X 13 ft with large windows. Cabinet planning and installing done by me. Range hood fabrication done by me in stainless steel. Industrial grade vinyl 18" square floor tile hired out.


So, that's 2 remodels and 2 additions. Kinda feels like I did the whole enchilada.
Floor plans and tape on the floor will tell you a lot about traffic patterns which you need to have for good work flow and livability. I had a formal background in Architecture and Industrial Design, so some things came easier than without that experience. I was comfortable drawing in scale using a T square and triangles.
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post #9 of 48 Old 03-05-2019, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
I hired a general contractor who then hired different crews for rough framing and drywall. I did footings but not the slab. I did HVAC duct work. I did electrical. I hung most of tyhe doors and did the trim. The windows were installed by the rough carpenters and the T111 siding as well, but that has all been replaced by me, and every exterior window has been moved/relocated by me. I did a roof bump up on the main house and shop requiring steel beam inside for support..... 660 lbs X 20 ft long up an Oak tree on a block and tackle X 2 for the second floor. The garage addition was built by my buddy a great framer. That needed a 1500 lb beam 29 ft long. The shop required 2 - 27 ft beams about 1000 lb each up 10 ft from the floor. I did the drywall on the ceilings 5/8 X 10 ft sheets, maybe only 8 ft? but dang heavy. Im did the electrical in the wood shop, the main shop and the garage and had it inspected. It was so well done the inspector asked who did it. Me, I said. Nice work, he said.
I did a kitchen addition which cost about 40K including quartz counters, appliances, 13ft X 13 ft with large windows. Cabinet planning and installing done by me. Range hood fabrication done by me in stainless steel. Industrial grade vinyl 18" square floor tile hired out.


So, that's 2 remodels and 2 additions. Kinda feels like I did the whole enchilada.
Floor plans and tape on the floor will tell you a lot about traffic patterns which you need to have for good work flow and livability. I had a formal background in Architecture and Industrial Design, so some things came easier than without that experience. I was comfortable drawing in scale using a T square and triangles.
But what was the OP's question?
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post #10 of 48 Old 03-05-2019, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subroc View Post
I have never built a house. I have little practical knowledge. I will ask, are you prepared for the significant increase in time needed to use salvaged wood?


I wish you good fortune in your upcoming project.
I think I am. I'm getting pretty fast at braking them down and de-nailed. I'd guess I have about 3000 lbs. ready to sort and process. And that's runners and skid boards. Thats in about a months time.

It will be interesting to see how much useable floor boards I get out of this first 3000 lbs of reclaimed wood.
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post #11 of 48 Old 03-05-2019, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Pineknot_86 View Post
How thick is the wood? Flooring is thicker than the top slats. Remember that they would be rough cut. Would you have to plane them smooth? Building your own home- what is your time worth and how much do you have in every seven days? Let us know how things go.
It'd be a 1/2 in. floor at minimum with the understanding that there would be more maintenance involved because of the thickness and quality of the wood.

As far as time is concerned, I get it. Monetarily speaking this sucks for my time. But the memories and work ethic my kids MAY get is worth it to me. Plus if Im lucky enough to pull this off I will have a one of a kind house that will probably be built pretty well knowing myself.
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post #12 of 48 Old 03-05-2019, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by shoot summ View Post
I think it is an iteresting idea, but I don't see it as viable.

Pallet wood is not high grade wood, it has defects, and typically isn't kiln dried.

With enough time and effort you could likely make some flooring, I wouldn't use it for counters, if you want inexpensive I would do concrete.

Windows and doors need straight, stable lumber. Not the typical attributes for pallet wood. Plus you want some degree of energy focus on windows, doesn't make much sense to use free wood, and spend thousands over the life of the window because it isn't efficient.

I've seen people do a lot of atypical things, it will be your house, so it is your choice, I personally wouldn't do it.

To address your question, table saw, good miter saw, air compressor, various air nailers, drills/drivers, sanders, the list goes on...
Thanks for the honest feedback. I should clarify that I would not be trying to make doors and windows out of pallet wood. I would just need to learn to make them.
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post #13 of 48 Old 03-06-2019, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BigJim View Post
Do you have a plan which step (electrical, plumbing, insulation etc) of the house is first? I would highly advise getting the house framed and in the dry first and foremost. Do you have enough time to mill all your materials and a place to store them ahead of time. You will find that would save you a lot of time. It can be very frustrating to mill as you go because you will have to stop, set up and mill quite often.

My main advice would be plan, plan, plan. Research, research, research. You will be very sorry if you don't. Do you know what size the rough openings are for specific size doors and windows? Do you know what size headers for each open span? Do you know how to place fire stops and where? Do you know codes for each part of the house? If you live where inspections are required, an inspector can eat your lunch if you don't know the codes.

You should buy a book or find some one knowledgeable in knowing what sequence each phase of your build will be first. If you get them out of order it can be a nightmare to work around somethings that have been installed before their time.

I am not trying to talk you out of anything, I am just giving you a heads up from my own experience. I did build my own home but I also built many others as well. lol
We are trying to plan! We assume one thing, then do our resesrch and find out that we assumed wrong and have to rework the plan from that point (cart before the horse,). Good thing is I have three years to plan. I wish I had ten years, though! Honestly I feel a little stuck right now. Im sure that will change latter this year when we buy our land and get a better ideal about what will fit the land to suit our eye.

I've never built a house. So, Im going to pay architect or structural engineer to give me a plan that Im able to execute, myself with help of course. Probably worth saying that I'll pay to have whatever foundation we go with done by the pros. As well as the elctric and plumbing. More tomorrow..........
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post #14 of 48 Old 03-06-2019, 12:49 AM
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I hate to rain on your idea, but please don't do it. You said you have never built a house, I have. You won't have the knowledge, the tools. If you are thinking of using pallet wood, this indicates you won't have the resources to finish it. Talk to a professional, get an idea of the cost and see if you can afford it.
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post #15 of 48 Old 03-06-2019, 01:04 AM
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Yup, I didn't answer the OP's question, however.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by shoot summ View Post
But what was the OP's question?

I think I may have shown him that building a house, even rebuilding it is way more involved that he might have thought. And more expensive.


I already had all the tools and a fair amount of experience, but it was still an incredible amount of work and I had a full time job and worked every bit of overtime for the extra money which meant there wasn't a bunch of free time. Commuting was an hour each way as well.




The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #16 of 48 Old 03-06-2019, 02:25 AM
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What @EdS said. I helped build a room addition and a large house. The house took over 5 years to build.

The very nature of @Bdillon's questions tells me much. It is clear that he/she is nowhere close to ready. Reading between the lines, this thread seems more about finding justification for buying tools, not identifying the requirements to fulfill a well-thought-out home building plan. I would advise Bdillon to do some careful introspection. Here are a few thoughts for Bdillon:

Learn a lot more about building houses. Read books. Take a class. Talk with people who do it for a living. Find people who built their own homes and ask them to tell you what it took to get it done - drawing plans, filing them and getting them approved, getting inspections, etc. (Hint: Bring a six-pack to share.)

Consider teaming up a contractor who will work with you to build your home, and give you some of the "subcontracts." Talk about which subcontracts you might want to take on. The problem with this approach is finding a contractor who would do that. They probably do not exist at all.

Hire a contractor to build the basics: Foundation, framing, basic plumbing, exterior, roof, etc. Once the shell is weatherproof, you take over and finish the job - do all the ductwork, electrical, insulation, plumbing, drywall, finish carpentry, etc. That includes getting the inspections approved, too. At some point early on, you secretly move in and live under primitive conditions while you continue to work. (DAMHIK - There were plywood floors and no insulation for a long time. I slept in a sleeping bag on a stack of drywall for years.) Finding a contractor who will do this may not that much easier. Who is legally responsible if you cannot get the house to pass final inspection?

Getting inspections passed is extra hard when you an owner/builder. Inspectors may or may not like contractors, but they hate owner/builders.

If you want a $5000 woodshop, that's fine, but be realistic about the reason you want it.
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post #17 of 48 Old 03-06-2019, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
I think I may have shown him that building a house, even rebuilding it is way more involved that he might have thought. And more expensive.


I already had all the tools and a fair amount of experience, but it was still an incredible amount of work and I had a full time job and worked every bit of overtime for the extra money which meant there wasn't a bunch of free time. Commuting was an hour each way as well.



I agree, I could actually do it, every part of it, and there is no way I would consider it, even if I wasn't working and could focus only on the house.

I would consider small pieces, but even then it is so much better to hire someone that their only focus is to get your job done, not a weekend/afterwork warrior.

I just thought it was funny that all of us gave him some advice on what he described he was doing, not the actual question he asked which was "what tools should I buy?".
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post #18 of 48 Old 03-06-2019, 08:51 AM
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Maybe be off track a bit but my wife and I have been remodeling for some time. Longer than I care to contemplate. Never again.
One thing about building your own house is to check with the local government entities about codes for electrical, plumbing, masonry, etc. Do it wrong and having to start over could be expensive. Had this happen to a friend.

FWIW, there was a Youtube video or some such about making flooring out of plywood. Not really complicated but interesting. I thought the look of plywood with walnut strips at the joints would be attractive.

A diamond is how coal reacts under pressure.
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post #19 of 48 Old 03-06-2019, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Pineknot_86 View Post
Maybe be off track a bit but my wife and I have been remodeling for some time. Longer than I care to contemplate. Never again.
One thing about building your own house is to check with the local government entities about codes for electrical, plumbing, masonry, etc. Do it wrong and having to start over could be expensive. Had this happen to a friend.

FWIW, there was a Youtube video or some such about making flooring out of plywood. Not really complicated but interesting. I thought the look of plywood with walnut strips at the joints would be attractive.
Over on garage journal there is a member that made his own flooring, did an outstanding job. The amount of work to do it was immense....
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post #20 of 48 Old 03-06-2019, 10:03 AM
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i have built my own house, and like you wanted to do it all. I made all of my interior doors, cabinets, etc. but I bought flooring and windows. was hard enough doing it with store bought lumber - took 18 years. you will want a shop as you described - minimum - nice tablesaw, jointer min 6", planer, min 12", drill press, bandsaw or jig saw. and space!


I contracted out the basement/foudation and shell framing (first 11 days), because I knew I couldn't get it weathered in fast enough.
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