Frank's Self-built Home

Discussion in 'Home Improvement' started by Hal Pollner, Jun 27, 2018.

  1. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    Hey Frank...I'm really impressed with the Arizona home you built for yourself !

    It was the goal of a lifetime!

    What are the specifications? (Rooms, Sq. Ft., Basement, Lot Size, etc)

    Did you do the Framing, Roofing, Electrical, Gas, Plumbing, Water Well, etc?

    We began looking for a retirement home a year before I retired from Boeing in 1998.

    We looked mostly in SoCal, but we also visited a new housing development in Kingman, Arizona.

    I wish we had settled in Arizona instead!

    Cheers,
    Hal
     
    #1
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  2. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    [QUITE="Hal Pollner, post: 259831, member: 738"]Hey Frank...I'm really impressed with the Arizona home you built for yourself !
    It was the goal of a lifetime!
    What are the specifications? (Rooms, Sq. Ft., Basement, Lot Size, etc)
    Did you do the Framing, Roofing, Electrical, Gas, Plumbing, Water Well, etc?
    We began looking for a retirement home a year before I retired from Boeing in 1998.
    We looked mostly in SoCal, but we also visited a new housing development in Kingman, Arizona.

    I wish we had settled in Arizona instead!
    Cheers,
    Hal[/QUOTE]
    @Hal Pollner Thank you! My wife designed the floor plan; no hallways anywhere in the house. About 1600 sq. ft. The two sections facing outwards toward the street are the master BR on the left, 3rd. BR on the right. Kitchen at east end (left), dining/living center, 2nd. BR right end, the only interior walls closed off the master and 2nd. BRs, with a full bath at either end of the house. I drew up blueprints, submitted to Building Safety, County, and the permit was $429. Inspector was a guy named Panzera, strong East-coast accent, good guy, worked with me rather than against. Confessed he was a licensed Plumber, but knew enough to keep me "in the right" on Electrical; I told him I was a Degreed Electrical Engineer, we got along well. Final inspection was done before I had completed all the brick veneer, part of the garage unfinished, a new guy showed up. I said, hey, you're not Panzera! He said, do I look like an Italian from New Jersey? He signed it off, no problem.

    Built on the slab I hand-poured and finished, in 4X8 foot rectangles. Each required ~ 8 to 10 wheelbarrows full of wet concrete. Mixing takes time, and I could not work when extreme heat evaporated water out of the freshly-poured stuff too quickly. Entire building & garage 2X4 framed, entire framing covered with 5/8" 5-ply CDX plywood. Panzera said only the corners needed plywood sheathing, by code. I built for best strength, not code-meeting.

    The lot was one-acre, zoning R-43, more wide along street than deep, 250 feet X 175 deep, irrigation by Salt River Project. I did all the plumbing in copper tubing, sink drains were all oversized at 2", sewerage drain all 4" instead of code-required 3". I laid in the two main drains from each end to the center, wyed they together to go out through the footing in the back, hired a local guy who owned a backhoe, he specialized in septic systems, he obtained the permit, dug the hole, set the tank, dug the leachbed, installed the piping for that, I connected the house drain. He charged $1200. One of the best backhoe men I've ever seen, he hada yuoung helper, son, went down a ladder into the hole with a level, hollered back to the old man, told him how much out of level, almost nothing, he scraped about an inch deeper one end, set the tank, concrete 1200 gallons; code required 1000.

    House all-electric. I had to put up a wood pole behind the shop (that was actually one of the first jobs), mounted 200-amp. service entrance box, dug trench to house, came up through 2" LB through wall of house in 3rd. BR. No breaker panel outdoors, only the meter with a disconnect. To pull the big, I think I used 3-ought mains, into the conduit, my wife and I had to slide the lengths of conduit onto the cable in the trench!

    It took 200+ sheets of drywall. MY wife's Dad insisted on helping; I was grateful. Installing drywall on ceilings is a PITA! We bought building materials on sale, K-Mart, Payless, Home Depot. Drove a '78 Ford Fiesta, little car, the four of us picked up 10 sheets at a time, lashed to top of car, then went to eat! Warned the top could collapse on us, but it didn't happen. Roof curvature "oil-canned" inward, popped out when unloaded!


    The foundation done, working on the slab.
    [​IMG]


    Laying brick on the east end.
    [​IMG]


    Taken before the wall was built between house & garage.
    [​IMG]



    The sand & gravel piles gone, the drywall car, the happy homeowners.
    [​IMG]


    The back of the house.
    [​IMG]
     
    #2
  3. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Veteran Member
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    @Hal Pollner Thank you! My wife designed the floor plan; no hallways anywhere in the house. About 1600 sq. ft. The two sections facing outwards toward the street are the master BR on the left, 3rd. BR on the right. Kitchen at east end (left), dining/living center, 2nd. BR right end, the only interior walls closed off the master and 2nd. BRs, with a full bath at either end of the house. I drew up blueprints, submitted to Building Safety, County, and the permit was $429. Inspector was a guy named Panzera, strong East-coast accent, good guy, worked with me rather than against. Confessed he was a licensed Plumber, but knew enough to keep me "in the right" on Electrical; I told him I was a Degreed Electrical Engineer, we got along well. Final inspection was done before I had completed all the brick veneer, part of the garage unfinished, a new guy showed up. I said, hey, you're not Panzera! He said, do I look like an Italian from New Jersey? He signed it off, no problem.

    Built on the slab I hand-poured and finished, in 4X8 foot rectangles. Each required ~ 8 to 10 wheelbarrows full of wet concrete. Mixing takes time, and I could not work when extreme heat evaporated water out of the freshly-poured stuff too quickly. Entire building & garage 2X4 framed, entire framing covered with 5/8" 5-ply CDX plywood. Panzera said only the corners needed plywood sheathing, by code. I built for best strength, not code-meeting.

    The lot was one-acre, zoning R-43, more wide along street than deep, 250 feet X 175 deep, irrigation by Salt River Project. I did all the plumbing in copper tubing, sink drains were all oversized at 2", sewerage drain all 4" instead of code-required 3". I laid in the two main drains from each end to the center, wyed they together to go out through the footing in the back, hired a local guy who owned a backhoe, he specialized in septic systems, he obtained the permit, dug the hole, set the tank, dug the leachbed, installed the piping for that, I connected the house drain. He charged $1200. One of the best backhoe men I've ever seen, he hada yuoung helper, son, went down a ladder into the hole with a level, hollered back to the old man, told him how much out of level, almost nothing, he scraped about an inch deeper one end, set the tank, concrete 1200 gallons; code required 1000.

    House all-electric. I had to put up a wood pole behind the shop (that was actually one of the first jobs), mounted 200-amp. service entrance box, dug trench to house, came up through 2" LB through wall of house in 3rd. BR. No breaker panel outdoors, only the meter with a disconnect. To pull the big, I think I used 3-ought mains, into the conduit, my wife and I had to slide the lengths of conduit onto the cable in the trench!

    It took 200+ sheets of drywall. MY wife's Dad insisted on helping; I was grateful. Installing drywall on ceilings is a PITA! We bought building materials on sale, K-Mart, Payless, Home Depot. Drove a '78 Ford Fiesta, little car, the four of us picked up 10 sheets at a time, lashed to top of car, then went to eat! Warned the top could collapse on us, but it didn't happen. Roof curvature "oil-canned" inward, popped out when unloaded!


    The foundation done, working on the slab.
    [​IMG]


    Laying brick on the east end.
    [​IMG]


    Taken before the wall was built between house & garage.
    [​IMG]



    The sand & gravel piles gone, the drywall car, the happy homeowners.
    [​IMG]


    The back of the house.
    [​IMG][/QUOTE]
    I admire your abilities.
     
    #3
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  4. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    I admire your abilities.[/QUOTE]

    @Bill Boggs
    Thank you kindly. We attempted the job because of several reasons. I had been laid off from work, no jobs were in sight, my wife found menial work, enough to get by on. Between our two heads put together, I knew I could do the labor myself, but that it would take time, and lots of effort. The lot we bought for $27,000 from the owner, who carried a major portion of the price; think we put down about $ 3,000. Started in 1985. In 1986, I took part-time work with Sears in one of their big Phoenix stores, Metrocenter, doing Maintenance. My boss quickly understood that I was building the house, gave me late afternoon/evening work hours, and soon saw I could work unsupervised, doing mainly electrical work previously contracted out; thus, I saved them money. We moved out of the rented house nearby, into the unfinished home still having quite a bit of brickwork to finish, in 1988. We lived in it until 1999, at which time a friend's brother in law expressed interest in buying it. He did. We knew there was dough to be made by using my labor. We made about $100,000 profit on the sale, bought into a 300-acre farm in Missouri with the friend and my nephew going thirds with us. Thus, we owned a 90-acre place with an old but livable farmhouse, outright, paying $40,000, the whole farm cost $120,000. Neither of us worked after that, but the local high school Principal nearly begged me to take a teaching job there, as he had suddenly lost his Math teacher. I taught for one year, turning down a second year's offer. Tough to find a Math teacher willing to relocate to highly rural Ozarks on short notice!


    The AZ house before we left:
    [​IMG]


    The old farmhouse in Missouri Ozarks:
    [​IMG]
     
    #4
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  5. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Hal Pollner ...."we also visited a new housing development in Kingman, Arizona.

    I wish we had settled in Arizona instead!"

    Why is that, Hal? I'd guess Kingman at just over 3,000 ft. has pretty much similar climate to the Victorville area, maybe a bit drier, but it is always around 10 degrees lower in temp. than along our river here, only 35 miles away. Our county, Mohave, is the 7th. largest in the U.S., and claims quite attractive cost of living numbers. Kingman gets tinged with snow a bit almost every winter.
    Frank
     
    #5
  6. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    I'm getting sick of California and its high taxes, low educational levels, and as a sanctuary state for illegals and criminals. That fool Jerry Brown has been Governor for 4 terms. The state's population is now more Hispanic than Anglo.

    Arizona seems like a state with more freedoms for the individual, and is more conservative than California.

    My brother-in-law lives in Chandler as a lifelong Bachelor, and has amassed a small fortune in Gold Bullion.

    My town of Apple Valley is adjacent to Victorville and Hesperia, and we're all in San Bernardino County, the largest in the USA.

    We've had mild snows once every few years.

    Is your roofing Composition or small Tiles?

    Hal
    012.JPG
     
    #6
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
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  7. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    I almost bought a house in Hesperia once. Unlike most places in California, houses there were affordable, and I liked the place. In the end though, I decided against the long commute to work and remained in a townhouse.
     
    #7
  8. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Hal Pollner "Is your roofing Composition or small Tiles?"

    Composition shingles, and I will say, I wouldn't ever again roof a slope as steep as that one, 45 degrees! The neighbor across the street watched as I roofed it, concerned if I should fall off, I was working alone. "Jacks" had to be fastened below the work area, and I moved about on a 2 X 12. Fastening the jacks was tricky, and they had to be moved often. As you can see, the roof on my shop building in MO was as steep as I'd go, still comfortably "climbable". Cement mixer visible has followed me around the country for many years now!

    [​IMG]



    Here's the rock structure being built.
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    Yeah, Frank...45 degrees is a steep roof! One vertical foot for every foot horizontal foot!

    Harold
     
    #9
  10. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    I've said it before, and I'll say it again, @Frank Sanoica - you amaze me.
     
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  11. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Ken Anderson

    Aw, shucks.........when something needs to be built, someone HAS to do it!
    Frank
     
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