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rusty_walker65

Building my own house! Will need advice as I go!

DFW Rusty
2 years ago

After meeting with many contractors and not really having a super warm and fuzzy feeling about the cost and what we were getting I decided to build the house myself. I started this project back in October and have gotten a decent amount done for having minimal help and only being able to work on it during the weekends and some evenings through the week. I am not a contractor, I am a metal fabricator. I have minimal experience in any of this, but with the help of google I am figuring it out as I go. My house is not conventional in any way, it's kind of a barndominium/ slash hybrid home I guess. The house I am building is an open concept home, 2091 square feet, 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath. My wife found the floor plan and I drew up my construction plans in AutoCAD mechanical.


Specs of my house so far:

2' dia. piers that are 6' deep in very rocky soil. These are the main piers for the structural beams, that hold the house up.

1' dia. piers for the flooring.

The structural side of the house is 14x22 beams

floor beam/supports are 6" square tubes,

floor joists are 6" purlins on 16" centers,

Windows are roughed in with purlins then framed with 2x6 wood,

(10) reliabilt vynil, dual pain, single hung, hinged windows 3'x6'. bedrooms, living room.

(3) reliabilt, bynil, dual pain, single hung, hinged windows. 3'x4'. kitchen window. I mulled together.

Front door is kind of a standard insert, metal, 36"x80" w/ 16" side lights,

side door is just a normal metal 36x80, with a window.

roof and exterior walls are metal. Roof is installed, with R10 blanket insulation.

My wall metal and subfloor both were dropped off Monday (2 different suppliers).

Porch is 4x4x3/16" on the deck framing, awning is 4x4x1/8". The wood decking will be supported by 2x4x14ga rectangle tubing on 24" centers. the decking itself will be normal treated 2x6 lumber. I hate deck boards (5/4 boards) they don't seem to hold up real great.

My subfloor (just delivered Monday) not yet installed, is Advantech 3/4" tongue and grooved.



This is the latest and greatest pic of my progress so far. Each time I add more than one pic, it deletes my thread, so I will post one pic with the thread starter and reply with more pics.




Comments (92)

  • DFW Rusty
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    He just called me back...lol..... He said that what we discussed does not account for moisture created within the house. He said that proper venting for the bathrooms, kitchen and for the a/c has to be done. Other wise I will have a damp attick and will have major issues.

  • live_wire_oak
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    🤦‍♀️ A salesman selling.... what could possibly go wrong when Building Science shows differently? Read and UNDERSTAND everything that Dr. Lstiburek has ever written. Science, not sales.

    https://www.buildingscience.com/documents/insights/bsi-005-a-bridge-too-far

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  • DFW Rusty
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Got some work done on the house this weekend. It is just about ready to skin, just have to finish putting J-trim around the front windows and the 2 doors. Our focus this past weekend was on the deck though. I wanted the awning materials all painted before we install the sheet metal. The porch deck and awning are practically done, now I can focus on the handrail, stair cases and handicap ramp and the deck will be completely done.

    However, the next focus after finished the J-trim will be prepping the inside of the house for the OSB. I want to have the OSB inside the house (not installed, just sitting there) before the house is skinned, thus way I don't have to carry 63 sheets of 3/4" OSB through the front door. So this coming weekend will primarily be focusing on that.


    Pics of weekend progress.




  • PRO
    Virgil Carter Fine Art
    2 years ago

    Why are you using 3/4-inch OSB?

  • DFW Rusty
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    I was sold on OSB by the original contractor that quoted building our house. He said he has been using 3/4" Advantech for the last few years. I called him after we decided to build the house ourselves and he said that for what I am doing that 3/4" Advantech would be perfect. So, I took his word and that is what I am using.

  • DFW Rusty
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    I have several more pictures I keep trying to upload, but everytime I do it kicks me out. Not sure if the issue is on my end or what.... grr....

  • DFW Rusty
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago




  • DFW Rusty
    Original Author
    2 years ago



  • DFW Rusty
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    My wife is deathly afraid of heights, but somehow she found herself 13' in the air with a paint brush... lol


  • DFW Rusty
    Original Author
    2 years ago



  • Seabornman
    2 years ago

    I take it you're using Advantech for floor deck. Might as well put it down now. It lasts a long time under rain etc. Sure beats falling through the framing!

  • Cyndy
    2 years ago

    No expertise on any of the metal or insulation stuff, but We used 5/4 Advantech on our build and due to weather/schedules/ etc it was rained on quite a bit before we finally got dried in. It held up beautifully!

  • DFW Rusty
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Seabornman- That is the plan, hopefully start putting it in this weekend.


    Luckily no one has fell through the frame work yet, had a few close calls, but no one fell yet.



  • A B
    2 years ago

    This is such a cool project. Makes me nostalgic for the old kit houses. In the early 1900s countless people built their own house! No version of me ever could have done what you’re doing now, but maybe I could have built a Sears house. They’re now worth hundreds of thousands, even million plus depending on the location. Keep posting pictures! How many sq ft is the house... and I can’t tell from the floor plan but is the right side of the house the garage?

  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    2 years ago

    I hope the end product reflects the construction method of the structure. It would be nice for people to know the structure is made of steel and not a stick built wood house.

  • worthy
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Interesting that the principal of one of the largest Texas bardominium builders, Texas Bardominium, is a follower of Building Science Corp. and specifies foam insulation on all his builds. Here's foam in one of their builds.

    "condensation goes up and out"

    I always thought condensed moisture as a liquid runs down.

    Anyway, rust is part of the charm of steel barns. Corten Steel, the hottest trend among edgy modern architects, is predicated on "stable" rust. Though that stability seems limited to a couple of decades. But in a disposable culture, seems about right.

  • DFW Rusty
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    A B -

    In Granbury, TX there is a little old jail museum and they have a Sears catalog from the early 1900's and listed in that catalog are 2 & 3 bedroom house for something silly like $1800 for all materials. Delivered by rail car.

    The house is 2,091 sq ft heated, 2,677 sq ft under roof, 900 sq ft of deck

    No garage, no car cover as of yet. At the end of construction I am going to build a 50'x53' attached carport that goes off the southwest side of the house covering the side door, part of the front patio and the handicap ramp. The carport will be the entire width of the 40' wide side of our house plus the 13' awning and will extend 50' making room for both of our cars, my boat, rv, jeep, golf cart and whatever other toys I aquire after this house is finished. I will wall 2 sides of the carport (west wall and south wall) thus making it a 3 sided carport with only the front open and a 12' wide pass through bay on the south end of the carport.

    I actually just got a quote for the materials for this from my supplier and I was pleasantly surprised at how affordable materials were. It's $8,300 for the materials to build this huge carport. Reason 397 as to why I am building my own house and not paying a contractor.

  • DFW Rusty
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Mark Bischak- Sadly the house structural will be completely hidden. the only structural that will be visible is the porch awning materials. Everything else will be hidden within the walls.

  • DFW Rusty
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Worthy- I am obviously not knowledgeable enough on the topic to debate moisture in the walls. However, I have been and will be relying on information as it is given to me as well as what I can find on my own. I read through the articles that have been linked in this thread. One of them mentioned about vapor panels between the metal exterior sheets and the purlins on the inside. This is almost to a T what I am doing, except instead of using the hard panels I am using a blanket style that has the same vapor protection as the hard panels. I have contacted Mueller building Inc, and the company that stamped the drawings on my house and both advised me that what I am doing is right and that I will be fine.


    Also, maybe it will help if you know what kind of blanket insulation I am using...

    https://www.lthsteelstructures.com/standard-reinforced-w-batt-bulk-sqft?gclid=Cj0KCQiAmsrxBRDaARIsANyiD1rp9Kh4I_pXtnToU-w0xt3dUeLJPg3G10Ci4EX1VulDPIePw91hKJMaAr4FEALw_wcB



    Spray foam is a better insulator and sealer. However one of the main issues I have with spray foam is it has no sound reducing properties. I have been in a few barndo's with spray foam and it's loud and when it rains you can hear it loud and clear even through the interior insulation.

  • DFW Rusty
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Does anyone have any experience with Steven & sons exterior doors? I have one as our front door and as of this weekend I noticed it needed a little adjusting before we skin the house and last night I started toying with it and it went from ok to bad, then bad to worse. I noticed that there was a small gap at the top of the door, so I started by checking everything for level and square, then checked to make sure it was sitting plumb to the house. All of this checked out ok. So then I found where one of the door wedges was pushed in just a hair too much. I pulled the screw out and pulled the wedge out. At this point I am thinking "how can everything be good, yet the door isn't sitting good". I have not opened the door yet at this point and haven't opened the door in a few weeks. So I pull the door plug and go to push the door open and the thing was so stiff I had to push pretty hard. Once I opened it I could not get the door closed again. At this point I was freaking out a bit. What should have been a 30 min fix is turning into a PITA. I keep checking everything over and over for plumb and square, making sure the door frame is not in a bind. I even checked my rough opening and it's perfectly square. At this point I was frustrated and confused, so I removed all the screws, cut the silicone with a Sawzall and removed the door. I laid the door down on a good flat surface and the door still doesn't want to close in it's own frame. I check it for square while laying down, it was within about 3/32 of an inch of square so it did move a little after being removed from the house. I check the door opening and it's measuring the same width as the door, that means there is no room for the door to close. I called a wood working buddy and he said that most of those multipanel doors come with primer only on the door and that the wood can swell.... Hoping that is not true. If the wood did swell, what can a person do? The wood in question is the 2 pieces of wood on both sides of the door opening. Attached is a picture of the door from Homedepot's website.

    Also, when we installed the door a month ago, we tested it then and it worked perfectly, not issues, good even closure, and swung very even and smooth.


  • worthy
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    FG insulation is way cheaper and faster. Not a bad choice for a disposable building. Still perhaps worth heeding the suggestions of Whirlwind Steel on preventing condensation in metal buildings.

    Such as lapping and sealing all joints of the fg rolls with vinyl tape and insulating directly to the wall rather than between framing members.

  • PRO
    HALLETT & Co.
    2 years ago

    The door was not designed to be exposed to weather- typically in stick build these would go in after the walls are sheathed and the roof is on. Likely the jambs or the door itself has absorbed water.

  • DFW Rusty
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Just had a lengthy call with Steve & sons and the person on the phone acted like they are just going to replace the door. I even told them that the door has been installed but exposed to the elements. The person I was speaking with said the issue is that there is no way to tell if the wood swelled or if they used bad wood. I sent an e-mail with all the info and they said that within a business day I should hear back from someone.

  • DFW Rusty
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    After 3 phone calls and a but load of pics showing how we installed it they are NOT going to warranty the door. They said that the door is supposed to be pre-painted before installation or at least painted within 7 days of installation. Which is fine, it's my mistake. A simple oversight just cost 1k.... :( The suckiest part is they could have saved me some time and just said they weren't going to warranty it in the beginning, because I told them up-front it wasn't painted.


    The real sucky part is that now I have to wait for what could be 3 weeks before I get another door. Although the lady did say if I send the purchase number to her e-mail that she will try to expedite the order for me.

  • DFW Rusty
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    I decided to pay a company to install the blanket insulation & siding panels on my house. They are going to start tomorrow. Equipment is supposed to be delivered today.

    My floor got put to the test Monday, we set about 3500 lbs of subfloor in what will be my master bathroom and not a budge! Very happy!

    3/4 of my subfloor sitting in this picture. The other stack is on the same side, but at the other end. Had to get the subfloor in the house before they skin it, otherwise I would be hand carrying it in through the front door this weekend.


  • DFW Rusty
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Shout out to Steven & Son's doors, my door was built Monday and shipped yesterday. Now it's up to HomeDepot's shipping company JW Logistics to get it to me hopefully tomorrow.

  • PRO
    Minnesota Inspections LLC
    2 years ago

    As a former builder and full time building inspector, I am not a fan of OSB. If there are ever problems with leaks, moisture can be entrapped by finish materials and insulation. All OSB will fail under these conditions. I have see it fail in scores of homes, including my own, where the only area OSB was used was the interior sub-floors. In my home, the OSB failed at the threshold of my patio door due to a faulty seal at the glazing. Wind driven rain entered the home and was absorbed by the flooring's underpayment. The OBS rotted through and even started to rot one of my floor trusses. I would go with plywood all the way. Also, follow the manufacturers installation instructions for all of your building materials especially; windows, siding and roofing. Include a statement for following installation instructions in all of you contracts.

  • DFW Rusty
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Minnesota Inspections LLC- I have heard arguments on both sides of OSB vs plywood and OSB always comes down to if it gets water damaged. However, with Advantech doesn't that help curve that issue?


    My new door came in. Very happy with the customer service at Steve & Son's door. Don't mind my exceptionally dirty truck.... I drive about 1.5 miles of dirt road a day.



  • DFW Rusty
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    The company I hired to install my siding got a little bit done yesterday. They were battling 10-15 mph NW winds, so it was a fight. However so far it looks really good. The pic of my siding doesn't show the color properly, it's blue-ish grey.






  • live_wire_oak
    2 years ago

    Does anyone on that build understand flashing? And that windows are supposed to keep water out of the wall assembly?

  • DFW Rusty
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Do you know how metal buildings go together?


    What is being done on my house is standard for any metal building. The windows are trimmed with what is called J-trim, it goes on before you skin a building. It acts as a rain gutter around the window.

  • live_wire_oak
    2 years ago

    J channel for head flashing funnels water into the walls. Not important in an agricultural structure. Vitally important in a residence.

  • DFW Rusty
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Not if sealant is applied.

  • PRO
    Rachel Zylstra, Realtor
    2 years ago

    following

  • DFW Rusty
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Also, if water getting in is a real concern, I could always build window awnings.

  • PRO
    Minnesota Inspections LLC
    2 years ago

    No weather barrier (Tyvek) over the OSB wall sheathing? I agree on the flashing comment. Proper installation would be OSB, Windows, flash sills, then the sides, then the head with flex tape and flashing tape, install drip-caps over the windows and then install the siding. Were the window manufacturers installation instructions followed? The OSB water resistance generally applies only to construction and weather related moisture. My OSB flooring in my home had a similar weather warranty but failed when moisture was entrapped and the material could not dry.

  • Seabornman
    2 years ago

    Rusty, pay special attention to flashing install. I hope you have a good picture of it. The only spot you should be relying on sealant (not that there shouldn't be sealant all the way around) is the ends of the Z-trim above the window head. You can't help but have a small hole there to plug up.

  • PRO
    Minnesota Inspections LLC
    2 years ago

    Are you insulating and installing a vapor barrier under the floor? A Vapor barrier is a must with OSB and be sure to seal the seams and edges with tape and mastic. I would only recommend closed cell foam for the floor insulation.

  • PRO
    Minnesota Inspections LLC
    2 years ago

    On my above comment, install the weather barrier before the windows.

  • Cheryl Hannebauer
    2 years ago

    following..
    We are about 95% completed on our ICF build here, BC/CANADA-Southen Gulf Islands
    check out some photos on my page under idea books, New Build/Gabe.

  • PRO
    ProSource Memphis
    2 years ago

    It would have to have sheathing installed before WRB. The concepts of a drainage plane and moisture management appears to be nonexistent. A house is not a barn, and can not be built as a barn. Mold is a guaranteed problem.

  • Cheryl Hannebauer
    2 years ago

    following

  • bry911
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Starts thread titled: Building my own house! Will need advice as I go!

    Ignores all advice...

    As someone who has several agricultural buildings and a few houses, I promise you I understand how both are built. This looks like standard commercial metal building construction and is not how it should be done as a home. If you want some free advice, here it is, you have some real moisture control problems and awnings is not going to be the answer.

    Sadly, doing it correctly now would be fairly cheap but it is going to involve people stepping outside their comfort zone and doing things a different way than they typically do.

    Good luck

  • Lynn Heins
    2 years ago

    This is exciting to watch your progress! I'll be following. This is my husband's dream. :) Can't wait to see the finished project.

  • DFW Rusty
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    Minnesota- There will be no OSB wall sheathing. I will be using a foil back panel that will go in-between my purlins. Then I will free-frame stud the inside, use standard fiberglass insulation in the studs and then use standard sheetrock.


    I am only using the OSB on my subfloor.


    The subfloor will be sprayfoamed when completely finished. That will be after I do all the plumbing and electrical.

  • DFW Rusty
    Original Author
    2 years ago

    bry911- I have not ignored any advice. I have read every link posted and have checked every avenue of concern with local experts. I think the only real advice ignored is that it was stated that the insulation I am using as a vapor barrier is for a "disposable house" but will work. However over 50% of barndominiums in Texas have it and the 2 companies I have confided in (now 3 with the company doing my sheet metal install) agree that it will be more than good. So, I would say that no, I have not ignored any suggestions, If anything I have followed up with local experts about every single concern presented in this thread. I have a more than sufficient vapor barrier in place, I have a sealant being used with every window.




  • PRO
    Minnesota Inspections LLC
    2 years ago

    Closed cell spray foam will function as a vapor barrier. Foil back foam panels? I would be sure to seal them to the purlins to prevent moisture intrusion and air infiltration. You don't want the fiberglass getting wet. I would spray foam the metal, as long as you have a thermal barrier, either a spray applied thermal barrier in unfinished areas or gypsum board covering the foam in finished areas. My family's shop was a non insulated metal building that basically rained inside when heated in sub zero weather. No problems at all once the spray foam was applied. They did the spray applied thermal barrier as the shop is unfinished. If you did the spray foam on the walls to local energy code, no need for the fiber glass on the interior walls. Up here we require R-49 for the attic or roof space, that is generally accomplished with loose fill insulation. Spray foam is a great option to prevent condensation on the metal panels. You could also spray the roof panels and add loose fill to make up the difference.

  • DFW Rusty
    Original Author
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    My construction is very similar to our main office at work. 15 years ago we converted an old wharehouse into our main office. Added windows, a new door, insulation, free standing stud frame work on the inside. virtually 0 issues in the 15 years this building has been our office.

    Just went and took these pictures.


    J-trim around doors and windows with sealant.


    Blanket insulation with plastic vapor barrier. The foil backed panels are roll up door panels that we had about 100 of from upgrading all the roll up doors on the property. We trimmed them to fit in the purlins for extra insulation.



  • bry911
    2 years ago

    My construction is very similar to our main office at work.


    I don't have a dog in this fight, so I really don't give a crap whether your house lives like your office or like my home. However, I can tell you that we have a couple of commercial buildings just like this on the farm and your building looks similar to my father's warehouse which has an office. Those are not homes. I don't care how it is usually done, I care about the marginal cost of doing it better and, in fact, the marginal cost of doing it better is low enough that not doing it better is shortsighted and wasteful.

    There is little point in trying to build those to the same standards as my home, the amount of air passing in and out through openings necessary for business make many of those things moot. However, when you attempt to tighten those openings up you don't simply get a tighter house, you get a moldy and/or uncomfortable space. Is it livable? Sure it is, people make due with a lot worse. Is it optimal? No! Is it even suboptimal in any practical way? No! Are you going to believe me or even use the device you are typing your response on to actually investigate whether or not good enough is really good enough? Probably not.

    I wish you all the best. Enjoy.

  • worthy
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    On a tangent:

    Cheryl Hannebauer

    Nice Gulf build!

    But in slanted or cathedral ceilings, densely-packed cellulose or ccspf might have been a superiour choice to the batts you used. More importantly, those voids for lights could be a source of future problems. At least, check they're well-sealed.

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