Build Your Own Home and Save!

You can build your own home, even if you’re not an expert carpenter, with the do it yourself home kits from FirstDay Cottage.
August/September 2010
http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/build-your-own-home-zmaz10aszraw.aspx
You can build your own home for less! Do it yourself with a post-and-beam house kit from FirstDay Cottage.


PHOTO: HUNT SMITH

If you would love to build your own home but have little construction experience, the post-and-beam house plan kits from FirstDay Cottage may be your solution. These simple house plans come in five designs, ranging in size from 960 to 1,840 square feet, each for about $32 per square foot. According to FirstDay, almost anyone with determination, a good work ethic, and the ability to operate a circular saw can build one!

David Howard, an MIT-trained architect with a passion for owner-built homes, started FirstDay Cottage in 1995. The company estimates that two workers can build a small FirstDay Cottage in about 15 weekends.

The FirstDay DIY home kit arrives on trucks carrying the structure, sheathing and decking, foam insulation, roofing and siding, windows and doors, building wrap, interior partitions, and kitchen cabinets. Also included are the plans and instructions for the house. What you won’t find on the trucks are the concrete for a foundation, plumbing and fixtures, electrical wiring and fixtures, heating or cooling systems, appliances, countertops, or paint. The homeowners, with optional advice from FirstDay, must purchase their own appliances and hire their own foundation contractors, plumbers, and electricians.

For a three-bedroom, two-bath cottage, FirstDay estimates the cost is about $130,000. Howard says that a conventional building such as this, when finished, will be valued at about $250,000 — instant equity! Plus, the plans have been designed to produce an energy-efficient home, minimizing your utility bills.

To eliminate concerns about building codes, FirstDay cottages have been designed to be built anywhere. According to the company, the kits have been used to build houses in 37 states, and all have met code requirements. Should you need assistance, FirstDay employees are available throughout the building process for advice and support.

For more information, visit FirstDay Cottage online.