|RE: Affordability||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Rob Sandelin (floriferousmsn.com)|
|Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2000 07:58:45 -0600 (MDT)|
I would add one other idea, consider the lot development model instead of the capital project model. You buy the lot, and then can self build. This will save you 40% or more, and you can build things such as modular addon designs at your own pace, starting with a small 500 sq foot main room and bathroom, then adding rooms over the years rather than trying to add it all at once. Rob Sandelin Sharingwood COhousing -----Original Message----- From: cohousing-l [at] freedom2.mtn.org [mailto:cohousing-l [at] freedom2.mtn.org]On Behalf Of vbradova [at] bestweb.net Sent: Wednesday, April 05, 2000 8:31 AM To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Re: Affordability AFFORDABILITY I have decided to summarize the various points Chris Hanson makes in his book regarding affordability, since they are scattered thruout the book, and add a few of my own. Quotes are Hanson's. * Dream big. You cannot achieve much of an economy of scale with 10 units. "The more units you create, the less each one will cost, because fixed costs are distributed over more units." * Skip elaborate by-laws; incorporate cheaply and quickly when the need arises, using standard templates. * Consider designating some units as limited equity units for perpetuity (which also means limiting the improvements that can be done to them by any one owner). * Build some rental units for families that cannot buy (yet). * Buy more land than you need, then sell some later to help finance the community. Buy land with a structure that can be rented for the time being. ----- * Build modest size private units (and compensate with generous common facilities). Reduce room size and the number of rooms. Keep the number of bathrooms to a minimum. * Avoid the extra expense of an extended design process. "Let the architect design the private dwellings. In my experience, the cost of participatory desing is high, and the result is often less exciting than what can be designed independently by an experienced architect. One of the costs, besides the time and money, is the bad feelings that can result when no one family gets the private unit they actually had in mind." Select an architect whose work you like, provide them with instructions your group prepared, and stay out of their way as much as possible. * Standardize! Go with a minimum number of floor plans, kitchen and bath designs, siding, roofing, windows and specific equipment such as refrigerators, hardware, plumbing fixtures, moldings, etc. Customization is enormously expensive. Allow a small set number of custom options, and encourage the members to customize individually after the construction is complete. Limit use of nonstandard materials and construction methods. "A well-designed, modest kitchen that can be modified to suit individual needs after moving in, will go a long way toward reducing project costs." * Design the houses with some parts unfinished. When I bought my first house years ago (a triplex townhouse), the downstairs bed-bath area was roughed in and unfinished. (It eventually cost the next owner over $6000 to finish it.) I barely squeaked in for the mortage, and would not have been able to afford it were it all finished. I recently read about a community that left one floor of its common house unfinished also. This can have the added advantage of being able to customize the unfinished space. * Create a separate budget for unconventional features and innovative technologies. And look for grants to help finance them. * Use life-cycle costing for various materials and equipment. Long term affordability is as important as short term affordability. "Choosing materials and equipment with lower operating and maintenance costs will probably have higher initial capital costs, but they usually pay for themselves over time." * Reduce roads, driveways, and paving, and simplify alignments so that infrastructure costs less. Build in tight clusters. * Consider stacked units, or shared units, if possible. Building a few larger units will reduce the cost of the smaller units, if you have some members who can afford the large units. * Simplify everything! * Work with building codes rather than against them. ----- * Do not allow ANY customization during the costruction process, even if the developer is willing to go along. (Even if members agree to pay for last minute changes themselves, some very substantial costs will accrue to the developer and the community as a whole.) * Allow tree removal as needed; else build a clause into the construction contract that will make specified tree removal an expensive proposition for the builder but expect that this will cost you. * Sweat equity: reserve it for post-construction clean up and landscaping. "Don't let the do-it-yourselfers in your group keep your project from getting off the ground. A common challenge for many groups is the desire for some members to take on more than they can handle. Not wanting to spend money, they will attempt to do everything by themselves. I have seen this kill several cohousing groups." * "Letting go and staying out of the way is the most important thing you can do during the construction process. Meddling, interfering or in any manner getting in the way of the contractor's progress will quite simply cost the community money." Vera Bradova, NY
- Re: Affordability, (continued)
- Re: affordability Hans Tilstra, April 25 2000
- Re: affordability Gale Greenleaf, April 3 2001
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