Re: Cost estimates
From: Matt Lawrence (
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2010 02:14:09 -0800 (PST)
In case you haven't read it, I highly recommend "The Grow Home". There are a lot of interesting ideas.

It's also important to remember that most architects are not focussed on reducing the cost to build. Neither are most developers. They are usually interested in marketability and profit margin, even with the same percentage margin, there's more money to be made building a $300K home than a $100K home and it's easier to build one expensive home than three inexpensive ones.

I also agree with you on the subject of sweat equity. With all the overhead, it's easy for someone getting paid $15/hour to swing a hammer is costing the final customer closer to $50/hour. Also, I have been very unimpressed with the quality of the work most of the building tradesmen do around where I live.

On the other hand, many (not all) of the communities I have visited are populated by people who don't have a passion for building things with their own hands. Look at how few of them have workshop space that's even as large as my two car garage. Not having a workshop is as absolute deal breaker for me, but it isn't for most of the cohousing folks I've met.

-- Matt
It's not what I know that counts.
It's what I can remember in time to use.

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