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Meanwhile, America’s House of the Year is Done

Y’awl come out to see us if you can.

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  • Rob Muir July 17, 2021, 9:09 PM

    I’ve been watching Mr. Wadsworth’s YouTube channel for a few years now. I believe I first started watching his videos about anvils and blacksmith work. Even so, the spec house build has been very exciting to watch come together. Beyond being himself a master craftsman in many fields, Scott knows the experts to call in when he needs to sub out some work. Above all he is a gentleman as well as a kind soul to share his knowledge with us mere DIY hackers. I’ve learned a ton from him.

  • ghostsniper July 18, 2021, 4:13 AM

    Most likely never get out of it what he has into it.
    Having never seen the floor plans, I’m guessing this will market for about $600k-$800k.
    In that price range most buyers want truly custom, to THEIR specifications.
    A “speculation” house in that price range will sit for quite awhile.
    The monthly money outflow will take it’s toll and the owner will search frantically for an exit sign.
    99% of all spec homes are designed and constructed to attract the most common buyers and they all sell fairly quickly. Frankly, early on I figured the site itself was a poor choice and a handicap.

  • TANSTAFL July 18, 2021, 6:17 AM
  • Vanderleun July 18, 2021, 8:19 AM

    Sorry Ghost but I will bet you $100 here and now that it goes for MORE than the asking price. It’s a famous house now. A celebrity house where the house is the celebrity.

  • Dirk July 18, 2021, 9:05 AM

    Homes across Oregon are going for from 30.000 to 60.000 above asking price. A place next street over just went for 500.000 150.000 more then it’s worth.

    Folks down south are selling their homes they purchased for 25,000 to 50,000, for a cool mil often more. Here,homes are on the market less then 2 weeks and gone, most in just days. It’s crazy, Calif Washington state back East. Moving in.

    With the ability to work from home, people are pulling chalks, moving to the rural areas. Pisses me off, they were the problem, and the solutions where they lived, didn’t lift a finger to problem solve.

    Now their here, their politics their liberal ways. Most are in for a rude awakening, this place is hard core conservative. These fine folks will “ splain” the rules politely the first time, if a second explanations needed. Not so politely.

    We love it here, for these very reasons, forest fires and all.

    Custom anymore really means a few more electrical plugs, maybe a ceiling fan or large two car garage, or two plus one.

    For twenty plus years lived on a dead end street. Past three years the road was punched thru, and maybe fifteen new “ Custom “ homes built. When we do our daily walks we go look at the builds, kinda fun to watch em come together.

    When constructions complete, I honestly don’t see custom interior add ons. These places are going from 350.000 to 450.000.

    What’s amazing is it’s partial board, old bent 2×6 crap wood construction. Nowhere near the quality of the “ old block homes. real wood, real craftsman, on slabs, 1978 era construction. The workmanship is hands down better in the older part of the hood.


  • ghostsniper July 18, 2021, 10:48 AM

    @Dirk, there’s novice custom, like you described, and real custom, where clients hire people like me. So far this year I have designed 24 new homes, more than the previous 2 years, and only 2 of them were real custom, 20 were novice custom, and 2 were specs.

    The road we live on is a little over 2 miles long and 2 of the homes on it have sold this year. Each was on the market mere days and I’ve heard both sold for more than the asking price.

    Regarding the LIEberals moving to your area and changing things. It’s happening here to. There are only 15k people in this county and I believe most are conservative. But. The counties flanking us east and west are both LIEberal college places and that stuff is bleeding over here. Just last week I was reading in the local rag the county commissioners are debating indebting the property owners into perpetuity with some sort of federal grant for a plethora of “improvements” that are going to kill the conservative foundation. They vote on this every year and thus far they keep thwarting it. But each year new people from the big cities move here because our county is so idyllic and they want that too, but then they see the reality of it when they move here and want to “improve” it. I bet in the next year or so that grant will be improved then all sorts of criminal gov’t behavior will take over and this idyllic place will be just another gov’t ghetto. My wife and I are aggressively searching for acreage elsewhere. A place where large scale dangerous animals (LSDA) out number the people. LSDA have no pretenses. They don’t lie. They don’t pretend to be your friend then bleed you dry through your ass pocket. I understand LSDA very well. If they kill me they eat me and if I kill them I eat them. What could be simpler? This is not true with lying assed people. I prefer animals.

  • ghostsniper July 18, 2021, 11:52 AM

    You’re right Gerard, I hadn’t considered the celebrity angle.
    Nothing brings out the maniacs faster than the possibility of becoming a youtube star.

  • John Venlet July 18, 2021, 12:04 PM

    Homes across Oregon are going for from 30.000 to 60.000 above asking price. A place next street over just went for 500.000 150.000 more then it’s worth.

    Here in my neck of the woods of Michigan, a dozen plus homes, in an older established, and somewhat exclusive, neighborhood have sold in the $600K – $800. Each of these homes has been torn down and is being replaced with a $1.5 million to $2 million dollar home. Too rich for my blood.

  • azlibertarian July 18, 2021, 1:36 PM

    The internet is an awfully large place, and none of us can know but a fraction of it. But I have to believe that Scott Wadsworth has to be one of the ten most decent men found on the internet.

  • EX-Californian Pete July 18, 2021, 2:01 PM

    I was shocked and pleasantly surprised to see that my home value has now risen almost exactly 40% since I purchased it outright (cash) in late 2018. My property taxes (now due in a few days) also went up, but are still less than $900 per year. And we don’t even have any kind of “housing crisis” here.

    After seeing that well drillers in CA and other western states are backlogged with new orders by 9 months or so and the drilling costs have skyrocketed, I thought it might be wise to get an estimate for having a well drilled and attached to the ancient (but intact) cistern on my home. The estimate was less than $3800, and a 4-5 week waiting period. No permits or inspections needed. Not bad.
    I got another estimate that was around $3100, but it was from a company with a reputation for lesser quality service.
    And I can’t help but wonder what might happen to the housing market in western states if & when the ‘exceptional drought’ turns out to be very-long-term or permanent.

    Ghost- since you’re an Architect, maybe you can answer a question that I can’t find an answer to.
    The open entryway between my living room and dining room has two little “doodads” that I don’t have a freakin’ clue as to what the proper name of them are. They are decorative kind of “mini-columns” attached to the jambs and floor, have semi-intricate molding & trim, (similar to a raised panel door) stand about 3′ tall, are hollow, and are obviously non-structural.
    What they hell are they called? I think they used to call them “columnettes” or something, but have found no references to them on the web.

    If you can solve the mystery, I’ll gladly buy you a sixer of your favorite brew. Thanks.

  • ghostsniper July 18, 2021, 3:10 PM

    @Pete, I’m having a problem picturing your description. If they are floor mounted, free standing columns, that do not connect to the ceiling, they could be bollards or newel posts – like at the end of a formal stairway. Typically they will direct foot traffic so as to facilitate furniture placement.

    BTW, $3800 for a well is a real good price. Here, I was told $7k to punch the hole down to 100′ and then $100 every 10 feet til they hit water. They couldn’t give me a maximum price cause they don’t know how far down they have to go. They don’t keep records of other wells here. BTW, careful with that existing cistern. It may not be structurally sound and may allow ground water leaching through the walls or floor. At the very least I’d get the floor and walls sealed with waterproof epoxy and make sure the top of the walls will not allow intrusion.

  • EX-Californian Pete July 18, 2021, 6:08 PM

    Nope, not bollards or newel posts- I’m familiar with both. Like I said, they’re like “mini columns” and are about 16″ w x 16″ d X 36″ high. They look like something built to put a vase or potted plant, or something on. I KNOW there’s a proper term for them, but my brain just can’t conjure it up. ARRRGH!

    I’m not worried about the cistern too much- it’s got what appears to be 14″ thick concrete walls, and some kind of ceramic membrane, or parged-looking lining on the inside that looks really smooth & intact. The whole cistern is about 12′ deep and 9′ x 10′ square, and has about 9 or so feet of standing water in it that’s been in there for who-knows-how-long- at least 20 years. The cistern butts up against (or is part of) my concrete basement wall, and I didn’t find any plumbing connections from it to the house- not that I’d wanna find any. I estimate the cistern holds about 8000 gallons.

    If I do get the well drilled, I’m planning on just putting a manual pump on it like a $50 pitcher pump and one of those filtration systems that feeds into a 55 gal drum. Amazingly, the existing water in the cistern looks clean as tap water- no sediment on the bottom, no bugs. no debris, not even a cobweb.
    Of course, I won’t consider the water safe or potable until I get it tested.

    And yeah, $3800 seems to be a great deal. However, now one of my neighbors says he knows an old, heavily experienced driller guy who’d do it for probably half that- providing I did all the heavy grunt work for him. And according to the county engineers office no “spotter” is needed when drilling within 5′ of an existing cistern, due to the age of my house. I might get a spotter anyway, just to be on the safe side.

    Now figger out what the name of those “dang column box” things are and tell me, willya!

  • Rob Muir July 18, 2021, 6:17 PM

    I am totally envious of you folks paying <$10k for a well. In 2006 I paid a local, very reputable, driller $25k for a fully cased well, a 3 HP pump, and a 3000 gallon tank here in northern AZ. He hit water at 390' and put the pump inlet at 500'. The aquifer is Coconino sandstone and it gives good water, but does have some iron that I filter out, but thankfully no sulfur. I haven't priced things lately, but I imagine that the price has only gone up.

  • Dirk July 18, 2021, 9:31 PM

    Ghost, absolutely agree, novice, these guys are in deed fine carpenters, but by god theres a ton of money to be made. Disheartening actually. 2x4s,are not2x4s anymore, everything s dumbed down. Quality of-light switch’s,faucets, tubs etc etc, all high low grade stuff.

    Had my neighbor roofer give me a quote, 2100 square ft, nothing fancy, no trickery roof line, don’t really need a new roof, but for the right price I’d redo the roof now. Last time,12 years ago 4000.00

    This guy quoted me 10.000, after my shocked look, I physically laughed, telling him he’s going to be retiring sooner then he thinks. Had the balls to tell me the was the good friend price. Yea right.

    Think I’ll save my pennies, get a metal roof. I kinda like the cooper colored metal roofs. Could see 10/14 k on the cooper metal roof.

    Anyway constructions booming here. Can’t get concrete, asphalt, plumbers or electricians, unless you have a in with that particular trade. Concrete trucks are booked solid into Nov here.

    Hope constructions not as tight we’re you are. Ghost are you an architect ?



  • Dirk July 18, 2021, 9:35 PM

    We’re in Bend Oregon tonight, the constructions unreal, thousands of homes under construction. Postage stamp yards clone like houses, and the main roads are worse then third world countries!

    Bend has become California.


  • ghostsniper July 19, 2021, 4:45 AM

    @Pete, I’d get on that well as soon as possible. You’ve got a good deal right there. If I had a deal like that it’d already be done. Self attained water is mandatory in my book and I sure wish I could have it.

    In our FL house it uses the “open concept” where the kitchen-living room-dining room is one big room and uses various techniques to describe the individual spaces without building actual walls. Between the living room and dining room is a 4″ wide half wall, just 42″ high with a 2″x8″ maple cap. One end of this half wall anchors to an exterior concrete block wall, the other is not anchored to anything, it is free standing. When I built it I used 1/2″ anchor bolts into the conc slab floor but I was still dissatisfied with the structural integrity. So on the unanchored end I built a 16″x16″x48″tall column that was hollow and it had a large acorn finial. After the house was completed I used a 4’long PVC pipe 8″ in dia and placed all the construction drawings and documentation and a CD disc with all the cad files and hundreds of pictures during and after construction in that column and sealed it up. Nobody knows that stuff is in there but my wife and me and anyone reading this. Some day in the future someone will find that time capsule. My own little idea of my work out living me.

    @Dirk, yes, go metal roofing. I wanted 5V silver on our Florida house but the estimate was $50k so it didn’t happen. Up here in Hoosierville 15 years ago my new workshop/office building got 5V silver for 1/4 the cost of shingles. luv it luv it luv it It still looks new. Oh yeah, it has a 50 year warranty. I bought the 3′ wide metal panels at Menards and me and 1 other guy installed all of it in 1 day. I like knowing there is not a ton of shingles over my head. Thinking about getting the shingles stripped off our 2 story house and having silver metal installed.

  • Gordon Scott July 19, 2021, 8:06 AM

    Ghost, is there a particular reason you want silver roofing as opposed to other colors?

  • Dirk July 19, 2021, 8:38 AM

    Ghost, did you pull the prior shingles before placing the metal, or attach the metal on top of the shingles? I’ve been told both works


  • EX-California Pete July 19, 2021, 10:25 AM

    I agree with Ghost- get the metal. Although all roofing materials has to meet certain standards and codes, all metal roof panels are not equal, so shop around and buy the ones with the best guarantee.

    If your local codes allow, don’t do a tear-off of the old shingles and leave the original roof material on, and do an overlay with the metal roof. The old roof will add insulation, and you’ll save money and debris disposal. They’ll need to install battens or batter boards- (wood 1 x 4’s) horizontally over the shingles to attach the metal roof panels to, and then the panels get screwed onto them.

    My advice- have the roofers install “shims” under the battens if & where necessary, otherwise, the new roof will exaggerate any dips, high & low spots, or “waves” your existing roof might have.

    I have metal roofs on my 3 car garage and my shop- both lifetime guaranteed, and I love ’em.

    The only “downside” I can think of is that they’re a bit noisy in a hard rain, and sound like Buddy Rich on steroids during a hail storm!

  • ghostsniper July 19, 2021, 11:44 AM

    @Gordon, I like the reflective properties of the silver, and if you look at the colored stuff after a few years it fades and gets chalky.

    @Dirk, I am a roofing specialist. I took an extended roofing course back in the 80’s that lasted almost 3 years, partime – nights and weekends. For the past 20 years I have done subcontract work of designing roof systems for architects and engineers all over the country.

    Something that has always bothered me about standard residential roof systems is the amount of weight. Especially shingles and tile. If I get metal roofing done on our house I will have the existing shingles and felt paper (tar paper) removed first. Ever heard the saying, “Cry once”? By exposing the plywood sheathing any issues not seen because of the roofing material will be evident and able to be repaired. The shingles on hour house are now about 20 years old and much of the aggregate is gone. There is a big skylight over the masterbath on the 2nd floor I’d like to eliminate. They are too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. So new #30 felt will be installed over the repaired sheathing and then the metal applied. I suggest installing the 3/4″ screws in the fields between the ribs rather than the stylish method of on the ribs. Oh yeah, if you live in snowville install 2 layers of the #30 felt along the roof edges and in any valleys. If you have valleys and can afford it, the best way is to sheath them in matching aluminum coil stock.

    FWIW, all roof trusses are engineered to sustain a certain load (weight) and if you double roof a system (say, new roof over old roof) you are seriously straining already strained trusses. Take a look at a picture of a typical roof truss. You’ll see a lot of individual parts (top chords, bottom chords, webs, verticals, compression legs, etc.) all connected with galvanized (stainless steel in fireproofing applications like banks) plates that hold everything together. Because trusses are only stable when installed, when they are delivered to the job site they must be stacked laying down on flat ground because they can’t support their own weight when on their side. After a roof system including roof trusses is installed some settling will occur as all the weight is established on the perimeter and internal bearing surfaces. Over time the trusses get “used to” that weight distribution. Then, 20 years goes by and you decide to install more roof shingles over the old ones the trusses don’t like that. Frankly, I would never sign off on such a project because the roof sheathing now exceeds the safe capacity of the trusses. (Ex. a roof that has metal, shakes, or shingles is considered a 47lb load – that’s 47 lb per square foot. If the roof has tile the load is 55lbs per square foot.)

    The average person looks at a building and sees a floor, walls, and a roof. I look at a building and my brain is a blur for I know what is really there. A home is the most expensive thing most people will ever buy, and it is also the thing they know the least about.

  • EX-Californian Pete July 20, 2021, 10:44 AM

    A couple things to add about the metal roofing-
    As far as load-bearing (weight) capacities of your roof framing, a good roofer can determine that before he recommends a tear-off of the existing roof- or not.
    Another factor is “snow load.” Most roofs (in snow areas) are built to withstand a fair amount of added weight from snow sitting on them. A metal roof will be more “slippery” than a shingle etc., roof, allowing less snow buildup.
    Pitch- the sharper a roof pitch, the less weight can accumulate from snow. (A 6″ in 12″ pitch will allow less accumulation than a 3″ in 12″ pitch)
    Also, when getting a new roof, make sure to ensure it’s properly vented- I’ve seen way too many folks ignore that. You need proper venting to release summer heat, and keep frost from forming (inside) during harsh winters.

    And don’t forget to get at least 3 estimates from reputable contractors before committing to the job, and read their “guarantees” REAL carefully.