Building a home like ours is gaining a lot of popularity. There are a lot of benefits to choosing a style of construction that differs from what you’d consider “traditional”.
The Mad County Build is post frame construction. To simply put it, the exterior posts support the structure, and the interior walls are not required to support the load of the roof, etc. Here in the midwest it’s been used for a long time for agricultural buildings. Using it as your house construction style can be a lot of fun.
During this process we have weighed countless options and done hours and hours of research for every decision we made. Keep in mind that there are multiple ways of doing something, and we are sharing what is best for our build.
I wanted to share 5 decisions we made that either saved us money, or increased the efficiency. They’re all typically connected to a post frame constructed home, so you might see these as considerations for building this type of home for yourself.
NUMBER ONE: COLUMN FOOTINGS
We chose column footings and wet set brackets instead of a footing wall or other type of foundation. Overall it was less expensive than that other types, but provides the same benefit. Note that our wood posts are out of the ground using this method which was key to qualifying for traditional financing.
NUMBER TWO: CONCRETE FLOORS
Most of you know by now that the concrete on the main level is going to be our permanent flooring. From the start we didn’t plan on using anything else as a major cost savings. Since we have in floor heat, the concrete is very comfortable in the winter.
We asked the concrete company to cut the concrete in 4’x4′ squares on the diagonal so that it looked more like tile. You’ll see soon how we seal it, but overall it’s far less expensive than flooring over it.
NUMBER THREE: TWO STORY
Typically speaking, it’s cheaper to build up rather than out. We didn’t plan to build a one story, so we don’t have exact comparisons, but that’s the general rule.
If you’re debating, we have found that having a two story is so great for enjoying the views of our property. We did make sure that our master and anything else we would use on a regular basis was on the main level. The second floor is dedicated to our kids and guests now and when they’re grown and gone.
NUMBER FOUR: WINDOWS
Paul laughed when I told him that I was including windows as a way to save. He said using windows smaller than ours is how someone could save.
Hear me out… how many of you have something saved on Pinterest that looks like a giant wall of windows? I did too, and trust me when I say that it gets expensive VERY quickly when you’re trying to create a wall of windows. Going the route we did is a compromise that wasn’t an outrageous one. We get all of the benefits of natural light and the beauty of lots of windows at a lower cost.
NUMBER FIVE: HEADERS AS BEAMS
There are several spots inside that you can see headers that are not up in the ceiling. Paul did this so that he had room for the duct work. The unintended benefit is that we can cover them and make them look like exposed beams. Being headers this is cheaper than using actual beams, and also cheaper than the headers being in the ceiling and adding non-supportive beams.
This is not going to be something everyone will be able to do, or even a super big cost saving, but if your design has this need then it’s a great way to use it in your design.
In your planning or experience, what are some things that you were able to save by doing? Leave a comment!