The dream to own a home in Maine can be achieved on a less than substantial budget. Consider building a house with the help of friends and family, and by using repurposed materials. You are a step ahead if you have a lot or acre of land to build on, as property is a pricey investment in some parts of the state. It may take some time, but you can learn how to build a cheaper-than-average house in Maine. Contact the local building code enforcement officer at your municipal office to get the required building permits for your house.
Look for older buildings that appear to be on the verge of collapse, or check advertisements in the paper or Maine's Uncle Henry's Swap or Sell guide that ask for help in tearing down a building. Place a free ad in Uncle Henry's that offers your services to help tear down a building for the materials. You may be able to get free materials in exchange for helping to tear down and haul them away from an existing home, garage or outbuilding. Determine the distance that is feasible for you to travel. Check papers such as The Waterville Morning Sentinel, Kennebec Journal and Bangor Daily News for ads in southern, central and northern Maine.
Tear down the building being careful to preserve any materials that are reusable. Remove nails from boards and framework. Clean, store and protect any salvageable materials for your project. You may also search for materials in construction site dumpsters with the permission of the site manager.
Calculate a reasonable budget, setting aside enough for a new foundation. A full or partial basement, slab or cement piers are the options on which to build the house. Hire a foundation expert if you have no experience with this important part of the building project.
Build the framework of the house with the aid of friends and family. Use a level to be sure that the frame of the building is even and square.
Buy new roofing and insulation for the house. Choose materials that are affordable and long lasting. Metal roofing or shingles are frequently used for roofing in this cold climate area.
Prevent a disaster such as fire, water leakage or potential flooding in your newly-built home by hiring licensed electricians and plumbers to wire and plumb the building. Check listings in the local phone book and newspaper ads, or ask for recommendations from friends. In the state of Maine an appointed municipal plumbing inspector or code enforcement officer must inspect and approve each plumbing hookup as listed in the plumbing permit issued through the town or municipal office. If you're having trouble finding suitable contractors, call (207) 624-8610 for an electrician or (207) 624-8627 for a plumber, as advised on the Maine section of the American Contractors website.
Set new or salvaged doors and windows into the framing of the building.
Finish the house with siding that fits your budget. Finish the smaller projects around the house as you are able to afford them. Search for bathroom and kitchen components at discount stores and home improvement sales. Check for sales of used components at building supply salvage businesses.
Sign a contract with the owner of any building that you are tearing down. This will keep both parties honest during the project.
When tearing down a building consider buying an insurance policy in case of injury or property damage. Sign a contract to be sure that the owner doesn't sell the materials after you tear the building down.
- correction blueprints image by Igor Zhorov from Fotolia.com