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Author Topic: Building a house with a sawmill  (Read 3493 times)

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Offline Jmiller160

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Building a house with a sawmill
« on: August 16, 2017, 12:08:39 pm »
Just wanting to hear some success stories of anyone who has built their home entirely with a sawmill.. and how much money it wound up costing.. I bought a mill a couple months ago and have been trying to cut all my stuff, been hard at it just wondering if it's worth it in the long run?

Online Kbeitz

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Re: Building a house with a sawmill
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2017, 05:58:52 pm »
Just wanting to hear some success stories of anyone who has built their home entirely with a sawmill.. and how much money it wound up costing.. I bought a mill a couple months ago and have been trying to cut all my stuff, been hard at it just wondering if it's worth it in the long run?

I wish we could do that here in Pa. Building codes wont allow it.
Collector and builder of many things.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Building a house with a sawmill
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2017, 07:25:02 pm »
I had planned to but we ran aground financially.

Ive been logging to get by and keeping all of the sound but unsellable timbers for our home.  Im gonna frame it in debarked round knobby oak timbers about 10" diameter.  Cordwood infill for walls and probably a sod roof.  Have most of the doors, windows, cabinetry etc.  Expecting about $15,000 including slab and septic. 

Offline irvi00

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Re: Building a house with a sawmill
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2017, 08:33:37 pm »
I did it but it was back when my family had an entire lumber company. Two sawmills, kiln and a planer. It saved me a bundle. But I don't see why a smaller mill and a little work can't do the same. As said above, the building code could be a problem.

Offline Magicman

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Re: Building a house with a sawmill
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2017, 09:03:45 pm »
I have sawn the framing lumber, etc. for ~20 entire homes plus my Cabin Addition.  If you have a fair market for the logs, then sell them and buy your lumber, but the problem in my area is that "fair market".  That plus the many SYP trees being killed by the Southern Pine Beetle, etc.  There is no market for these logs so salvaging them and sawing you own framing lumber, etc. is a smart move.  The log/lumber sawing cost is about a third of what "store bought" lumber would be, plus the logging labor and cost.
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Offline Planman1954

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Re: Building a house with a sawmill
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2017, 09:15:27 pm »
I built my barn, which I converted into an apartment and music room with lumber I cut on my Norwood. I dried it before using in the interior in my solar dry kiln. As far as cost...I'm guessing I spent around $25,000 for materials, including slab, windows, appliances, paint, nails, insulation, felt, wire, and plumbing supplies.

  

 
As for permitting, around here, a camp can be built using sawn lumber. My nephew built one which is actually as good as any home. We cut and dried all the framing lumber for it:

 
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Online FloridaMike

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Re: Building a house with a sawmill
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2017, 10:05:57 pm »
I would think that Log Homes are a code compliant option in most areas, that won't allow rough sawed non-graded framing lumber  (might take an engineer's seal on the plans).  Many years ago, I cut several log cabin packages that were build and passed code in FL and AL.

Offline Magicman

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Re: Building a house with a sawmill
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2017, 10:19:32 pm »
The permitting/coding in some of our nearby counties will not allow non-graded framing lumber.  In some, the blueprint has to indicate #2 and/or rough sawn framing lumber so that the house is being built according to the blueprint.  Lastly, some counties have no building/code requirement and rough sawn framing lumber is allowed without question. 

I talked with a (potential) customer this afternoon that has over 100 logs ready to be sawn into framing lumber for his home.  No building loan and no building permit nor coding restriction.  The only holdup was that it is ~100 miles away and he will have to secure/provide lodging.
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Offline Jmiller160

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Re: Building a house with a sawmill
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2017, 10:40:09 pm »
I live in South East kentucky and there aren't any building restrictions other than septic and if you own over 25 acres you fall under a homestead act and you don't need plumbing inspection either.  I've cut about 60 tulip poplar from my land and are cutting them 68 to build a log house with my woodlands hm126.. I've only got 3800 In my mill.

Online Darrel

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Re: Building a house with a sawmill
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2017, 10:42:11 pm »
Building code here requires framing lumber to be graded. Plan A is to get my lumber graded and if that falls through, plan B, which is really part of plan A, is to saw everything I can that isn't framing lumber. Siding, flooring, interior paneling, cabinets, etc, all will be sawn on my mill.
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Offline paul case

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Re: Building a house with a sawmill
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2017, 11:03:06 pm »
I have done it twice.

I figured the first one would have cost more than the mill for the lumber and the logs were cheap in 08. I was low on the figuring and when it was finished we used more of my rough sawn lumber than we planned for. I think it paid for the logs and the mill.
That manual mill started the business that we are still running today, which makes a living for my son and my family.

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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Building a house with a sawmill
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2017, 06:28:19 am »
Amen.

Offline red

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Re: Building a house with a sawmill
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2017, 06:31:17 am »
Only you can say if it is worth it .  Wants vs Needs
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Offline drobertson

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Re: Building a house with a sawmill
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2017, 07:21:08 am »
It will be much less expensive if you own your mill, but will also take longer with more labor, of course.
keeping with a good plan, sawing out extra and being sure to properly sticker stack all your lumber is critical.
only have a few chain saws I'm not suppose to use, but will at times, one dog Dolly, pretty good dog, just not sure what for yet,  working on getting the gardening back in order, and kinda thinking on maybe a small bbq bizz,  thinking about it,

Offline Banjo picker

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Re: Building a house with a sawmill
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2017, 08:06:36 am »
I put an addition on my house and redone a back porch with material i sawed on my mill.  I already had the mill.   Banjo

 
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Offline Larry

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Re: Building a house with a sawmill
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2017, 10:45:10 am »
Sawing framing lumber for a house has about the lowest return on investment of any activity in house construction.  Depending on how you value your time, this could even be a negative return.  Its not just the sawing either.  Think every stud has to be end trimmed....on each end. :(

Given the limited number of hours owner/builders have to use, I would think hard about where I wanted to use those hours.

Higher ROI is sawing siding and paneling.  Highest ROI is hardwood for flooring, cabinets, and trim.  I would knock out those needs first so I could air dry and finish off in a kiln if required.  This is a great place to save $$$$'s.
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Offline Jmiller160

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Re: Building a house with a sawmill
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2017, 11:59:39 am »
Money is far harder to come by than time for me, I'm recently unemployed so I bought the mill and u own my trees, now my fulltime job is to take care of my kids and mill all my other time.

Offline alan gage

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Re: Building a house with a sawmill
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2017, 12:53:57 pm »
I think it depends on what you want to build and how you want to build it. Just got a mill and haven't started sawing yet but I did build my own home from the ground up about 6 years ago. After getting it done I realized that the actual lumber that went into framing the house was one of the cheapest parts of the build. The foundation, concrete work for slab, septic tank, electrical, insulation, siding, and roofing was where things really started to add up. That was stick framing and 2x4 or 2x6 studs are cheap and if you're doing standard 8' or 9' walls it's a huge time saver to use standard stud lengths since it works with sheathing and sheetrock. But if you're doing something not standard and post and beam construction maybe it would make more sense to mill your own rather than buy.

Another option would to be use standard construction lumber where you can and cut your own beams or columns where it will save you the most money. Being able to saw your own siding (vertical board and batton?) would probably be a good place to save some money too. Cutting your own trim (inside and out) should save some money.

Of course I've done plenty of things that didn't make sense on paper from a $$$ vs. time standpoint but mentally it was worth it for me.

Alan

Offline Magicman

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Re: Building a house with a sawmill
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2017, 01:59:02 pm »
Since you have a minimum of cash but you do have the time, sawmill, and logs/trees, I am in the "do it all" corner.  Notice in the above linked "Cabin Addition" topic that I sawed the foundation, subflooring, flooring, framing, wall paneling, shelving, ceiling sheathing, and some ceiling.  The only items that I did not saw was the siding since I was matching the existing plywood siding and the fascia because I used pressure treated lumber.
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Offline dablack

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Re: Building a house with a sawmill
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2017, 02:14:07 pm »
Like the others have said, it all depends.  It takes lots of time to trim each and every stud.  If you have tons of time and little money then YES!  If you want pride of "every stick came from my trees" then YES!
I have some big beams on posts on my porch that Den-Den cut for me.  That stuff is custom and would of cost a fortune to order special. 
Like others have said, the biggest money saver will be cutting the flooring and trim.  The more custom the house, the more money you will save.  If you are building a 1700 sqft ranch with 8' ceilings, then......I wouldn't worry about cutting the framing but I would have some crazy nice 6" wide oak flooring and other custom bits.  That alone would pay for the mill.  Maybe a nice timber frame porch on the back or front too!

For my house, it is a two story and 26x52.  I would need posts down in the middle of the house to be able to use normal mill cut lumber.  I wanted an open downstairs so I went with floor trusses.  You could mill 2x4s and make your own floor trusses and roof trusses but again, that is a bunch of work!

Austin

Austin
Building my own house in East TX