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How long does it take to build a house in AK?

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  • How long does it take to build a house in AK?

    Not talking about a cabin, but a regular 2500 sq.ft. residential home in the Anchorage area.

    We'll be up there on a "house-hunting" trip during the first week of April, then returning to WA to pack up the house and kids. We will report to AK in mid-May. If we purchase a lot in early April and tell the builder to start bull-dozing immediately, could the house be finished (enough to move inside) before the snow flies? Our relocation package includes "temporary quarters" for a couple of months. After that, we have to camp-out or rent until the house is ready. It would be nice to move-in before the kids go back to school in mid-August! But if not, how's the "camping" weather in September, October, ???

    Thanx, Dave.

    PS - Anyone have a good builder that they would recommend for such a project?
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

  • #2
    No expert, but yes a house can be completle built in 6 months easily (Apr-Sep)...
    Just need to find the land, house type, and builder that is not booked. I can't say how easy or hard that will be...


    • #3
      If you are buying a lot in an existing subdivision in town you shouldn't have any issues.

      Never buy raw land when there is snow on the ground.


      • #4
        It should be doable time wise, so long as there are no delays getting permits. The housing market is soft so builders should be anxious to bang out a house. I can't recomend any paticular builders, but I'd highly recomend doing your homework and finding a builder that has a solid long time reputation and happy customers. I do of some folks that have nightmare stories from going with low bidders on major home remodels, hence pay what it costs to get somebody good, even if he's already booked for the year and you have to wait til next year.

        I would give serious consideration to looking at existing homes on the market, as they are likely to be much less expensive than building new. Building material costs keep rising, and will rise higher with high fuel costs driving up shipping to AK. Also as far as buildable land in Anchorage, most available lots you'd be interested in building on are going to be over $100k, and it really doesn't make much sense to put only a 2500 sq ft house on an expensive custom lot. When it comes to resale, most people looking for homes in those neighborhoods are going to be looking for 3000+ sq ft homes. What I have found in regards to Anchorage is in the 2500 sq ft size if you look for a newer home, the lot is going to be small, if you look for a larger lot, the house will be built in the 70's and the neighborhood will be a hodgebodge of houses. If you want a nicer home with a larger lot, you're going to need to look at 3000 sq ft or more homes, and you'll likely be able to buy one for the same or less than it will cost you to build a 2500 sq ft home on an available lot. Also most of the lots I've seen are on the hillside and a suprisingly long drive into anchorage, with some steep roads that will be less than fun to drive in the winter.

        We've spent the last couple years looking at moving into Anchorage, so if you want to pm me I can give you some input, pros/cons and things to look for, as well as what to look out for. I've driven through quite a few different neighborhoods through different seasons of the years. Coming up in April you're not as likely to get an honest assessment of what the winter driving condtions will be like, nor how the sun does or doesn't hit the lot in the dead of winter.
        Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

        If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.


        • #5
          I'm no builder, but I and my dad nailed a nice little 3 bedroom ranch together starting in Early May, and moved into the house on Friday the 13th in Oct the same year... a legit builder should be able to nail something together for you in less time..../John


          • #6
            I built a 3200 sq ft house outside Soldotna in 21 days, I had 9 of my fellow building contractors from down South. The lumber yard was 5 miles from the front door. Home Depot was about 17 miles away. I had both deliver the materials to the job site after the slab was poured by a local contractor. We got there and put up the walls, and the roof in the first 7 days, the second 7 days did all the interior walls, started the sheet rock and finished the plumbing and electrical, the third 7 days finished the interior walls, insulation, cedar tongue and grove, drywall, painting, tile floors in kitchen and bathrooms, and all the carpeting installed. Ready to live in. We installed tankless hot water heaters. The place has two full kitchens, three bathrooms, 7 bedrooms, living room, and breakfast bar. Where I built I did not have to have any building permits or inspections other than the natural gas hook up and drive way access permit. I had 3 licensed plumbers with me. Everything in the place meets or exceeds all Universal Building Codes. To reward the contractor friends, they always have a place to stay when visiting and fishing the Kenai River.


            • #7
              I know a few houses that the contractors have been working on for 20 years. Ah wait a minute maybe they are not contractors. Ah never mind.
              Retirement Plan - Having Fun and Still Learning


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