Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Vermilion Alberta Canada
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Quoted: 2422 Post(s)
Ya it works good to be the contractor. Pick your own crews and do all those crap jobs no one wants to do but make a big difference. Go for the foam basement - but get a crew to do that experienced and certified. Also cover the exterior 2x6 walls in foam 2" minimum. Get the window thickness 2x6 plus 2" foam.
Best is 2x4 wall, then vapour barrier, then 6 inches hard foam on the exterior. Crib out windows. All electrical etc is inside the vapour barrier, use Roxal insulation, spray foam everything that isn't 16" like corners, etc. Do the whole rim joist in basement with spray foam. You won't even need AC, and not much of a furnace. Be sure to put in an air to air exchanger.
In AB, all you need is engineered roof trusses and floor trusses to be fully inspected and passed for building. County will do land permit, inspectors will provide building permit and an outline of inspection schedules at what stage.
Get the floor truss, not those plywood things, with boxes built in for duct mains and no drilling. Everything can be above so you have a clean ceiling in the basement.
Our insurance company did a full inspection of the house, looked for all certifications and permits. We had a few deficiencies like panel not on breaker box, handrail, no fire extinguisher and they gave us 6 months to finish them or they would cancel insurance. Our agent said if that happens, no other company will pick you up without a full reinspection of completed everything - something that is quite new, but they are getting pretty sticky.
Absolutely be the main contractor - its a great job.