The House I'm Building

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Joined
Nov 5, 2007
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8,299
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Dallas, TX
This house isn't anything like the house KentuckyYeti has shown us in pictures. Our house kind of has a long story. We started working with the contractor back in the Fall of 2020. We bought some land, and then since permits take so long to get and everything to get designed etc. In the spring of 2021, that terrible freeze that got all the way down to Galveston, TX affected the lumber supply. You couldn't buy pilings. I was calling supply and distribution lumber yards all over the Southeast looking for Coastal Grade Pilings. None, Zilch, Nada.

In the meantime, we bought another house, this being down on the beaches of Texas, around Galveston. But since we had the land for the first house, we finally got it all together and are getting it built! :) So for the past year, we've had a vacation house, but it wasn't the one we designed, nor is it close to the water. You can see the water from the deck, but it's 3 streets back. Now it's going to be rental/investment income property.

If there is one thing I've learned from you guys, its the rental income property management. Some of you have multiple houses and rent them out. I've talked to a few of you about it. Not too difficult to get started doing either really if you have a good budget.

My wife and I pretty much designed the house we are having built. The contractor, who by now is a pretty good friend, helped draw it all on CAD. He's a good guy, something like 74 years old. But he has a team of workers, so he doesn't sub anything out at all, except the septic tank and the shingles on the roof I think. He does the electrical and his guys do pretty much everything else.

But the house is 2400 square feet, on two floors. The upstairs is going to have two bedrooms and one bath and this elevated walkway open on each side to the living room below. Plus, it has about 1500 feet of outdoor deck space. In the summer it's just to hot, but Fall, Winter and Spring, it's so nice to sit outside.

Anyway, the beach is just beautiful. I've posted some pictures before, you can drive on the beach, although we were just there for Thanksgiving break, and the water was pretty high. Like I said, it's close to Galveston and Surfside. I know they are 30 miles apart, but there is a highway "Blue Water Highway" between the two towns. Well, Surfside is a collection of beach cottages. It's got a certain charm, and the people are nice. They want that "Stay Weird" vibe that some cities like Austin have. Galveston is nice. I like it anyway. It's got this gritty sea-side town feel and it's a really old, old town.

There is a drive thru Margarita stand in Surfside. How perfect is that! Daiquiris, and all sorts of mixed iced drinks. Well, I'll keep my alcoholic side in the closet for now...

The island is Follet's Island. The whole length of the Coast of Texas is protected by the barrier islands. It's pretty interesting to read about them. The Intercoastal Waterway is on the inside bay side.

Anyway, It's not in New Mexico, or even Santa Fe. :)

Here are some pictures.
First the gratuitous dog pictures. They are worse than a couple kids, they love to roll around and get coated in sand and stinky sea water.

Blizzard:
2022-11-24_10-28-14_156.jpeg


Blizzard and Rainy:
2022-11-24_10-27-48_316.jpeg


The house sits on a corner lot. The pilings go down 18 feet. They use this truck sized jack hammer to beat them into the sand.
2022-11-22_12-59-54_567.jpeg


Its just sand. This is on Follet's Island. Wikipedia says the highest point on the island is 3 1/2 feet. But I think it's a little bit more than that, perhaps 7 or 8 feet.
2022-11-22_13-00-38_388.jpeg


Here is the garage. It can only be something like 300 sq. ft. The walls are breakway and NOT attached to the vertical pilings.
2022-11-23_14-44-11_415.jpeg


2022-11-23_14-43-55_824.jpeg


Here is the view. This is looking straight East.
2022-11-23_14-18-34_702.jpeg




Here's my wife and the contractor. He laid out the master...excuse me "primary" bedroom and bath so she could visualize what it's going to look like.
They are standing in the bathroom, and the Primary bedroom is along that back wall.

In our neighborhood, there have been 30 houses built in the last 2 years. And every time I drive to Galveston, There are a constant 6 to 8 houses under construction.
2022-11-23_14-13-47_761.jpeg


That little area with the mitered corner is going to be a pantry off the kitchen. The long skinny room to the side is the laundry.
Then there is going to be a side deck 20x20 off the laundry room. It's going to have the same view as the picture above since it's
on that side.
2022-11-23_14-14-00_284.jpeg


We are going back down for Christmas break, so I'll post some more pictures. The builder said he would have some walls up this week.
 

Cholo

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That is really cool! Most of the houses on the similar western coast of FL are painted pastel colors. Are you going that route?
 

turd

Buckeye
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Jan 8, 2012
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Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Very nice. So all the mechanical stuff has to be up on the main floor? Furnace, Ac, all that? Does the power and water lines, etc. go up inside the garage to keep them out of sight? Not familiar with oceanside homes at all, so these are likely dumb questions. Are you worried at all about rising seas?
 
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Thanks, Yes Cholo, down on the coast, vinyl siding is the easiest to maintain. The house we have right now, the rental, has hardy plank siding. It needs repainted about every 4 or 5 years. The salt air is pretty corrosive to pretty much everything. We are thinking of a pastel yellow with white trim.

All the HVAC is on the first floor. There will be some vertical PVC pipes attached to one of the rear pilings. I'm not sure why they aren't inside the garage to be out of sight. One up for water, and one down for drainage into the septic tank. Everyone has a septic tank here. And there are no buried cables. Also in the plans is an outdoor shower. So there will be a hot and cold water line coming from the first floor down to the outdoor shower.

Rising water? Yes, it's a big concern. Here is another picture. There is actually a buildable lot under this water...mine. The asphalt you see in the foreground was my driveway where the house was going to go. This was actually the first lot we bought back in 2020 for the house we are currently building. The state is supposed to put in a revetment wall on the beach to stop beach erosion.

In the fall of 2021, the named storm Hurricane Nicholas washed away the driveway and took a whole bunch of sand with it. Our lot is part of the grass there on the left, next to the neighbor's house. We're going to keep it to see if the state actually builds the revetment wall.

2022-11-20_15-03-59_040.jpeg
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
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10,227
Location
So. Florida
After see all the hurricane destruction to the Tampa area this year and all the other spots along the Gulf Coast where hurricanes have hit I am surprised you would be building next to the Gulf. I don't think stilts will save your house if a big one hits. I wonder what your homeowners insurance is going to be.

Anyway... beautiful spot and all the best on your project.
 

CR244RD

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 21, 2022
Messages
18
Location
Oyster Creek, Texas
I live in the small community of Oyster Creek, just inland from Surfside Beach, so we'd be "neighbors". I'm across the storm, levee, and my House on the ground was built in 1953, only time it had water in it was with Hurricane Carla, before the levee was built. Nice area, less frentic and calmer than Galveston. The Freeport ship channel cuts the beach at Surfside, then the beach runs again west to the mouth of the "New" Brazos River. I've fished the beaches of this area extensively over the years, ran offshore out of Freeport for both charter and pleasure fishing.

Welcome to the area!

Mike Holmes
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
5,725
Location
Richmond Texas USA
Kevin,
Looks great and I'm sure you will enjoy it. In the past we spent a lot of time in Surfside kept a 24' boat at Bridge Harbor and fished offshore a lot. In Clear Lake we kept a 31' boat at Watergate and have spent a lot of time in Galveston both boating and fishing over the last 60 years.
Wife and I have both enjoyed the beach, snorkeling, scuba and water skiing. Sad to say most of our beach time and water sports except fishing have not been on the Texas Beaches.
I am curious as to the type of septic system you will use. We went from a conventional to an aerobic system 5 years ago.
 
Joined
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Messages
8,299
Location
Dallas, TX
Mike:
That’s awesome where you live. My wife and I really like the area a lot. We went over to the Brazilian National Wildlife Refuge, those alligators are right up in your face!

Jim: Don’t quote me, and I should know what type of septic system it is. But I believe it’s the aerobic system. Those have the pump right? With the three tank system that pumps from one tank over to the next etc. Yes? That what this one is at least.

Sept 2021 with Hurricane Nicholas, our neighbors right on the water had their septic system compromised. The heavy cement lid was missing completely, and the tank had been emptied and filled with sand.

I cannot imagine the force of just wind and water to do all that.
 
Joined
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Messages
5,725
Location
Richmond Texas USA
Not quite
An aerobic and low dosing systems both use a tank with 3 chambers for aerobic they are Trash, Aeration and Pump and both use pumps to discharge the cleaned/treated black/gray water. The aerobic system uses bleach/chlorine to treat the water before pumping it to the surface. This system needs to be inspected every 3 months and cost around $300 per year for the service. This is an engineered system and is registered with the County and MUST be inspected quarterly. This system can be flooded by over use which allows to much water for the amount of chlorine treating. Which is about the same as pumping raw sewage to the surface.
The low dosing anaerobic system pumps the waste black/gray water through perforated underground pipe into the gravel leach bed same as a conventional system. This system can be flooded by over use or a lot of surface water leaching into it. May not be a problem in sand.
The waste flows from the chambers by gravity the pump is used to discharge into the field or surface spray heads.

Yea you should know since it is kind of important and costly.

My lids are heavy tough plastic and bolted onto the top of the concrete tank.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2007
Messages
8,299
Location
Dallas, TX
Thanks for the info Jim. I’ll have to ask. I do know we had to get a county permit, which was around $1,000 I think. It was a while ago. Then in the contract it does have to be inspected. I remember that thinking it was strange it had to be inspected so often. I thought it was just a way for the septic guy to make money.

This morning, I’ll go dig through all the paperwork and see.

You are correct about the drain field. I know there was a big deal about the drainage NOT being on the seaward side of the house. So the builder had to redesign the layout. It wasn’t a big deal, but the permit had to be resubmitted. Luckily Brazoria County is small.

Question:
I’ve always been told no garbage disposal on a septic system. Yes? No? What is the general consensus?
 
Joined
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Messages
5,725
Location
Richmond Texas USA
Jim:
I just looked at the permit. It is an aerobic system. Have you been happy with yours? Any problems or issues?

Here is the specs:

View attachment 11476
Kevin,
We have had our system for 5-6 years and I'm very happy with it.
Other than the inspections $ the only thing that I have had to replace is the air pump twice. They have to run 24/7 but they are only about $100 to replace yourself which is easy.
As far as using a disposal we have been using one with both our old conventional system, which only needed pumped twice in 37 years, and for the last 5 years in the aerobic with very little build up in the trash tank. We try to put VERY LITTLE food waste/grease down the sink or in the dishwasher and if you didn't EAT IT except TP it doesn't go in the toilet.
Your system's tank is very similar to ours. The main difference is our discharge is pumped to 5 surface spray heads and yours will be discharged to a underground drip field.
Hope this helps and happy crapping:)
Jim
 
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