Sweat Equity vs. Wish List for 100K Construction

We have been considering putting some sweat equity into the construction of the 100K House from the beginning in order to increase the value. We wanted to keep the list of sweat equity tasks reasonable to keep the construction on schedule. There is also the desire to keep the list of tasks to a difficulty level that could be accomplished by others wanting to build their own house of a similar design. This will allow us to perform some work ourselves and decrease the overall cost of construction while also maintaining the integrity of the case study.

Skinny Project: The Ground is Broken

Brian from Manor Hill has asked us to come up with two lists in order of priority. The first is the list of sweat equity tasks we are considering and the second is the list of upgrades or labor tasks that we would like to have in the $100K budget if time and money are available. Below, I am taking a stab at a first draft of these two lists:

Skinny Project Groundbreaking is Imminent

100K Sweat Equity Task List

  1. All landscaping, including design and fencing
  2. Interior Painting
  3. Painting of exterior Hardi Panels if needed
  4. Kitchen cabinetry installation
  5. Concrete stain and sealing
  6. Plywood floor finishing with Low-VOC Poly
  7. IKEA accessory installation (hardware, shelving…)
  8. Green Ivy Wall
  9. Interior trim carpentry
  10. Prefabbed stairs
  11. Tiling of bathroom
  12. Whole house audio design and wiring

Desired Upgrades or Labor Assistance in 100K Budget

  1. Fencing installation (I really don’t want to dig fence posts)
  2. Pappajohn custom kitchen (roughly $2K upgrade)
  3. Electric Induction Cooktop (I really want to test out this $750 upgrade)
  4. Some landscaping assistance
  5. All labor involved in items 8 – 12 from the list above
  6. A/C (no more radiant cooling makes Chad nervous…)

OK, there’s our list. What are your thoughts? What would you be comfortable doing yourself on a new house to gain value and what would you not want to go near? What upgrades would be at the top of your wish list. It’s always interesting to see how others’ lists differ from my own.

Skinny Project Groundbreaking is Imminent