Build Your Own
House Using Metal
A Pictorial Overview

When we purchased our new property in the Texas Hill Country we decided to Build Our Own House using metal. You can build your own house too; I have put these pages so you can see how it is done. We are still in the process of finishing it but the main structure is up and the inside framing is done. I am going to walk you through the whole process of our new house construction from road building to house construction. So here we go again building another house!


The picture below is of the highway where we decided to put the entrance. Our first thought was to build a fancy gate with an opener and the works but experience told us to first build a temporary gate and then the nice one when we build the permanent house. 

build your own house , the road construction begins

The picture below is of the bulldozer clearing the entrance for the gate I had a choice whether to rent the Bulldozer for $50 per hour and operate it myself or pay $80 and have an experienced operator do it.

I choose to have an experienced operator. I figured it would have taken me a day just to get accustomed to the Dozer and that would have wasted time and money.

build your own house
Build Your Own House build your own house Build Your Own House build your own house
build your own house, dozer on road

Once we had cleared the brush and trees I had a gate installed. The soil in the region is hard and has tons of rocks to deal with. Forget about digging a hole in the ground even with an auger on a tractor. The best way is to use a jackhammer.

They literally jackhammered into the ground and then dropped the poles in and concreted around them.

build your own house, building the gate

Below is a picture of the completed temporary gate. We put this in while we are building the metal barn prior to building our main house.

I suggest putting in a cheap gate so if a contractor tears it up with a truck or a trailer you aren't out so much money.

build your own house, completed temporary gate

The next step was brining caliche to cover the road we had cleared. If you are not familiar with caliche it is a sedimentary rock made up of calcium carbonate.

It is abundant in the western Hill Country of Texas in some areas. We fortunately have good deposits on the back section of our property.

We had a contractor come in and bulldoze out a large amount from our caliche pit in the back and put it on the roads. This was a great way to save money on the roads.

Hiring a contractor was not cheap, but it sure was a lot cheaper having our own caliche to add to the roads. Caliche sets up nicely and make a hard surfaced road that is relatively easy to maintain. The only issue is dust if you have heavy traffic.

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Build Your Own House Home Construction Build Your Own House Home Construction
Build Your Own House, Claiche on Road Entrance

Below is the caliche road after we had hauled in 30 plus loads and compacted it with a roller a couple of times.

We also put water on the caliche road after we were finished to help it set up. Once it has been rained on a couple of times it hardens nicely.
Build Your Own House, finished Caliche Road

Once we had finished the bulk of the road up the hill we needed to tie into the Farm Market road. I don't know what the rules are in your area but in Texas you need a permit to tie into a county or state road.

You have to submit a drawing and a description of the construction and elevations, drainage plan etc...

At first I was concerned about this because I had no idea how to proceeded. I had no example and did not have the money to hire a company to turn key the process.

As I have told you many times research first, so I called a couple of contractors that have experience and asked them to bid. I got their names from the Department of Transportation (DOT) in the county that the land is in.

The number came back and were frankly scary, anywhere from $12,000 to $22,000 to do a little tie in to the road.

So I put on my thinking cap and called the DOT back and asked some questions. I made a friend in the office and asked if they could give me a good example of plan to submit for approval by the DOT.

They forwarded me a copy and I stuck to the guidelines that were laid out on an approved plan for another road tie in that was similar to mine.

Once the plan was submitted and approved (this took about a month) I could then start the actual construction of the road tie in.

Below are the steps that it took to make the tie in:

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Build Your Own House, Dozer mixing the Portland cement

Build Your Own House, portland cement on the trailer

Build Your Own House, finished road tie in 1

Build Your Own House, finished road tie in 1

In the first picture above is the bulldozer spreading the caliche that we trucked in from out pit on the back of the property.

The second picture is the Portland cement that we mixed in with the caliche. We put 35 bags in using the dozer to blade it in and mix it.

I made the mistake of trying to use a tiller to mix the Portland cement in at first and promptly broke the shear pins on the tines. The rocks in the caliche just trashed the poor thing!

The last 2 pictures are of the finished road tie in. What we did was mix the Portland cement into the caliche in stages with the dozer then pack it with a power roller.

The bottom picture shows the way we angled the edges to allow the water to run off, and over the driveway. Since rain is not that prevalent in the area it is acceptable to not put in a culvert. In fact the DOT encouraged this because it makes the road stronger and does not disturb the ground by the road right of way.

Once we finished all the packing we soaked it down and left it alone for a couple of days. It setup and is as hard as concrete.

Home Construction Build Your Own House
Home Construction Build Your Own House Home Construction
OK folks that is it for now. I will be adding to this when I have time.

We are close to being dried in on the Metal Barn with living Quarters, so I will strive to get all the pics and new stuff up asap for you to look at!

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