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Old 02-27-2020, 12:53 AM
PaulvS PaulvS is offline
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 124
Default Paint

And after investing so much in the airframe, engine and avionics, why would you try to paint it yourself for $2,000-$3,000? A nice professional job may cost $15,000-$20,000 and is the first thing most people will notice.
Paul vS (yes I'm also a Van)
Building RV-6A #22320 O-320 FP. Wings and tail complete, working on fuselage
Flying the aero club's RV-9A while I build
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Old 02-27-2020, 01:08 AM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 6,234

Originally Posted by PaulvS View Post
And after investing so much in the airframe, engine and avionics, why would you try to paint it yourself for $2,000-$3,000? A nice professional job may cost $15,000-$20,000 and is the first thing most people will notice.
Because I didnít build the airplane to impress anyone with how it looks. Iím impressed with how fast it goes and how much it can carry, and thatís the only opinion that matters to me.
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Old 02-27-2020, 05:31 AM
TimO TimO is online now
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 545

First, the answer to the market price difference is simple: Supply vs demand. Simple rule of economy. For many people the -14 is a superior plane to the -7. I know I was just barely able to talk myself into a -7 vs a -9 when I was shopping, for the purposes I wanted it for. Then the -14 came along and was designed EXACTLY they way I wanted to solve my mission profile. It then became the only good choice. And with it being a superior plane, many -9 and -7 owners (no, not all) look at the -14 with a little envy at times for some of those features. Some even went as far as to start building a -14. So along with the sheer fleet volume differences, there are many times more available -7ís on the market and itís almost impossible to find a -14 because people are building them to keep for the most part. 10-15 years from now they will be a little closer in price perhaps, but the -6 will usually be older than the -7 and the -7 older than the -14 in many cases so there will always be a variety of differences that separate the models in price.

Regarding the paint, I painted my own and I know very well that my job isnít professional, but I think 95% of buyers would be ok with it and I only paid about $4k. I for one would never consider paying someone $10k+ for a paint job. Itís much too fun and easy to do and the cost is all just throwaway money if you intend to keep the plane for many years. You gotta save money somewhere to own a plane if youíre not filthy rich, and that was one place I could save a bundle.
Tim Olson - CFI
RV-10 N104CD - Flying 2/2006 - 1400+ hours
RV-14 N14YT - Flying 6/2016 - 350+ hours
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Old 02-27-2020, 07:28 AM
Scott Hersha Scott Hersha is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 1,285

To answer your question, in my opinion, your cost and time estimates are pretty accurate, with obvious variations due to installed equipment choices. Looks like youíve done your homework. As far as the question ďhow many builders do their own condition inspections and maintenanceĒ... of the RV builders I know, and I know many, virtually 100% of them do their own maintenance. When I do my condition inspections, I have a couple of my experienced RV builder buddies look things over, primarily firewall forward, to make sure I didnít miss something. Most, if not all of us, have a detailed condition inspection checklist that we follow.

As far as buying vs building, if your primary goal is to have an airplane to fly, then buy a flying airplane that meets your needs. If your only reason for building an airplane is because you think it will save you some money, I think you would end up being disappointed. The people that really donít enjoy the building experience, at least a little, are the reason that a fairly sizable percentage of kit starts never get finished.

This is of course my opinion, based on building and modifying several RVís, and I really enjoy building and working on these wonderful airplanes. There are great used airplanes, including RVís out there for sale and many are bargains.
RV6/2001 built/sold 2005
RV8 Fastback/2008 built/sold 2015
RV4/bought 2016/sold/2017
RV8/2018 built/Sold(sadly)
RV4/bought 2019 Flying
Cincinnati, OH/KHAO
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Old 02-27-2020, 07:34 AM
Avengerboss Avengerboss is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Ramona, Calif.
Posts: 282
Default 10 or 14 Choice

I agree with the last post. costs to build either is close but hours to build is much different. Doing the top ,doors and windows on the RV10 is very time consuming otherwise building a 10 or 14 airframe are really close. The 14 is basically a 2 seat 10. Wings and controls are the same as is allot of the cockpit construction and as is said in this thread you can put tons of $$$$$$$$ in Extras, interiors,paint & Avionics. Either way these are two wonderful RVs, fast and roomy. If I could afford it I'd have one of each!!!
Finished and flying our 10
finished & flying 14A assist build SOLD
Building another 7 !!!
Started another 14A assist build "Selling"
Built: two 7s, two 8's, two 9As,10,12, assisted in 2 RV14As ,RANS S7
RV Jackpoints mfg'r ""
Dues paid, And an ADD
Didn't know retirement was such hard work!!!!!
When does a repeat offender stop????
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Old 02-27-2020, 07:47 AM
rvanstory's Avatar
rvanstory rvanstory is offline
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: New Braunfels
Posts: 211

Originally Posted by Everwild View Post
... running kids back and forth to college, or taking trips with other couples.

...Find a clean Mooney, Cirrus or similar.

So my questions areÖ.

An RV14 uns roughly $140-160k ...The cost of a RV10 ...$170-190k ...
Are these reasonable assumptions?

Are you really saving that much on maintenance and annuals by building vs buying?
First to answer the questions you did ask...
1) If you want to fly with other "couples", an RV10 is your only viable choice from Vans.
2) Are your estimated costs reasonable? Maybe for some, certainly NOT for me. First, I count EVERY penny I spend down to every sheet of sandpaper, nut bolt or washer (I'm not sure everyone truly counts every penny when they tell you what thiers cost). I am building the plane of my dreams (RV-10) and it'll cost me in the neighborhood of $260k when done. Granted, I'm going high end paint, interior and avionics with most of the common deviations from plans (which all cost time and money). If you go with used engine, paint it yourself and don't deviate from the basic plans, you MIGHT be able to build it in your price range.

Now for the question you didn't ask....

The best advice I've ever read regarding your decision is this... "If you want to build a plane because you want the experience of building a plane, then do it. If you're building a plane because you want a plane to fly, then buy it."

In my opinion, a person should build a plane IF they love "the process" of building. At about 80% completion, I am LOVING my RV-10 project and wouldn't take anything for the experience. But I will tell you, it'd be hard to complete if my only motivation was needing a plane to fly. It's a LOT of work that can get downright monotonous at times. (i.e., sanding fiberglass)

So, if your goal to to fly missions with your kids, wife and other couples, I'd buy an already built Van's or a Mooney. (I currently fly a Mooney M20J and think it's one of the best values for the money.)

If you love building things and want the satisfaction that comes with building something yourself, then you should build a Van's RV-10. I would suggest you don't make the decision based on money (cost to build, maintain, etc...) Money is a poor motivator. Base it on what you love to do and want to do, build or fly.
Randy Vanstory
Building RV10
N783V - Reserved
Flying Mooney M20J
Tail Cone, Wings, Cabin top, Doors, Windows done. Engine hung, Prop & Spinner installed, Cowling fitted, Wheel Pants and Gear Leg Fairings done, Avionics delivered but waiting to be installed, Seats are being upholstered..... Itís beginning to feel like a plane.
Donation Happily Made 2020
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Old 02-27-2020, 08:18 AM
David Paule David Paule is online now
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 4,143
Default Do the Math

Tb * Vm * Vrv
----------------- = D
Vrv - Vm

Tb = time to build
Vm = speed of the Mooney
Vrv = speed of the RV
D = distance traveled by both the Mooney or the RV such that the total time spent traveling and building is the same.

It doesn't consider the fun (if you enjoy it) of building or the satisfaction of having something you built yourself.

Here's a quick example. The RV-3B I'm building will cruise at about 196 mph. I already have over 4,000 hours in the project so I'll use that number (I'm slow). My Cessna 180 at the same percent power will cruise 160 mph. I'd have to fly either airplane over 3.48 million miles to recover the time I spent building. That's well over 17,000 hours in the RV-3B or more in the C180.

Bottom line, it's hard to justify on the basis of speed. The opportunity cost of the time to build is too high. In my case, I'm building it for the fun of it.

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Old 02-27-2020, 09:52 AM
Dreamin9 Dreamin9 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Near Buffalo, NY
Posts: 66
Default Time vs Money

With moving kids around and flying friends you will want a 10.
Went to a forum at Oshkosh a few years back with a title something like, "So your want to build a plane".
It was put on by Vans! They were very honest, the gist was that if you want to build a plane you will have to give up something important in your life. Maybe golf, vacations, even flying. Wonder if there's any numbers on partial kits that change hands or are collecting dust in the barn. Myself, I'm the second owner in an RV-9A.

Not many people have a spare 20 hours in every week. If indeed you did faithfully work at the plane 20 hrs/week, had no redo's, no wait's for parts, no setback of any sort, were experienced with tools, materials, electronics, you might be done in three years.

There is another option, you can build your plane in a builder assist program in which you trade money for time while also learning the ins and outs of your plane.
I'm familiar with the program at Saint Aviation run by Jesse Saint, check out The cost is roughly 250k and includes panel/paint etc.

That's somewhat more than the numbers mentioned above but you have to figure the value of 3000 hours of your life. You might give Jesse a call for details or even plan a visit. At the moment there are two 10's in his shop, one getting finished up by the owner in the builder assist program, in the other case the first owner gave up and sold the partially done kit, the new owner is finishing it with Jesse.

The 10 is nearly as capable as a Cirrus or Bonanza and even with the builder assist only 1/3 the cost!


Last edited by Dreamin9 : 02-27-2020 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 02-27-2020, 10:14 AM
Bavafa Bavafa is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 3,144

Originally Posted by cwilkins View Post
Tim, I think you may have misunderstood taltruda’s question. He wasn’t asking why Van charges more for the -14 kit, but why is the finished product so much more expensive than building a -7.

I am also curious to know why it’s so much more, other than the obvious increase cost of engine and kit.
The kit cost difference is not as great as it may seem since many of the parts are in the kit whereas with the 7, one need to buy some of those parts separately.
But it is a bigger plane, and more aluminum, so it is a bit higher if we compare it apple to apple.

Plus 1 for Randy's comment. Agree 100% with his comment/view
N825SM RV7A - IO360M1B - SOLD
N825MS RV14A - IO390 - Flying
Dues paid

Last edited by Bavafa : 02-27-2020 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 02-27-2020, 11:21 AM
AlpineYoda AlpineYoda is offline
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 47

Your option 3 does not do justice to the full difference in cost between the options.

A long review of {Classified} listings was the final straw for me in starting an RV-10 QB. 6-9 year old Cirruses (Cirri?) equipped as I would want them would still cost $450,000 to $650,000, depending on equipment.

And, that, say, $550,000 plane has an engine that is already halfway to TBO.

And, that $550,000 will cost me thousands a year in A/P inspections and other work.

And I can't change or upgrade pretty much anything as the world changes, without major costs.

Compare that to my current estimate (build underway) for an RV-10 equipped with a parachute and full glass panel of $225,000. With generally free annual inspections and other work for at least the first few years, and low cost changes and upgrades.

For me, as much as I want a plane that I can FLY NOW with my family, all these budget pros and cons added up to a very clear decision to build my own versus buy used.
"When it absolutely, positively doesn't matter when or if it ever gets there, ship with Old Dominion."

RV-10 construction underway --
N1814T reserved with FAA
Donated through 12/31/2020, EAA and AOPA member

Last edited by rv7boy : 03-18-2020 at 10:15 PM. Reason: Lunch truck in Doug’s Restaurant parking lot
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