It is said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. The same is true in homebuilding. What is most important is that you understand the process and where to begin
Most of us cannot build a home by ourselves, we need professional help. I know when my wife and I built our homes we used Building Contractors to complete the home. Our main function was to provide direction and financing, making sure that in the end, we built the home we wanted, within our budget.
Several options are available to you, to help you build a home. Where you start, when you build, is critical. To my knowledge, there are 4 major options available.
Build A Home Option # 1 – General Contracting the Home Yourself.
This is the option we chose to build our last home. We were responsible for the entire home building process. This option is the most time consuming and requires the most dedication to build a home.
You are responsible for selecting the right Home Plans, finding a Home Loan, selecting and paying Building Contractors and supervising the Home Construction. In a word, you are responsible for it all.
If you have the time and knowledge being your own GC (general contractor) will save you the most money. Anywhere from 20 to 40%. If you are considering this route I would strongly suggest investing in books on the subject to gain as much knowledge as you can.
Build A Home Option # 2 – Regional & National Owner Builder Programs
There are many of these programs available across the country. They essentially take several aspects of the home building process and wrap them up in a package to help you build a home.
These programs vary, but most of them offer House Plans, some sort of a Building Contractor list or referral service, access to Home Loans, and consultation in one form or the other. Some of them also offer discounts at various local, or national building suppliers.
The clear advantage to these programs is they will help you figure out what to do, and in what order. The disadvantage is many of them are costly, and some don’t live up to their promises.
The essential difference between National and Regional Owner Builder programs is location. You can visit one locally and meet face to face. It all boils down to which program fits your needs, and what is best for you and your family.
I would suggest you look at a minimum of three before making a choice. The more research you do up front, the better.
Prior to choosing any program you, should check references with the local BBB, and obtain a client list that you can call and check out what the actual clients have to say about the service. This is very important, don’t skip this step!
Build A Home Option # 3 – Local Building Supervisor
You can hire a Building Supervisor to build your home. They usually choose the Building Contractors, help you with your House Plans, and supervise the construction of your home on a day-to-day basis.
Normally you are responsible to pay the contractors and obtain financing. The building supervisor brings experience to your project, and if you find the right one, can be a big asset.
A good place to locate a building supervisor is at your local lumberyard or home building supply. Not at Lowe’s or Home Depot, but at the supply yards that run accounts for home builders. Generally, they will have a board set up for Building Contractors and Supervisors to put their business cards on.
Build A Home Option # 4 – Custom Builder
This is a good option for those of you that don’t have the time or knowledge to build a home. Of course, as you are probably already aware this is also the most expensive option.
Custom Builders can take you from the concept you have in mind to a completed home. They, by far, know the most about building in your area. Of course the more you know about the home building process the better.