Do It Yourself Home Building: Do You Have What It Takes?

Build a House YourselfThe do it yourself method of home building can save you 20% – 40% of the construction cost. The question is: “Do you have what it takes to build your own home yourself? Before you answer that question, there are three aspects of the do it yourself home building concept that you need to consider.

1. If you have construction knowledge and experience and plan on participating in the actual construction of the home, can you manage the entire process in building a home?

2. Same as No. 1 above, but you do not participate in the actual construction of the home. You perform as a construction manager and manage the subcontractors and suppliers, schedule the work, schedule the inspections, and pay all of the bills.

3. You employ a Building Consultant to manage the construction, but you retain control of the distribution of the funds.

So that you have a better understanding of what is involved in the construction of your home, let’s look at each one of the scenarios in greater detail. After you have digested all of this forthcoming information, then you can make an intelligent decision.

Scenario 1

Let’s look at the first scenario. There are some experienced and knowledgeable people who can do framing, plumbing, electrical or masonry work and feel comfortable in managing all phases of the construction. They have been working at other construction sites and have a pretty good idea of what it takes to get the job done. They are truly do it yourself type of people.

If you are one of these people, then all you have to do is get yourself organized with a plan of action. What I am about to share with you comes from my own personal experience in building your own home. I actually did a combination of the first two scenarios. Managing the construction of a Habitat for Humanity house also provided me with some valuable information.

One of the first things that you will want to do is to prepare a written home building checklist. Here is a brief summary of some of the items that you will have to address:

1. Obtain bids from subcontractors and suppliers to prepare a budget. You should try to get at least three (3) bids for each phase of the work. Then you select the most beneficial bids.

2. Once you have established a budget, you can obtain the necessary building permits from the local building inspection department. You may have to obtain a soils analysis report (for septic tank sewer situations) before you proceed on to the building permit.

3. Make sure that you purchase the necessary insurance to protect yourself during the construction. This will include a builder’s risk policy and a liability policy. You should also check to see if your subcontractors carry insurance as well.

4. You will need some type of contractural documents so that there are no misunderstandings between you and your subcontractors and suppliers. Standard forms are available at office supply stores or on the internet at or

5. Prepare a realistic schedule of events so that you can coordinate the work in an orderly fashion and monitor the progress. This also includes scheduling the required inspections.

6. Establish a separate construction account at a bank to handle the draws and distribution of funds. Do not mingle them with the funds in your personal checking account.

If you can accomplish all of this and stay sane at the same time, you are ready to do it yourself and undertake this project with confidence. For further information on how to build a house, check out for a more detailed description of what it takes to do it yourself.

Scenario 2

Scenario No. 2 is similar to the first one except that you do not physically participate in the actual construction of the house. Instead, you act as a construction manager and subcontract all of the work to others. This allows you to see the overall picture of what is needed to complete the project.

You can still save a great deal of money on the construction cost using this scenario. Also, you will still have to accomplish all of the six items listed above.

Scenario 3

Build Your Own HomeIf you do not have the confidence to totally do it yourself, then Scenario No. 3 is the way to go. By employing a Building Consultant to work with you every step of the way, you will have a better chance of succeeding in your home building project and still be able to do it yourself to some degree.

There are companies like U Build It Corp. that offer building consultant services based on your knowledge of construction and experience. For additional information, check out

Usually, they have a one-time fee that is based on the square footage of construction. Then, it does not matter what features you put in the house because their fee does not change.

Also, the consultant is on “your side of the table” now instead of being in an adversarial role similar to your typical home builder. He can assist you in lot selection, house design, negotiating contracts, construction financing, managing the construction and paying the bills.

One of the advantages of the building consultant is that, depending upon which program you select, professional inspection services are included in their fee. This is additional insurance that you will be building your home according to the latest building codes. This is a good investment in any event.

Another aspect of the building consultant to consider is theĀ Retired Residential Building Professional. This person could be a former superintendent, construction manager or home builder with extensive knowledge and experience in the home building business. Click on this link to learn more about this opportunity.

One important thing that you have to remember is to PAY YOUR SUBCONTRACTORS AND SUPPLIERS ON TIME! If the work is completed and meets with your approval, be sure that you pay your bills on time. Otherwise, they will conveniently be absent on your jobsite and you do not want that. This is one principle that I never waivered on because I wanted the loyalty of all the workers.

One final point in your do it yourself home building project to consider is whether your lender, if you have one, will allow you to be the owner/builder and build your own home. Some lenders will require you to have a consultant with construction experience to guide you along the way. After all, it is their money that you are working with. This is why the Building Consultant scenario is a viable choice.

The are other books and resources regarding the do it yourself concept of building your own home. Check out Shop at or Barnes and or the references mentioned above.