Asked on Mar 24, 2013

Steps to contract your own homebuilding

Hamtil Construction LLCWoodbridge Environmental


We are planning to build our new home in North Carolina and wanted to know the steps in contracting ourselves. What are the pros and cons?
2 answers
  • Doing your own contracting can be rewarding and can ruin your marriage as well. You must be really good with numbers, have a ton of time available on site to handle all the issues that often come up during the building process. You cannot do this part time. The sub contractors will only show up when your around and go elsewhere when our not. You must be fluent in the construction of a home to be able to handle all the questions that will be asked of you to answer. Your not going to find any answers in any books. And there are a lot of them on how to do this. It has been my general conclusion that those who contract their own home has a fool for a client. You need to be totally aware of the local building codes. You need to understand every trade or they will take advantage of you. You must plan that this will end up costing you your sanity and life for at least a year. And plan that you will be over budget. I have seen many very knowledgeable people do their own contracting on homes that they have built. Why have I seen them? Because I was there fixing all the issues that came up after they moved in. This is not to say your not able to do this. But in my professional opinion, I would pay someone else for the headaches and just be around enough to keep the builder on his or her toes.

  • Hamtil Construction LLC
    on Mar 25, 2013

    In my humble opinion, the pros are that you will save the markup and fees that you would otherwise pay a general contractor. The cons are that you will be assuming every responsibility for planning, coordinating, scheduling, selections, deliveries, overseeing, and warranting the build. To ensure success, you have to have a well rounded knowledge of the technical and legal aspects of the endeavor. If you do not have any previous experience in the building industry, I would not advise it at all. When you hire the right general contractor, you hire someone who will be your coach throughout the process and who also brings the right team of subcontractors to the table. Well worth the money if you ask me. It only takes one major misstep along the way to completely negate all the money you are saving by doing the job yourself. That said, if you can assume the job of running your own project, and pull it off, it can be a hugely rewarding experience at the end of the day. I would start by really identifying exactly why you want to take on the task. If you know anyone personally who has walked through it, that would be a good next step to get feedback.

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