Building A Home Yourself Is Not An Easy Task

General contracting the construction of your new home is without a doubt one of life’s most stressful events. It is not something that you should take lightly. I personally know a few couples who were sent over the edge and right into divorce over their dream house.

My advice to you is when you enter the thinking about it stage, find another couple that has been through the process, buy them dinner and pick their brain. Find a community college that has a general contracting class and attend it. The instructor will be in a position to put you in contact with people who are or have been through the homebuilding process.

If I can give you one catch phrase to remember throughout the process, something you can go back to time and time again, it would be “Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance”.  Plan, plan and plan some more, and realize despite all the planning you do there will be things that still come up unexpectedly.

Remember you are acting as the builder, so when unforeseen things come up they are your responsibility. An example would be the excavator is digging your foundation hole and hits a vein of black dirt or ground that is not structurally suitable for the foundation to sit on. He has to dig out an area 10’ square by 4 ‘deep. That means 1 or 2 more loads of dirt has to hauled off the site, a visit to the site by your engineer and 2 loads of 3” rock to fill the hole and support the foundation. Add that to your budget.

Mke decisions on everything you can before you begin the actual construction process. Make all your material selections before you begin construction; there will be enough decisions to make once construction begins. Be aware of the time of year you plan on actually building, and determine what is the normal weather patterns for that time of year in your region. You don’t want to be digging a foundation in the rainy season if you can avoid it.

Dealing with subcontractors can be very stressful. Remember your subcontractor gets repeat business from other builders, but not you. That means if the builder really needs the plumber, that is where he will be, and your job will sit. If this happens refuse the natural tendency to just call your HVAC subcontractor in, and have him begin his work in front of the plumber. When the plumber does get there he will undoubtedly tear some of the duct work down to run his plumbing pipes and you will have the added expense of replacing the duct and an upset HVAC contractor.

Cleaning the jobsite daily, dumpsters, contacting and scheduling utility companies, arranging for temporary heat and fans to dry drywall mud will also be your responsibilities. An often overlooked area is street cleaning. Some towns and villages insist that all mud and debris be cleaned from the streets each night and if it gets too bad during the course of the day it must be cleaned immediately. Assign street cleaning responsibilities to each of your subcontractors. The last thing you need is a call at 6pm telling you that you have an hour to clean the street or be faced with a $300 ticket.

Lastly be a good neighbor, don’t forget you will be moving into that very house and living on that block. Introduce yourself to the neighbors, give them your phone number and ask them to call if anything is wrong. You can also take this opportunity to ask them to keep an eye on the property and encourage them to call you or the police if they see anything suspicious. Every day when you drive to the site look out for debris that has blown from your site onto neighbor’s property. Believe me if they see you stop the car, get out to pick up a shingle wrapper ½ way down the block they will know you care and tend not to make a big deal the next time something blows their way.

I don’t mean to discourage you from building your dream home; it can be a tremendously rewarding experience. Be prepared to spend a year immersed in the project. You will spend 6 to 8 months in the planning stages and 4 to 8 months in the actual physical construction of your new home. Remember the 5 P’s :Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance” !

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 Responses to “Building A Home Yourself Is Not An Easy Task”

  1. I’m still learning from you, as I’m improving myself. I definitely liked reading everything that is written on your site.Keep the tips coming. I liked it!

  2. Hester says:

    Absolutely first rate and ceoppr-bottomed, gentlemen!

  3. Candid says:

    Just what the dcotor ordered, thankity you!

  4. Hey, buddy, I have not figured out tips on how to subscribe

    • Contractor John says:

      Click om RSS button and then fill out info on page that it links to. You must have some kind of reader, I suggest Google reader but there are many on the internet. If you still cant figure it out write back

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: