July Housebuilding Tip

A common question I get from my site visitors is concerning the price of materials for home construction. They think that because homes cost so much to build the materials must be part of the reason.

Remember that labor is as much as 2/3 the cost of the home which leaves very little of the construction price left for materials. The price of materials fluctuates a lot with the supply and demand of the housing industry.

For the most part, building materials have stayed about the same price for about ten years. Sheetrock has almost tripled in price, but it was so cheap before that it makes very little difference in the overall price of the home.

The cost of labor has gotten ridiculously out of control, not the price of materials. I guess that means that it’s a good time to build your own home if you’re planning on doing the labor yourself.

It’s always been a good time to build if you’re doing your own work. A bad economy has little to do with homeowners who gain loads of equity by doing their own work.

So go ahead and build. As a matter of fact, most building products are becoming more reasonable every day. Retailers are having to sell products for less to remain competitive.

There are many bargains to be had as the building boom has settled into outright recession. As far as the cost of materials, I can only think of one item that is more expensive than it was five years ago. That is sheet rock. A lot of that has to do with the Chinese drywall lawsuits which caused a huge demand for locally-made sheet rock in the USA.

Most everything else is around twenty percent less than it was five years ago. That is good for owner/builders.

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I just wanted to say that I love your website. My husband and I followed your instructions on building our own home. Most of the work we did ourselves, but not all. We saved $90,000 in labor costs and now have a beautiful home that we own.

--Sue and Les Carrigan, Draper, Utah

I built my own home doing all my own labor. My house costs me around $70,000 for materials. It took me 8 months to build and is about 2,000 square feet. I didn't think I could do it, but your house web site encouraged me. I used all the info you had.

Thank you,

Benny Luis Lopez,

Gainsville, Florida

I can't thank you enough for your free information web site about home building. I was looking for Electrical wiring diagrams when I found your site. It was very helpful.

Steve Lundquist,

Little Rock, Arkansas

My wife and I lost our home to foreclosure but we kept a plot of land to start over. We are halfway through the construction of our house. Your website gave us hope to start over and build a house with low payments. We are in our late 60's but we find it rewarding to put so much effort into a project that will reward us for years to come.

Name respectfully withheld