Questions and answers about the construction build process

· I don’t have any tools for my construction-build projects and it must be expensive to buy everything needed to do the job.

tool for housesYou will need many different kinds of tools, but they aren’t that expensive and you don’t need to get them all at once. There are however some very important tools that you will use in almost every phase of construction. Your total price for tools shouldn’t be much over $1,000. You’ll want to be sure that the tools you use a lot be of good quality. Among these are: tape measure, drill, circular saw, hammer, square, level, and a tool belt. The other tools you can get as you need them and you don’t have to go for quality every time.

man tripping
You can also rent almost every more expensive tool there is. Renting is a better way to go if you’ll just be using the tool for a short time. I spent way too much on tools. I bought a Radial arm saw for $400, an air compressor for $300 and several other things that I used for a little while, but then was just tools in my way that cluttered the floors. So you really don’t need to go out and get that much stuff for your construction build projects. It’s always good though, to have tools after your house is built because once you get started building, you seem to get building fever.

A person told me once that by the time you buy all the tools to build your own house you’ll have shelled out enough money to hire a carpenter to do the work for you. I’m so glad I didn’t believe that person.

· I’ll just rent it’s cheaper.

house rental

Renting is great as long as you’re the landlord and not the tenant. I know very well that when a person is trying to get started after leaving the nest, it’s almost impossible to build instead of rent. That’s just fine. I think most of us have been there. You cut the apron strings and you’re free to do what you want. You have aspirations of what you’re going to become and visions of a great life full of abundance occupy your mind. Renting is fine at this point. There does come a time however; when renting is just throwing your money away. While it’s true that renters don’t pay property taxes, they do miss out on some good tax breaks and they aren’t accumulating any equity in valuable property. If a person rents, that person is accumulating equity for the owner of the property or helping him to line his pockets.

house expenses
Homeowners know that mortgage interest gives a substantial break come tax time. While we’re on that note, I’m reminded of something said to me during one of my many conversations about doing all my own carpentry work. This person has a smaller home than I do, but his payments are much higher because he bought a ready-made home in a subdivision. He said, “I think it’s stupid to build your own house because if your payments are low, then you don’t get as good a tax write-off.” This guy was serious.

dumb man

You know, it’s not good to judge people, we do however; have to attempt to assess everyone’s level of understanding that we talk with. That’s part of communication. When I run across a person that says something so absurd, I automatically knock about twenty-five points or more off what I suppose his I.Q. must be.

Now, we’ve established the fact that paying mortgage interest is evil, but most of us have to do it. Renting, in my opinion is worse because a renter throws all his money away, a homeowner only throws the mortgage interest away. Unfortunately, we know that the hard-earned money that is paid in mortgage interest goes mostly to those who need it the least.

· My workmanship is so lousy, my house would probably fall down, even if it didn’t fall down, it would look like a dump.

old house

making fun

Well, I thought the same thing because everything I had built up to that point did look like a dump. I was raised in the country on a farm. When something broke down, we could usually fix it with bailing twine or duct tape. My childhood was a wonderful time. I spent a lot of my younger years building tree houses and forts out of what wood and nails we could scrounge. All my work looked bad, even for a child my projects came out looking shoddy at best. I won the ugly car contest at a scouting pine wood derby when I was young. I even tried my best to make a good car. It didn’t even go down the track because the wheels were so crooked. That’s tough on an eight year old. I know I’ve got some deep emotional scars somewhere from that night.

But the work was always my own. I have always been independent. My work is my character signature. It represents who I am. It tells my story. The design of my house describes my personality. I always say, “Function over form”, which is a fancy way of saying, “My projects might look bad, but they work just fine.” Check out the photo.

rustic cabin

My first construction project was this rustic log cabin where my brother and I cut down the trees for logs and drug them to the site with a pickup. We notched them with a chainsaw and an ax, then nailed them together with ring-shank spikes. Total cost was about $1100. It was a fun place for a couple of Mountain Men. Not much to look at though.
ugly duckling
The real beauty of building a house even though you’re an amateur is that you start with the rough work. Rough work can be rough looking. A first time homebuilder can get away with some imperfections. You’ll find out that it only takes a short time to get your confidence, and some experience. The rough work all gets covered up by finish work. By the time you get to the finish work, you’ll have a lot of experience and your work will look good. Mine did.


Another thing is that right from the get-go; most homebuilders do their best quality work because it’s a home. It’s going to be around for a long time so it needs to be done right. Not only that, but when you’re spending so much money on construction-build projects, you want it to look the best it can. You should keep in mind that you’re trying to make something valuable, something attractive not only to friends and neighbors, but also to appraisers and future prospective buyers.

I really surprised myself (and probably everyone else,) when I was finished with the vinyl siding, how beautiful my house looked. With all the wonderful sidings and trimmings to finish a home with, your ugly duckling house will emerge a beautiful swan almost overnight.


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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.

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