October Housebuilding Tips

I’ve received a few emails from people saying, “I want to be my own general contractor so I can save money on labor”. A lot of them are really wondering if they can save that much by hiring their own contractors.

I’ve known many homeowners that have done this very thing and they’ve had mixed results.

The most important thing to remember if you want to be the general contractor of your own home project is that you need to do a lot of investigation.

Sub-contractors can really take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners acting as general contractors. That’s why it’s necessary to shop around for subs with good reputations.

It’s also necessary to get accurate bids and work order contracts from each sub-contractor.

In these difficult times of the housing crisis, it makes sense to do your own general contracting to save money. Try to get a good knowledge on job costing before you start hiring subs.

You can find out more about being your own general contractor in my
be your own general contractor page.

To better understand the responsibility of general contractors and to avoid getting taken advantage of by subs, you need to learn about job costing. You can get a fairly good idea of job costing by getting the cost of all materials involved. After you get that, add 50% to the cost just to be sure you’re getting a reasonable estimate on materials.

Once you get a total estimate from a sub-contractor, subtract the amount for materials from the amount and you will have the cost of labor. This will let you know how much you are being charged for labor which is the area where you could get taken advantage.

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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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