How to build your own house

An owner builder affidavit lets owner/builders do their own labor. Most areas have codes which state that only licensed contractors can charge homeowners to perform labor. If a homeowner wants to do his or her own labor they need to get an affidavit that specifically allows them to do so.


I have included a sample affidavit so you can see what it entails below. Basically it just makes the owner builder promise to only do work on his or her own residential property. If a professional is required to some of the work, that person needs to be a licensed contractor.

Now, not every county or city is going to let you do your own labor. If you live in a place like Beverly Hills, California, you might get laughed out of the inspectors office for requesting to do your own work.

California is a wonderful state, but it has paralyzed itself because of so many building restrictions. Homes cost a lot of money there and that has really hurt the value and sales of new homes.

But at any rate, a homeowner can save a bunch of money by doing the labor instead of hiring it all out.



These owner builder affidavits all vary from area to area, so be sure to know the rules in your local area before making plans. Local building inspectors can be a wealth of knowledge for planning your home.

Electrical and Plumbing inspectors will provide details on codes and regulations that will keep you in their good graces. They can also give you information for testing systems safely and effectively.

If you live in the country, you will need other permits for drilling a well and installing a septic system.


owner builder affidavit

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There are only a few areas in the US that actually prohibit homeowners from doing their own labor. For the most part, it’s a matter of choice for the owner. All work still needs to be approved of by an inspector, naturally.



A lot of the reason why people don’t build their own homes is because they don’t think they are allowed to. I also think it is discouraging to many people to think of all the hoops they have to jump through just to please inspectors.

No matter how difficult the building process is though, it’s completely worth it considering how much money you will save in labor costs.

Owner-builder affidavit sample PDF




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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