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Build My Own House - Why Build My Own House?

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Build My Own House: Contracting

Many states allow you to build your own house or at least contract it out yourself. Other states require a licensed contractor to oversee construction. If you can find a contractor who will simply inspect the work you have done and sign off on it, they will usually not charge too much. Since a contractor is the single biggest expense on a construction project, doing your own contracting can save a lot of money, even if you don’t do any of the work yourself. If you are able, however, to do a portion of the work yourself, you can save even more money and the rewarding satisfaction of a job well done.

Build My Own House: Planning

Before taking on a project of such magnitude as building your own house, you should research absolutely every aspect of the project. You do not want to be blind-sided half way through the project by something you did not anticipate. You should plan to have an emergency fund for your project which is at least 10% of your total budget. This should cover you if an unforeseen problem does arise. You can also accomplish this by getting your construction loan for at least 10% more than the projected cost of your project. Thoroughly research what every step of the building process will cost. Do not simply look at your blueprints and add up what the house on the plans will cost. Your house will be on a unique piece of property. Grating has a wide price range, so get quotes for your specific area. Plumbing is another consideration, find out what the building codes require for your property. If you need a well instead of a water hook up, this will cost extra. You also should find out if you will need a septic tank and cesspool or sewage hookup. The entire planning process will probably take about a year. The last thing you need is to be planning while you are building. Building permits expire, so be familiar with the time constraints on your project. In case your project takes longer than you expect, you need to know what it will cost to renew or extend the building permit, and if it is even guaranteed that you can renew the permit.

Build My Own House: Property

It is a very good idea, if possible, to purchase your property before beginning your project. This may not be possible if you have to fund your project with a single loan, but it is preferable to have your land paid off before beginning construction on it. This also will allow you to handle the grading, and possibly the well and septic system, before you obtain a building permit. (Be sure of the zoning laws in your area before doing anything without a permit.)

Build My Own House: House Plans and Options

Selecting a set of house plans should be one of the first steps in your planning process. It is helpful to spend time looking at houses with a real estate agent and make a list of the things you are looking for in your house plans. If you know what kind of house you want to build, you will want to select your land with the house you are going to build in mind. If you already have your land, you should select a house that will work well with your land. For instance, if your land is not level, you will probably save money by building a multi story house, since you will not have to level so much ground.

Once you have selected a set of house plans, Make sure you have considered the options and accounted correctly for the difference in costs between different options. Consider that it is much cheaper to build on a slab than it is to build on a crawl space or basement. If you plan to use upgraded windows, or roofing, be sure to account for these when calculating the cost. Keep in mind, most home loans are 30 year loans, so certain upgrades will actually pay for themselves before you pay off your house.

Build My Own House: Hiring Sub-Contractors

You will need to hire people to do the work, or at least help you do it. This is where your project will start to come together. Do not hire people just because they have cheap prices. Make sure your sub-contractors do quality work and have good reputations. If you are working with a contractor, consult with him about people he has used before. Most construction jobs do not require a license, but certain parts of your project, such as plumbing and electrical, must be done by a licensed professional. Everything will have to be inspected by a building inspector, so you will need someone who is familiar with building codes on your workforce.

Build My Own House: Doing work yourself

Finally, there is a portion of the work you can do yourself. You just have to decide how far you want take building your own house. Painting, trim, installing fixtures, and flooring are simple tasks that you can do yourself with very basic tools. You can rent or buy a paint sprayer and paint the inside of most houses in two days or less. Simply paint the walls before you install trim, fixtures, or flooring. Once the walls are dry, paint or texture the ceilings to cover any overspray. The exterior can be painted in less than one week. A painter can account for 10-20 thousand dollars in the price of some houses, so you can save a lot of money by doing the paint yourself. However, even if you are proficient with drywall and siding, it will probably take you more time and labor to complete than it is worth. Take this in to consideration when deciding what you will do yourself and what you will contract out.

Above all, enjoy your project. Building your own house can save you a lot of money, but it can also be very rewarding. You will appreciate your house so much more knowing the labor that you put in to it. I can tell you first hand that I have learned a lot and saved a pile of money since I first decided to build my own house.

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