May 23, 2012

Should You Become an Owner Builder?

Becoming an owner builder is a huge task but it is one that could potentially save you vast amounts of money. Building a property yourself will allow you to achieve a higher level of quality for a lower price and the feeling of producing your own home is one that cannot be beaten. This being said, there is little doubt that it is a monolithic challenge and one that will potentially end up very costly if you do not do it right. Being an owner builder requires a certain level of expertise because a house is not something you can pick up at IKEA and screw together. Here are some things you should consider before opting to become and owner builder:

Managing the Project
As an owner builder you will literally be in charge of and on top of the entire project. This means that everything from land acquisition to building permit applications and insurance will all fall under your list of responsibilities. There is a huge amount more behind a home construction than would first be imagined and completing it correctly is vital. If you buy land then it does not necessarily mean that you can build upon it without worry. Running this project will be a full-time role that will not let you sit back and relax until it is successfully complete.

Excessive Preparation
When managing a project on a construction site the key is preparation. It is essential to be prepared for every eventuality and this can be a very complex requirement. When materials arrive, for example, access needs to be arranged and space needs to be created. In most cases the material will have to stay where it is dropped and most materials are somewhat weather sensitive. This means that the area has to be ready well in advance and items need to arrive at precisely the right time of the build so that you can accommodate.

Preparing for deliveries is manageable but preparing for the arrival of rain when your roof is still a pile off wood is somewhat more vital. In this case, and in many other cases, a mistake or a failure to prepare could end up costing you thousands of dollars and also delay the build dramatically.

Structural Integrity
Remember that the home you are building needs to support your family and your life. It is vital that the structural integrity of the home is faultless and your ability to achieve this needs to be solid. Constructing a home should not be something that you learn on the job as every inch of it needs to stand together.

As owner builder you will be responsible for the safety of everyone on your site and this is a huge responsibility to take on. Given that even hand tools dropped from the roof of a house could cause a fatality, it is vital that safety is number one. The responsibility of this cannot be taken lightly because it is a serious issue and one that could ruin you financially even if no injuries take place. Insurance costs will be significant but more seriously than this, people’s lives will be in your hands.
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