How to Build Your Own Home

Biscuit head Move a DIY Bonehead

Can you you see the problem with the image above? If you cannot see the problem, you have the biscuit head gene and you should never call yourself a general contractor. Does this mean you cannot build your own home? No, it just means you should never do electrical or plumbing, and perhaps anything.

It is a fallacy to assume that you can build your own home and be wise, prudent and efficient. I have actually seen one person almost do it, everything all by himself. After four years, though, he was still not done. The reason is because it takes nearly forty different skill stets, or should I say forty different sub-contractors to build a home.

The owner builder training at Kelsch Construction details each of these skill sets or sub-contractors. The point I want to make is simple, we do not build our own home; we manage the build of our new home.

When it comes to building your own home, there are two paths, the DIY biscuit head that thinks he or she can do everything.

The second is the brains that manages the build of a new home. We call this second person an owner builder.

The DIY biscuit head wastes time and money, the stories I could tell of massive failures and bonehead decisions are many.

It’s ok to do two or three things yourself when building your own home, maybe with skills you have, but it is unwise to bite more than you can chew. In just about every case, every time I have seen one person do something on their own to save money, they actual end up wasting more time and therefore more money.

Let’s look at it logically. The number one reason people build their own home is to avoid hiring a general contractor. A general contractor is by far the biggest cost in building new home. Contractors can charge anywhere from 10-28% of the cost to build, and this can be anywhere from $30,000 to nearly $75,000 for the average home today. The greatest hurdle in building a home is to do it without a contractor. It is the best cost savings decision you could make, but for many it can be the biggest mistake they make because they are not properly prepared to manage the build of their own home. Biscuit heads assume they are general contractors because they are owner builders, and they are not. Owner builders are managers by definition, not contractors.

Today I left a job site where I am building a home for a client. He is a great guy, with experience in one trade. But he brought up an idea that would weaken the foundation of the home and possibly cause irreparable damage. If he was the owner builder acting like a general contractor, he would have made a very bad decision.

General contractors make the call on decisions like that, owner builders do not. General contractors, at least those with years of experience or a half dozen trades under their belt, know about unintended consequences. They know about soil types, compaction, water erosion, and what not to do to weaken an established footing. They see things in relation. Owner builders are linear, they do not see unintended consequences, and this makes them dangerous.

I am on a mission, to help owner builders avoid becoming biscuit heads. I want to help owner builders manage the workflow, timing, bidding, and everything else they can do to save gobs of money without making a muck of things.

Subscribe, follow along and learn how to manage right and save big. I am the only general contractor willing to tell all, train the basics, and help owner builders know the process of managing the build a home without knowing the skills to do it.

Keith KelschComment