View Full Version : Frugal Building questions for owner-builders

July 15th 03, 01:43 PM
Seems a common theme from those who've chosen to be their own GCs
and/or build their own homes is that they wouldn't do it again. I'm
sure building a home isn't an easy task--hell, I know it isn't. And
I'm sure for large home projects GCs are worth every penny. But saying
one wouldn't be one's own builder again doesn't really tell me much
without more details.

So I'm wondering of those here who've been owner-builders and feel it
was so stressful they'd never do it again, I have some questions for

1) What size home did you build? How many stories and how many sq.

2) Did you get regular help in building from friends and others in the
community or did you "go it alone", hiring subs to do most of the
labor? Or did you try to do most of the labor yourself?

3) What geometry / shape was your home? Was it a basic square or
rectangle with a simple roof line or were there lots of breaks /
gables / etc?

4) What was your level of experience in construction when you began
your home?

5) What were the most difficult parts of your construction parts? What
were the easiest parts?

6) Aside from not doing it again, what would you do differently? Would
you do more labor yourself? Hire more subs? Hire a GC as a consultant?

I want to build a small home -- probably a 625 sq. ft base with a
sleeping / home office loft or second story. For really small homes
and cabins, I've heard there are even kits for this that aren't
terribly difficult for a few people to assemble. Whether it is or
isn't easy I wouldn't know because I haven't done it. I'm wondering if
anyone here has. I know the *cost* of a kit is completely deceiving
because there are a lot of other expenses not included in the cost of
the kit; apparently the final cost of a kit home can be 2-3X that of
the cost of the kit itself.


- Dana