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Journals
Name Visits Posts Pics Videos

Barrel-Race7,075771570
TuesdayHouston, TX

Vilano-Beach--Water-...21,197391170
4/5/2014Saint Augustine, FL

HudsonHouse7,000300
4/2/2014Omaha, NE

Tanglewood86,6147862,22242
3/24/2014Colorado Springs, CO

697MarlinAustinArea1,17718910
3/15/2014Austin/McDade, TX

1860s-Texas-rehabnew...43,122441910
3/14/2014Boerne, TX

Bladenkirk521640
3/13/2014White Oak, NC

P-Wade-Crocker406100
3/12/2014Spring, TX

Shana474200
3/11/2014Chaffee, MO

OwensNewHome59,9781033810
2/2/2014Chandler, AZ

Du-Lock-Lane1,292200
2/1/2014Houston, TX

Family-Affair10,590440
1/31/2014Saint Petersburg, FL

TheCastle9,974270
1/23/2014Cheshire, CT

The-Last-Rodeo9,65027100
1/14/2014Angel Fire, NM

TheHoskensProject58,5001504333
12/31/2013Dome-ville, central, FL

NorthPoleHome30,201341330
12/29/2013North Pole, AK

navarre-village-buil...1,180100
12/26/2013Gulf Breeze, FL

Seven-Peaks-Faswall-...34,813483181
11/18/2013Graeagle, CA

The-Dailey-Project1,768100
10/27/2013Pompano Beach, FL

Beaver-Creek-Ranch30,273213210
10/15/2013Hayfork, CA

The-Cortes-Adventure17,670520
10/14/2013Snowflake, AZ

jeff3,857300
8/29/2013Jackson, MO

Miami-FL-country-hom...5,365320
7/30/2013Miami, FL

Brevard-County--Pt-S...2,554100
7/17/2013Rockledge, FL

Dream-Build-Austin-T...4,151300
4/17/2013Austin, TX

Eschete-Dome22,37330530
12/24/2012Lafayette, LA

ChapelHillNCBob5,559110
10/23/2012Chapel Hill, NC

The-Skimino-Bluff6,9603130
10/13/2012Williamsburg, VA

Octagon-in-Glencoe-C...48,777144110
10/8/2012Glencoe , CA

nateshomemtpeakview4,661100
9/29/2012

sherman20,031221560
9/27/2012Downers Grove, IL

Omaha9,164380
9/13/2012Omaha, NE

Holy-Hill-House16,47435530
8/27/2012Richfield, WI

Omega-CEO5,612110
8/13/2012Manassas, VA

JayHouse10,3247190
6/22/2012Sebastopol, CA

30233,37223770
5/20/2012Belfair, WA

SunburnStateHome6,300110
3/6/2012Charlotte County, FL

VICTOR-MONTANA8,098110
2/22/2012Victor, MT

Houston-720125966,788100
1/21/2012Houston, TX

Workshop15,587630
1/8/2012Florissant, CO

Our-simple-home11,814223080
12/5/2011LaPorte, IN

ICF-Construction19,355500
11/11/2011Elkridge, MD

Little-Help-from-my-...12,26511150
11/4/2011Rockwall, TX

YaNYca14,000810
10/29/2011Boston, MA

The-Man-Refuge10,837310
10/19/2011San Antonio, TX

mckernanmc11,150320
10/6/2011Amite, LA

Large-Family-Compoun...7,442200
9/23/2011Covington, GA

Woodchuck-Ridge10,294480
9/12/2011Akron, OH

Forever-Home-Sweet-H...20,91734310
8/24/2011Issaquah, WA

Clarksville-MD9,069200
8/22/2011Eldersburg, MD

steve-n-carolyn16,3154140
8/21/2011Sun City, CA

Old-York8,161200
7/27/2011Bridgewater, NJ

Carriage-House17,06920282
7/24/2011Ft. Collins, CO

DomeSweetDome22,29718291
6/4/2011Suffolk, VA

Goodpasture24,151562880
5/28/2011Westminster, CO

Marks-Log-Cabin13,923392210
5/12/2011Altoona, PA

Bill21,118100
5/4/2011Tucson, AZ

Mueller-Dream-Home8,798100
4/15/2011

Oklahoma-Steel10,739650
4/13/2011Minco, OK

DutchG8,414200
4/5/2011

HiddenInOhio10,3169130
4/1/2011Elyria, OH

MagnoliaHouse8,864100
3/29/2011Houston, TX

Buffaloader13,721200
1/11/2011Valley Center, KS

SouthernEcoHome27,78920210
1/9/2011Blacksburg, VA

Austrian-Chalet14,138780
1/2/2011Twin Lakes, CO

Vista-Ridge13,17821660
12/21/2010Swanton, OH

OurFarmstead28,424601890
12/10/2010Pennsylvania

AirparkHome-Remodel29,61022460
11/8/2010Hillsboro, OR

Holloway10,865200
11/7/2010Petersburg, VA

Building-Our-Lakefro...9,752110
11/5/2010Piscataway, NJ

SunburyGalena-Build9,019100
11/3/2010Galena, OH

BUILDING-OUR-GREEN-D...9,880800
11/2/2010Pattison, TX

RR-Homestead23,97531740
10/26/2010Janesville, CA

Casa-Paradiso-Vieque...9,832200
10/19/2010Chelsea, MA

Millerbuild11,0955110
10/1/2010Carstairs, AB

Delisledigs11,511300
9/16/2010Jacksonville, FL

h20dave11,341430
9/10/2010Waterloo, AL

Mountain-Idyl11,089900
9/9/2010Asheville, NC

High-over-Lake-Granb...14,56712230
9/8/2010Granbury, TX

Homestead35,94264850
9/8/2010Smithville, MO

philandjan12,946100
9/2/2010

Commons10,164200
8/21/2010Atascocita, TX

Our-First-OB-home10,559300
7/27/2010Gardner, KS

Louisiana-Mediterran...20,108311870
7/21/2010Sunset, LA

Crows-Nest9,838100
7/20/2010

Patterson-Project10,404400
7/16/2010John's Island, SC

Hidden-Meadow-Home12,4462100
7/13/2010Murrieta, CA

New-house-in-Selah-W...10,190140
7/4/2010Belfair, WA

Arnold-CA-Alpine-cha...20,91122100
7/2/2010Arnold, CA

Working-Wilton39,891343010
6/16/2010Wilton, NH

JJ-Residence9,616100
6/7/2010San Antonio, TX

Thompson-Valley-Home10,818330
6/6/2010Monticello, FL

Naperville-Webster-S...26,3572360
5/21/2010Naperville, IL

Gary--Suzi11,059100
5/7/2010

crystal-falls-home28,82120270
5/5/2010Cedar Park, TX

Kapoho-Retirement-Ho...10,891130
5/4/2010Santa Ana, CA

NC--New-Construction10,490100
5/3/2010

Collins-on-Cobblesto...11,49121910
4/30/2010Waynesville, NC

Dwight--Colleen-Hart...11,891130
4/30/2010Vaughn, WA

Riley32,81032950
4/29/2010Cave Creek, AZ

The-New-Ries-Homeste...14,88719980
4/21/2010Polk/Richfield/Erin/Hartford, WI

The-Season9,541130
4/10/2010Mount Airy, NC

The-Naas-Place10,048200
3/30/2010Pittsburg, CA

Phil-and-Lauras-home13,103400
3/20/2010Tulsa, OK

Southport-NC-Home17,535201281
3/18/2010Southport, NC

Loris24,996110
3/11/2010

Seaton-Station10,241140
3/10/2010Siloam Springs, AR

Backwoods-Project14,301390
3/4/2010Jeffersonville, GA

ICF-in-Ann-Arbor26,220293710
1/25/2010Dexter, MI

DancingPines10,987200
1/25/2010Clinton, LA

Log-Cabin10,583150
1/23/2010indianapolis, IN

The-Kinzel-House9,974100
1/21/2010New Orleans, LA

PahrumpProject17,0595390
1/17/2010Spokane, WA

TheBeachHouse14,63913200
1/16/2010Shoreline, WA

Artist-Haven-Home14,956970
1/13/2010Kansas City, MO

SOPHIA--SAMUELDELAWA...17,40011310
12/2/2009Smyrna, DE

Plant-City-Craftsman16,8294100
11/22/2009Plant City, FL

WestermanFarm11,441130
11/10/2009Dickson, TN

Shane22,508600
10/31/2009San Antonio, TX

ADCountryHome12,8701130
10/31/2009Fort Worth, TX

ICF-Keller-Tx51,213321220
10/6/2009Roanoke, TX

digs24,222100
9/30/2009Tracy City, TN

threegables21,389201340
9/29/2009Hartland, WI

LittleLakeCorner72,8511016040
9/29/2009Groveland, FL

Utah-Casa11,590200
9/28/2009Saratoga Springs, UT

Tornado-Reconstructi...11,038800
9/24/2009Port Neches, TX

toolehouse50,298891450
9/20/2009Reno, NV

Bobs-Blog52,994614140
9/16/2009New Florence, PA

Blessings10,208100
9/11/2009farmville, NC

Schrammelot15,9917900
9/11/2009Pierson, FL

PennsmithLostValleyT...35,848552150
9/9/2009Dripping Springs, TX

River-House10,643220
9/7/2009Clinton, NJ

SantaFe-in-AJ10,386100
8/28/2009Apache Junction, AZ

Dennis-Dream-Home30,063385050
8/27/2009Readington Twp, NJ

Massive-Undertaking11,5341100
8/26/2009Wimauma, FL

Lafayette10,293200
8/11/2009Cramerton, NC

Dream-site-on-the-La...11,085200
8/5/2009La Porte, TX

Williams-New-Home-Si...10,334110
8/2/2009Windsor, NC

Cobblestone-Lane10,423100
7/30/2009Great Falls, MT

PensacolaBeachHouse10,234110
6/22/2009Gulf Breeze, FL

12YEARSINTHEPLANNING10,878120
6/16/2009LADSON, SC

Steinys-Hideaway10,856200
6/9/2009Venice, CA

DreamHome29,495261900
6/7/2009Orlando, FL

CastleHeims20,76421590
6/5/2009Cedar Rapids, IA

Utah-Warehouse10,095220
5/20/2009Fairview, UT

Where-to-start12,434610
5/16/2009Lemoore, CA

Castle-Rock-Lakehous...16,35110840
4/27/2009Necedah, WI

Oleg25,968360
4/22/2009San Diego, CA

MoeCompound10,264340
4/9/2009Camano Island, WA

Huckleberry-Home10,338200
4/8/2009Williamstown, NJ

Vonk24,239100
4/7/2009Zeeland, MI

Small-Timber-Frame14,679110
4/2/2009Central Mass, MA

EatonLoch-Haven11,135110
4/1/2009Roanoke, VA

windowsnsiding10,196110
3/28/2009Long Island, NY

Arkansas-First-Timer25,85639880
3/27/2009Trumann, AR

Back-Home-In-Crisp12,425111510
3/22/2009Ennis, TX

Victor--Susan-0820,342211210
3/17/2009Ruckersville, VA

Rick-and-Tinas-dream...11,657120
3/14/2009Auburndale, FL

Keener-Road13,0484100
3/11/2009Elizabethtown, PA

NC-Newbie10,954100
3/10/2009Boone, NC

MadisonGA11,1781130
2/26/2009Madison, GA

Techbuilt-Scammed12,616100
2/25/2009Rebew, LA

choanne83110,205100
2/9/2009charlotte, NC

WilliamsinVegas34,004301190
1/29/2009Henderson, NV

PhilesBryant12,065260
1/20/2009graham, WA

MortgageSmart10,426100
1/19/2009Cocoa, FL

QuarterlyHouse57,902136990
1/12/2009Orlando, FL

RabbitRun19,775311690
1/11/2009Afton, VA

Sonave-Sunsets10,539120
1/9/2009Yucca, AZ

Heart-of-PA16,1399160
1/6/2009Lewistown, PA

Krusehome11,614200
12/27/2008Lake City, FL

BrunkHouseAlmaKansas15,621260
12/26/2008Garden Grove, CA

Raider-Bills-Tenn-Ho...14,6346320
12/22/2008Largo, FL

Andel-Ranch28,311334020
12/17/2008Rogers, TX

Elijahs-Home11,800460
12/6/2008Vero Beach, FL

ranch-house10,431100
11/25/2008springfield, IL

Howard-Georgia-Retir...16,057670
11/9/2008Harlem, GA

The-Woods-Journal11,302110
11/6/2008Doraville, GA

StansTLH16,0201090
11/1/2008Tehachapi, CA

Kevin--Kerrys-Dream11,572350
10/17/2008Northvale, NJ

Katabatic-Wind12,176470
10/16/2008Huntsville, AL

Elmhurst-Modern13,631120
10/14/2008elmhurst, IL

Accessible-House11,5963100
10/14/2008Munford, TN

Cherry-Valley-Vista10,658120
10/5/2008Duvall, WA

Jon-and-Mollys-House18,267150
9/25/2008Ellicott City, MD

Proctor-ICF11,727110
9/25/2008Fredericksburg, VA

Hawaiian-Bungalo18,070111020
9/23/2008Holualoa, HI

Pete--Rhiannon12,735430
9/19/2008Springfield, MO

2008-Cedar-Ln17,56014350
9/19/2008Seaville, NJ

dmaceld20,75814880
9/16/2008Nampa, ID

Help-with-Goulds-and...12,892100
9/16/2008tampa, FL

Consulting10,303100
9/2/2008Orlando, FL

AlaskaICFREMOTEHouse16,71419380
8/17/2008Wasilla, AK

NC-Pond-House11,767320
8/4/2008Wilmington, NC

MargaritaVilla11,374240
8/4/2008Raleigh, NC

Latest-update12,6788100
8/4/2008Sierra Vista, AZ

ANDREA11,265400
8/2/2008Dallas, TX

The-Ridges14,03511130
7/31/2008Logan, UT

Avenida-Del-Sol15,17013520
7/31/2008Peoria, AZ

dream-home-ohio11,332600
7/30/2008Zanesville, OH

Penetang-Craftsman10,962360
7/27/2008Penetanguishene, ON

Tristan--11,417600
7/25/2008Lebanon, NJ

Dreamy-Design-in-Glo...16,716100
7/9/2008Clifton, VA

need-help-Jim11,897110
7/8/2008Bandon, OR

deltona-fl-custom-ho...12,4944140
7/6/2008Deltona Beach, FL

Ingraham-House-Chape...11,747200
6/29/2008Cary, NC

famborgie10,650100
6/26/2008Lockhart, TX

95821-Addition21,9167140
6/24/2008Sacramento, CA

Cajun-Homestead19,04512930
6/22/2008Lafayette, LA

West-Texas-Ranch-Hou...12,850110
6/18/2008Andrews, TX

Quail-Bluff-Pasco12,6599290
6/10/2008Pasco, WA

Spyders-Web10,558100
6/10/2008Norman, OK

mike-and-tori-darnle...13,087510
6/2/2008Rainbow, CA

Lin-Washington10,594100
5/29/2008Fresno, CA

Capernall-House11,446420
5/15/2008Belleville, MI

Hidden-Valley-Texas10,734100
5/7/2008Southlake, TX

cosdreamhome41,385731470
5/5/2008Colorado Springs, CO

Sowle-Family-House13,237590
4/29/2008South Burlington, VT

Cyberdoc-Residence10,943200
4/25/2008San Diego, CA

Fortune-House10,972100
4/17/2008Mooresville, NC

Joeb28,798400
4/15/2008Oakland, FL

Alvin-House11,213200
4/14/2008LaPorte, TX

Thomas-Home--Raintre...21,269271800
4/9/2008Lee's Summit, MO

Greg--Kathys-New-Hou...12,202200
4/3/2008Barryton, MI

Where-is-Waldo28,32144830
4/2/2008Marion, OH

Nimmerrichters-Fores...10,064100
4/2/2008Waldorf, MD

Mayfield-House10,675100
3/31/2008Mayfield, UT

beamanhouse10,721100
3/27/2008Manistique, MI

Kanak-ICF--Virginia15,492900
3/26/2008Fredericksburg, VA

Sheldon-St15,320300
3/21/2008Orlando, FL

Bert-25,894310
3/20/2008Southern, CA

Our-Ohio-ICF-home22,00720270
3/20/2008Mansfield, OH

ericdc11,208310
3/8/2008Uniontown, PA

EurekaHouse-ICF15,0855150
3/6/2008Berkeley, CA

Superstition-Views15,404281600
3/6/2008Mesa, AZ

Blue-Springs-Project12,8868230
2/24/2008Broken Arrow, OK

Our-House10,566100
2/24/2008Miami, FL

httpownerbuilderbook...13,316830
2/19/2008Clayton, NY

JourneyBackHome10,404100
2/3/2008Oviedo, FL

Collier-Home12,862110
2/1/2008Little Rock, AR

DDs-ICF12,399330
1/27/2008New Smyrna Bch, FL

EurekaMT-Timberframe12,0271430
1/24/2008Augusta, MI

The-Larnerd-House13,5105210
1/21/2008Newport News, VA

Casa-Bella11,348100
1/14/2008Pueblo West, CO

Gordon-Lake-House15,36517510
1/3/2008Oakland, IA

STEPHANIES-DREAM12,55917570
12/30/2007Lower Burrell, PA

Florida-Waterfront-C...14,942310
12/29/2007PB, FL

6158-in-Montgomery-T...11,295410
12/23/2007Conroe, TX

ClearwaterHills13,710260
12/14/2007Paradise Valley, AZ

BobDonna9,987100
12/12/2007Sacramento, CA

AboveTheAppleTree9,963100
12/8/2007La Farge, WI

Casa-Nostra12,225230
12/2/2007Bangor, PA

Building-the-Dream-i...13,770700
11/29/2007Gladstone, OR

Ingram-Fleming-ICF-H...16,371480
11/29/2007Plant City, FL

inniagara9,460100
11/24/2007Niagara Falls, ON

SchnabelEstate10,579240
11/16/2007Avon, IN

WeAreBuildingAgain21,39227560
11/15/2007Orlando, FL

Lake-Pleasant10,532210
11/14/2007Erie, PA

Green-for-Dean10,554100
11/10/2007San Jose, CA

The-Ponderosa12,3268220
11/4/2007Perry, OK

FlagholeRoad10,618260
10/25/2007Franklin, NH

Beckynray11,781300
10/24/2007Powhatan, VA

Spicewood-TX12,265330
10/20/2007Austin, TX

Powderhorn24,162481760
10/4/2007Florida

Luray-VA-1stTimeBuil...14,844730
10/4/2007Luray, VA

kittyfhughesnet10,326250
9/27/2007Noblesville, IN

Scott-Family10,910100
9/25/2007Trinity, AL

Taking-the-Plunge13,4066180
9/18/2007Springfield, OH

RozBuildingAdventure10,790100
9/14/2007San Pablo, CA

Helpful-Tips11,885200
9/13/2007Encinitas, CA

Poplar-Creek-Farm13,8275250
9/10/2007Oakland Park, FL

TheWillemsHome21,5451750
9/10/2007Galloway Township, NJ

ComfortHome11,359200
8/30/2007Dublin, OH

10000-sq-feet36,33722260
8/26/2007La Habra Heights, CA

Bird-house12,4813400
8/22/2007Ithaca, NY

Circle-S_ICF_House35,769462640
8/21/2007Sparta, IL

New-England-Saltbox10,765100
8/16/2007Columbia, SC

RamblewoodatJeterFar...11,5786330
8/10/2007Kansas City, MO

Kraemer-Collinwood-H...11,172200
7/21/2007Delano, MN

BigOakBuilderTX14,792270
7/20/2007Wharton, TX

Johnson-Family-Dream11,024100
7/20/2007Normal, IL

19225-ROBERTSON-ST17,71514250
7/12/2007Orlando, FL

Thattle-Dew-Farm10,979220
7/12/2007Halls Harbour, NS

WindyJ14,94511260
7/2/2007Knoxville, TN

Vistoso-Green-Home12,267310
6/28/2007Tucson, AZ

Lewis-Chapel-House16,473200
6/25/2007Dunlap, TN

father-daughter10,525200
6/25/2007Loveland, CO

davewhite11,504100
6/24/2007Nanaimo, BC

NutmegWedgefieldOrla...12,489600
6/22/2007Orlando, FL

4600SF-Dream-Home-in...14,583410
6/19/2007Mooresville, NC

Coeur-dAlene-Idaho-H...12,358240
6/13/2007Coeur d Alene, ID

Tampa-Bay13,938490
6/10/2007Ruskin, FL

Dream-In-Progress14,371540
6/7/2007Shawnee, KS

todd-in-tullahoma10,900100
6/4/2007tullahoma, TN

TheOwens11,678300
6/1/2007Dickson, TN

Country-Cleaver11,804140
5/29/2007Springfield, IL

South-Dakota-Lake-Ho...12,0726110
5/23/2007Sioux Falls, SD

Gods-Home11,212200
5/18/2007Eustis, FL

hammock11,069110
5/14/2007Martinez, GA

Grove-St-Rocklin11,148300
5/13/2007Orangevale, CA

Gardeners-Delight11,979330
5/13/2007Norristown, PA

Newman-Family11,994100
4/26/2007oralndo, FL

do-over-house12,632200
4/25/2007Roseville, CA

Mountain-Building11,380370
4/21/2007Hiawassee, GA

Alaskan-Log-Home12,704120
4/15/2007Tok, AK

Warner-Dream12,903600
4/11/2007Astatula, FL

RehmannSchreiner13,88918150
4/2/2007Maple Grove, MN

outspokenbikeguy13,5434140
3/29/2007Sanford, FL

SmelltheForest35,803471480
3/23/2007Colorado Springs, CO

PolkCityProject15,1977110
3/21/2007Norcross, GA

DwaynePam12,034200
3/21/2007Normal, IL

cypressknoll11,095100
3/20/2007Palm Coast, FL

candlepower19,112241550
3/20/2007Lansing, IA

Team-Rosa11,968200
3/19/2007Springfield, VA

GLOUCESTER11,653120
3/17/2007Newport News, VA

Ohiodreamhome12,0324140
3/16/2007Reynoldsburg, OH

Gypsy-Love12,523110
3/12/2007Highland, NY

Forrest-Towne11,710220
3/10/2007Brinnon, WA

Dreams-Come-True10,976100
3/8/2007Glen St Mary, FL

Almost-A-Country-Gir...10,992100
3/7/2007Addison Township, MI

BrandonBuildingBlog11,771100
3/4/2007Layton, UT

SafecreteHouse13,028300
3/4/2007Raleigh, NC

newbie-12,137100
2/21/2007North Plains, OR

BuzzardsNest14,381310
2/14/2007Saint Lucie, FL

woodfamilyhome12,488200
2/10/2007Keno, OR

vegascastle11,811100
2/3/2007Henderson, NV

newsteel17,779100
1/28/2007Florence, SC

Dream-Home-200712,300100
1/27/2007Gwynn Oak, MD

DelgadosAdobeAbode12,710200
1/18/2007San Diego, CA

bobindeltona14,933250
1/14/2007Deltona, FL

Highland6412,414300
1/8/2007New Orleans, LA

SmallProjectSilverSp...17,7501020
1/7/2007Silver Springs, NV

BeehlerHome22,68111640
1/3/2007Kalamazoo, MI

eveningshade12,017110
12/25/2006Evening Shade, AR

Bruce in Petrolia, O...11,155120
12/21/2006Petrolia, ON

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I am in the planning stage and found this book to be the best since sliced bread!
Brent in Spring Valley, WI

Previous Owner-Builder for Brian in South Burlington, VT at OwnerBuilderBook.com - Home for Owner-Builders

What did the plans for your project cost?
 $500 - $1,000
 
How many finished levels in your most recent owner-built house?
 Two
 
What type of construction?
 Conventional framing
 
House style?
 Colonial
 
Do you want to say anything more about your house style or construction?
 

3100 sq. ft.  Georgian Colonial

5 car garage

 
How much did you save altogether vs. appraised or street value?
 40% - 45%
 
How many hours did you spend as a couple, counting planning and construction?
 700 - 800 hrs.
 
Were you working when you owner-built?
 Both working
 
Who took primary responsibility in your family for the work?
 Husband primary
 
What trades did you do yourself?
 

tiling

hardwood floors

insulation

potable water

radiant heat

paint

cabinets

 
How much did you save on the trades you did yourself?
 $50,000 - $70,000
 
How long did your self-work trades take?
 200 - 300 hours
 
How many bids did you get for each subcontracted trade, on average?
 Two
 
Did you get bids from generals?
 No
 
Have you had it appraised?
 Yes
 
Was yours a starter, step-up, custom, or dream home?
 Custom
 
Did you use a computer?
 Yes - extensively
 
Did you get materials separate from labor on any of the trades?
 100%
 
What were special features in your house?
 

5 car garage

full radiant heat even in garages

custom kitchen & appliances

 
Super bargains you got?
 

I work for a huge construction company.  Our company allows us to use all the assets and pricing discounts the company gets.   We do 10 million dollars worth of business with our lumber wholesaler alone.

I saved around 10-30% on all materials

 
Ways to save money?
 

Do your homework and preplan everything.   Ask questions from subs.  i.e. how would you do something for your house, etc.

 
What are the qualifications to be a good O-B?
 

Lot's of vacation time!!!

understand the building process before you break ground.

CONTRACTS!!!!!

 
Did you have contract problems?
 None at all
 
Did you get liened by anybody?
 No liens
 
What percentage of O-B's do you think get liened?
 5% - 10%
 
How much time did it take to construct?
 Six months
 
How many trades were involved on your job?
 5 - 10
 
What time of year did you start?
 June
 
Any reason you chose that time of year to start?
 no   
 
What do you consider the rules of good work?
 I usually have one of my Site Supervisor's stop by every once in a while and check the subs work.
 
What were your most important tools?
 

EXCEL

Microsoft Money

All my engineer friends (HVAC, Plumbing, Site work, etc.)

 

 
What anguish or fear of loss did you go through? What was your worst fear during the project?
 We had to have our septic in place and passing inspection within 30 days.  We got it done but it was a lot of work.
 
What help did you want but couldn't get?
 scheduling help.  Ordering lumber so there was no slowdown with the subs was difficult at times.
 
What do you consider the most desirable features in a custom home?
 

Warm floors   I love radiant heat

Land location

9' ceilings

 
What features in your house save operating costs?
 

Radiant heat

Lot's of insulation

94% efficient Buderus Boiler

 
What features add the most value to your home - rate them.
 

5 car garage

Land view is amazing (10 acres)

Custom Kitchen and hardwood floors through out the house.

 
What owner-builder laws exist where you live?
 None
 
Did you get a construction loan without a contractor?
 Yes
 
Do you have a step-up strategy?
 Yes
 
What do you do for a living?
 Director of Information Systems for a large construction company.
 
How much combined time did you spend planning?
 700 - 800 hours
 
How many times are you planning to do this?
 Three
 
Are you organized?
 Pretty organized
 
What suggestions do you have for O-B's to get organized?
 

Use a computer for all the aspects of the build.

Excel for budgeting

Microsoft Money for keeping track of the budget.

Buy a cheap scanner so you can scan in all invoice, checks, bids, etc.

 

 
Are you a good shopper?
 Good shopper
 
Were there any schedule items that took you a lot longer or shorter than you thought they would?
 PEX tubing in the ceilings took two weeks longer than expected. I used 7/8" PEX instead of 1/2". I will use 1/2" on future projects.
 
Did you use a designer, architect, stock plan?
 Designed My Own
 
What are the three best things you did?
 Built front entry steps of brick.

Wired entire house with help from brother-in-law.

Ran all the radiant heat by myself.

 
The three worst things that you did?
 Not realizing that weather plays a big part in the schedule.

Not having very detailed contracts.

Not realizing that you are going to go over budget a little.

 
What is a good way to get discounts on lumber?
 I use my company's buying power. 
 
What is a good way to get discounts on cabinets?
 Companies buying power again.
 
Any problems with the inspector? Items that caused you to fail an inspection?
 

We don't have inspections in the State of Vermont.  The only inspection

I had  was for the Septic System.  That's it.

 
Where did you get good help and advice?
 engineer friends
 
What did you find to be the top five biggest expenses in the budget? How much, and how to cut back?
 

Excavation   $50,000

Framing labor  $35,000

Cabinets  $22000

 

 
What was the average monthly cost of maintenance in the home you left to occupy your new home?
 $300 - $400
 
How big was your punch list? How much time did it take you to finish it out?
 Didn't need a punch list
 
Did you get a bad surprise on property taxes?
 No - I expected the tax assessment I got
 
Were utility costs in the new house a surprise?
 About what I expected
 
They say that a marriage that survives building a house will survive anything. Any comments?
 That is very true.  It was very stressful at times.  Didn't seem like there was enough hours in a day.
 
Was there anything you traded for materials or services?
 no
 
Did you have any problems getting your building permit?
 No problems as an owner-builder
 
How did you find good subcontractors? Any suggestions?
 

The company I work for does $130,000,000 in construction business.  I have a lot

of subs available to me.

 
What was the average price quoted you to build your design? Highest price?
 I never used a GC
 
Did you use some type of written agreement when hiring subcontractors?
 subcontracts usually
 
Did you hire anybody from out of town?
 Two trades
 
Did you buy any materials from out of town?
 For two trades
 
Were there features in your home that you implemented for free or cheap because of planning?
 

no

 
Were there aspects of your home that were improved because of your owner-builder involvement?
 Being able to make a decision on-site I think helped with the schedule.
 
Did you incorporate anything in your design to facilitate a hobby?
 Yes.  I built a 5 car garage becuase I have a racecar.
 
Did you design anything special for a pet?
 no
 
Were you ever lied to by a contractor? Examples?
 hahaha   Of course!  That's why you have very detailed contracts
 
What are some of the discouraging comments you have heard from others about acting as your own contractor?
 

To much work!

Subs not showing up.

Not knowledgable enough with building trades. 

 
What is the worst treatment you ever got from a contractor?
 

not showing up.  Called the plumber the night before to verify he would be there

and then never showed up.  Waited 3 days then used a different sub.

 
Did you have any embarassing moments building?
 not really
 
Did you make some mistakes? Examples?
 

Not budgeting enough for Outside Trim.

Not budgeting enough for copper wire.  Prices really went up.

 
Did you run into any outrageous construction pricing?
 

Just with a framer I first interviewed.  He came in at $60,000.  I ended up using a out of town guy and he did it for $35,000.   Found out later that the first framer has been sued multipe times.

 
Were there little luxuries you were able to implement at little or no cost?
 no
 
What were the biggest construction bargains you found, and how did you find them?
 

Mostly labor savings.  The materials I got were pretty rock bottom pricing.

 

 
What was your most valuable planning/preparation activity?
 My excel spreadsheet with all my budgeting, sub lists, actual costs, etc.
 
Beside yourself, who in your family got involved in this project?
 

my wife

brother in law helped with electrical (He is a Union Electrician)

 
How did you find other owner-builders to network with?
 Just on this website
 
What websites did you find helpful when you built?
 

Fine Homebuilding

owner builder

home depot

lowes

 
Do you know of people wasting a lot of money when they built? Explain.
 

no

 

 
Were there disappointments with your project that could have been avoided? How?
 I didn't shop around for my excavator.  I think that cost me around $10,000
 
Were there things that came out right because you were involved that might have been messed up if you had used a general contractor?
 I was onsite from 6am until 10am everyday.  I was pretty involved in all aspects of construction.
 
How did you mark your lot for the excavator who dug your foundation?
 

Placed stakes with yellow string, then spray painted along string lines on the ground.

 
Who built or installed your mailbox?
 I did
 
Are there planning steps that you would suggest that might not be in The Owner-Builder Book?
 Use Fine Howebuilding website for explaination on all aspects of construction. ($35.00 a year membership)
 
Are there interview questions for subs that you would suggest that might not be in The Owner-Builder Book?
 Try to start with an outline format when you first write up your contracts.  Then fine tune it after.
 
How many houses have you built, remodeled or added on to as an owner-builder?
 One
 
Did you have a good mentor who helped you accomplish this? Describe.
 I work for a large commercial contracting company.  I have access to at least 20 engineers.
 
Do you know examples of people being injured trying to do their own work? Tell what happened.
 no
 
What were major causes of delays that occurred in your construction?
 

rain

self work always seemed to take longer than scheduled.

 
What was the age of your previous home?
 1 - 5 yrs.
 
How many trips to the hardware store or other suppliers did you have to make during your project? What could have cut that down?
 

At least 200.  You don't realize all the little stuff like tape, staples, etc that you need.

 

The 2nd house will be a lot easier.  I have kept a journal on all the little things I bought.

 

 
How much more activity was there at end of project than in the middle?
 30%
 
How many dead days did you have where nobody did anything?
 15 - 20 week days
 
How many days when only a single sub was on site?
 35 - 40 days
 
What self-work that you did would you hire out next time?
 

Insulation and vapor barrier

running all the pex tubing between floor joists.

 

 
What are some examples of day to day problems you had to solve?
 

mostly just making sure that materials were onsite for the subs.

 

 
Did you do any creative problem solving?
 Oh ya. 
 
What design strategies did you use to keep your house up to date?
 We built an 1800 style colonial so our design was pretty much already in place.
 
Would you be willing to upload or email us photos of your project?
 http://ownerbuilderbook.com/files/interviews/I5Q140U18906.JPG
 
Have you owner-built more than once?
 Only once
 
How much management time did you and your spouse spend during the construction phase?
 400 - 500 hours
 
What were the benefits of your time on site?
 I spent a lot of time onsite.  The house got completed sooner than expected.
 
Suggestions for controlling the job?
 

Save up as much vacation time as possible.  If you can carry vacation time forward to the next year it really pays off.

Discuss with your boss varying your hours.  I was able to go into work at 10am and leave at 6pm.   This allowed me to spend 3-4 hours in the morning getting the subs ready.   

 
Daily duties?
 Inspect work from previous day, then try to accomplish a couple things by myself before going into work.   Before I would leave the jobsite I would ask subs for additional materials they needed.
 
Sub recognition?
 

I had a great framer.   He was a little crabby sometimes but he did a really good job.

 
Would you be willing to help another owner-builder?
 Yes, I would respond to emails.
 
Do you have other suggestions or comments for owner-builders?
 no
 
Did you install a water softener?
 No
 
What was your planned schedule when you started out?
 6-7 months
 
If you had a general contractor estimate, how much did you save vs. average estimate?
 >50%
 
Apples to apples, what utility savings did you get in your new house vs. old?
 20% -25%
 
Did you incorporate active solar panels (PV) into your home?
 No
 
Did you have a written schedule for construction?
 Yes
 
How much would the trades you did yourself have cost in the marketplace?
 $50,000 - $70,000
 
How many trades did you do yourself?
 3
 
Did you read The Owner-Builder Book before you built your house?
 Yes
 
Was your project a new house or a remodel and addition?
 New house
 
Was your project urban or rural?
 In the country
 
What's the population of the community where you built?
 <50,000
 
How much calendar time from when you first did some written planning to groundbreaking?
 One to one and a half years
 
Do you know your credit score?
 Yes
 
How many houses did you own prior to this one?
 Two
 
What did you choose for wall insulation?
 Fiberglass batts
 
What is the R-value of your walls?
 >R-20
 
How much construction industry experience did you have before you owner-built?
 > 10 years
 
How many books about contracting or the trades did you read when you owner-built?
 More than eight books
 
Did you use any personal friends as subs?
 Two
 
How many children do you have?
 Two
 
How many children lived at home when you owner-built?
 One
 
How many bedrooms did you include in your owner-built house?
 Four
 
How many bathrooms did you include in your owner-built house?
 2-3
 
How many air conditioning units did you include in your owner-built house?
 All window or wall units
 
If stick-built, did you use 2x4 or 2x6 framing?
 2x6
 
How much combined time did you take off work when you built?
 Five weeks
 
How many tools do you own?
 $4,000 - $5,000
 
Do you have experience using spreadsheets for budgeting or scheduling?
 More than 500 times
 
Did you take pictures of the job when you owner-built?
 Used a digital camera regularly
 
Are you a coupon shopper?
 10% - 20% of the time
 
What are your favorite shows or cable channels?
 

Speed Channel

HDNET

HGTV

Fox News

 
Do you own a truck?
 Yes
 
How many covered vehicle spaces did you provide in your owner-built house?
 Five
 
How much personal use do you make of the Internet?
 > 25 hours a week
 
What were the most helpful websites for your owner-builder project?
 

Local supple companies

Indymac Bank in California

Fine Homebuilding

 
Did you use a contracting consultant or an owner-builder program?
 No
 
If you used a contracting consultant or O-B program, what did it cost?
 Didn't use one
 
Why did you consider owner-building in the first place?
 

Save money

I work for a large construction company.  I get a lot of discounted prices.  My house was an actually job number through my work.  I was able to get very very good pricing on everything.  My company spends $10 million a year just in lumber.

 
What was your original construction budget, not including land?
 $250,000 - $300,000
 
What were the impact fees for you to build?
 $0
 
If ever you move from your O-B house, how long will you have lived in it?
 < 5 years
 
How did your final appraisal compare with your preconstruction appraisal for the lender?
 Final appraisal was 10% more
 

Future Owner-Builder for Brian in South Burlington, VT at OwnerBuilderBook.com - Home for Owner-Builders

How many finished levels in your future owner-built house?
 Two
 
What type of construction are you planning?
 Conventional
 
Planned house style?
 Colonial
 
How much do you plan to save altogether vs. appraised value?
 40% - 45%
 
How many hours do you project spending as a couple, counting planning and construction?
 600 - 700 hrs.
 
Will you be working when you owner-build?
 Both working
 
Who will take primary responsibility in your family for the work?
 Husband primary
 
Will your project be a starter, step-up, custom, or dream home?
 Custom
 
Will you get comparison bids from general contractors?
 No
 
What percentage of the time do you think O-B's get liened by subs or vendors?
 5% - 10%
 
What time of year will you start?
 May
 
Do you have a step-up strategy?
 No
 
How much combined time will you spend planning?
 More than 900 hours
 
How many times are you planning to do this?
 Two
 
Are you organized?
 Pretty organized
 
Are you a good shopper?
 Good shopper
 
What is the average General Contractor estimate to build your plans?
 $125 - $150
 
What is the average monthly maintenance cost of the house you'll be leaving?
 <$100
 
What is the average monthly utility cost in your current home?
 $150 - $200
 
Will you incorporate active solar panels (PV) into your home?
 No
 
Will you build in town or in the country?
 Rural
 
What's the population of the community where you will build?
 <50,000
 
How much calendar time will there be from when you first did some written planning to groundbreaking?
 Six to 12 months
 
Do you know your credit score?
 Yes
 
How many houses have you owned prior to this one?
 1
 
What will you choose for wall insulation?
 Fiberglass batts
 
What will be the R-value of your walls?
 >R-20
 
How much construction industry experience will you have before you owner-build?
 8-9
 
How many books about contracting or the trades will you read when you owner-build?
 More than eight books
 
Do you plan to use any personal friends as subs?
 Two
 
How many houses have you built, remodeled or added on to as an owner-builder?
 Two
 
How many children do you have?
 Two
 
How many children will be living at home when you owner-build?
 Two
 
How many bedrooms are you planning on?
 Three
 
How many bathrooms are you planning on?
 2-3
 
How many air conditioning units will you include in your owner-built house?
 All window or wall units
 
If stick-built, will you use 2x4 or 2x6 framing?
 2x6
 
How many tools do you own?
 More than $8,000
 
Do you have experience using spreadsheets for budgeting or scheduling?
 More than 500 times
 
Is your occupation "blue collar" or "white collar"?
 White collar
 
Will you take pictures of the job when you owner-built?
 Will use a digital camera regularly
 
Do you own a truck?
 Yes
 
How many covered vehicle spaces will you provide in your owner-built house?
 Five
 
How much personal use do you make of the Internet?
 > 25 hours a week
 
What are the most helpful websites for your owner-builder project?
 this one
 
Why are you considering owner-building?
 saving money  building equity
 

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