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    3-5. Avoid the middleman. - Electronic Edition

    3-5. Avoid the middleman. - Electronic Edition
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     The biggest savings from owner-building comes from removing the general contractor middleman from the equation. The contractor has necessary overhead to stay in business, which you eliminate. You then work harder than this middleman to find one of a kind bargains in materials and labor, and adapt your process to optimize your house and resulting net worth.

     The same applies to the middlemen in the distribution chain who bring you desired components for your project. Where it’s possible to replace the necessary services of the middleman by your own effort, you can pick up greater savings. Lumber, for example, is said to have more than 6 levels of middlemen from mill to consumer.

     Middlemen have recently crept into the process of finding subcontractor labor for residential construction. One of the bright ideas people came up with for the Internet was services that match you up with “approved”, “quality-checked” subs for your project.

     Many such services have proliferated because of the typical aversion tradesmen have to marketing themselves. Thus they pay a fee to be included by these services. Naturally, you absorb the cost of such fees through higher prices. My objection is that there really isn’t any quality checking by the middlemen, just fee collecting.

     By matching yourself up with those subs in your area and on your schedule who fit your needs, you get a better price and a better outcome.

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