From $9.95


Statistics

Users
Total: 32,004
Visited Last 30 days: 105
Forum Messages
Total: 20,876
Last 30 days: 7
Forum Evaluations
Total: 24,158
Last 30 days: 0
Journal Entries
Total: 5,355
Last 30 days: 4
Connections
Total: 15,218
Last 30 days: 2
Downloads
Total: 85,265

Journals

Name
Tanglewood Colorado Springs, CO
117,225 Visits | 992 Posts | 2,557 Pix | 47 Videos
The-Last-Rodeo Angel Fire, NM
25,932 Visits | 271 Posts | 435 Pix | 4 Videos
E2custom
422 Visits | 4 Posts | 10 Pix | 0 Videos
draingrepairsnj
383 Visits | 1 Posts | 1 Pix | 0 Videos
1860s-Texas-rehabnew... Boerne, TX
49,697 Visits | 44 Posts | 193 Pix | 0 Videos
medicareinsurance
422 Visits | 1 Posts | 1 Pix | 0 Videos
Whiteheads-Marsh-Dom
385 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Tracispermits Patchogue, AL
421 Visits | 1 Posts | 1 Pix | 0 Videos
MesaBarnHouse Mesa, AZ
2,125 Visits | 34 Posts | 52 Pix | 0 Videos
Vintage-Oaks-Cabin New Braunfels, TX
788 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Z-Oen Dayton, OH
555 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
washougalhome Washougal, WA
1,341 Visits | 22 Posts | 124 Pix | 0 Videos
MadeByMelissaPdByChr... Berea, KY
603 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Geosynthetic-Systems
623 Visits | 1 Posts | 1 Pix | 0 Videos
vanphuccity Ho Chi Minh, AL
640 Visits | 2 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
MCKAY-ICF-BUILD Oconomowoc, WI
622 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Car-Rentals-in-Udaip... Delhi, AL
666 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Art-Camacho New Braunfels, TX
1,391 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Quijada-project-Lake... Lake Havasu City, AZ
701 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
Port-Townsend-Build Sherman Oaks, CA
616 Visits | 1 Posts | 0 Pix | 0 Videos
See all journals...

Current Top-Rated Posters

RatingPosts
Sally0.001

I'm nervous about this process -- but with the books and articles I've been reading here, less than I was before.
Lisa in Fredericksburg, VA

Try one of our new Construction Bargain Strategies for free. Coupon code: CBS. One strategy could save you $1,000 or $10,000 or maybe $50,000 when you build or remodel.
25,000 pages of free owner-builder resources.  We accept no ads.

Is Texas "Owner-Builder" Friendly?


Filter by date: and/or Keyword



Reply... Subscribe to this topic


Phillip's Forum Posts: 8

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Phillip in Hill country, TX on 5/16/2004


Any owner-builders from Texas out there with recent up to date stories and status reports? I know it is a BIG state. I'm looking at the Hill Country, probably Llano County. Is Texas "owner-builder" friendly in that you can just present yourself as an owner-builder and do the construction and contracting? Or do you need to have a "licensed contractor" involved as a front man?
Reply...


Deanna's Forum Posts: 16

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Deanna on 5/18/2004


Unfortunately Texas in not owner-builder friendly. We are in the process of our own O-B home just south of Dallas in Ellis County. The banks in Texas do require you to have a general contractor on your home. Your GC is not required to have a license though. We are currently using the Owner Builder Network(.com). They provide your construction financing and you have full control of the project. The do charge a per sq. ft. fee though. But we COMPLETELY think it is worth it, it is a drop in the bucket compared to what a builder would make off of us. They provide you with 54 steps to building (super energy efficient), give you list of subs that work with their clients (or you can use your own), Give you a detailed budget, all the contracts and lien waivers, your lumber take off, any any other assistance you need. They have several offices in Texas and other states. Good luck in whatever you decide to do.
Reply...


Phillip's Forum Posts: 8

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Phillip in Hill country, TX on 5/18/2004


OK, so the bank was not owner-builder friendly. But how about the building permit folks? If you had no need for a bank and borrowing money, would the building officials have needed a GC to be involved?
Reply...


Deanna's Forum Posts: 16

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Deanna on 5/19/2004


In our city you can permit your own job without having a GC license, & if your city does require one then I think you can take a GC course for your license for a few hundred bucks. Our permit did require Builders Risk Insurance and that the HVAC, Plumber, & Electrician all have proof of insurance and have a license. I hope this helps. . . .
Reply...


Phillip's Forum Posts: 8

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Phillip in Hill country, TX on 5/19/2004


Deanna, Thanks for your info. You're saying city and I have to ask if it is indeed one of the Texas cities? I plan to be out in a fairly remote "Hill Country" county and will deal with a small town building permit system. I have e-mailed and asked them a few questions and they did reply but still haven't answered all my numerous questions. So, let me get this right, you had to have plumber, HVAC and electrician subs already picked out and copy of their license to apply for a permit? What does your permit say if you somehow have to fire these subs? What a hassle! I think I want an approved building permit before even talking to subs. I had hoped to be able to do a lot of my own wiring with exception of the main panel and at least some of the simpler plumbing. Is there no exception to allow you to do some DIY level plumbing and electrical on your own home? If you have any way to help me find out these answers, I would greatly appreciatre it. I'm in the US military in Japan and it is a pain to be so many time zones away or I'd just call or drive there.
Reply...


Deanna's Forum Posts: 16

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Deanna on 5/20/2004


We got our permit without the plumber, HVAC, and electrical info. But before they could begin their work (after we had decided who to use) they had to go and fill out paperwork at the city showing their license and insurance info. We are helping a friend do our electrical and one of his licensed buddies filled out our paperwork at the city, if you know the right people you could probably do this too. .Keep in mind we are in a small city and when you are in a small city they are very anal. Being in just the county you probably won't face all the paperwork and inspections that we will. Our permit is only good for 9 months so we were getting prices from subs before &at the same time we applied for the permit to make the most of the time. You should email your county again and ask what the requirements are for a residental building permit & related paperwork. I have a friend who is also in Japan in the military, he flies the P-3.
Reply...


Rodney's Forum Posts: 4

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Rodney in Houston, TX on 5/20/2004


Dear Deanna, I am also using the ownerbuilder network. I will be closing on the initial loan (construction) next week. Did they guide you after that?? What about the big binder and discount card?? If you have any suggestions or ideas I would be very thankful.
Reply...


Deanna's Forum Posts: 16

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Deanna on 5/25/2004


Yes, the binder is very helpful. Our rep is great! We can call her anytime and she will answer any detailed question we have, if she doesn't know then she will find out for us. I am especially pleased with their recommendation to use the HardiePlank in lieu of siding and the perforated HardiePlank in the soffits for ventilation in the attic. Good Luck!
Reply...


Phillip's Forum Posts: 8

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Phillip in Hill country, TX on 5/26/2004


I am looking in the internet for land to eventually build on. So, this is my 1st time. Does anyone have any advice or stories on talking down or making a bid/offer for a property that has a listed asking price? It is 10 acres and listed as $75,000. All the other 10 acre lots in this "ranch development" were also listed as flat $75,000. And it seems after several days of web searches and looking at websites and listings for various realtors in this general area as well as surrounding areas that this asking price is maybe about average on a per acre cost. My gut reaction is that it is supply and demand and they will know if they have prospects coming in every day and will just hold to the asking price but is there any wiggle room in your experience or any side issues that can be worked in? Oh, by the way, it is the last lot available in this development. What is customary to counter-offer? 80% or what? Paying what they want but having them do x, y and z? Like soil boring tests and engineer data? Free and clear title: Is this guarantee from the realtor worth anything or do I have to also pay someone to do a title check? How much does this cost? Location for all this fun is Burnet County, Texas. I have tickets and will go there in 3 weeks with my checkbook. Any advice appreciated!
Reply...


Jessica's Forum Posts: 24

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Jessica in Midlothian, TX on 5/29/2004


Hi Deanna, I am in the planning phase of OB my home. I am in Ellis County also and have ran into several people that have built themselves. One that used the OB network. My biggest nervousness is with financing, but several of the OB's have assured me that there should be no problem,just by being prepared is all you need. What were you biiggest, downfalls that you faced and do you have any advice? Thanks for your help-Jessica
Reply...


Deanna's Forum Posts: 16

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Deanna on 6/1/2004


Hey Jessica, Are you doing the OB network? The OB network has prepared all of my construction loan paperwork for me so I wont be too much help in that area. We are basically just getting started. I think one of the best things you can do is to realize you CAN do it yourself and to approach it with that atiitude. My biggest fear is that we won't be onsite as much as we need to be. Do you already have your land, is it in Midlothian?
Reply...


Jessica's Forum Posts: 24

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Jessica in Midlothian, TX on 6/3/2004


Deanna-Yes-- We do have 1.469acre lot in a fairly new neighborhood, in Midlothian. We have not consulted with the OBN.I just read the entire OB book, and am just starting the planning phase. I need to do a budget and figure out if there would be any room for their fees. Maybe I even need to call and consult with them. Are you pleased with the OBN so far?And are you in my area at all?
Reply...


David's Forum Posts: 6

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By David in San Antonio, TX on 6/9/2004


I live in Comal County near San Antonio, and I am owner-building as well. Texas does not have "licensed" GC's, so it is not required for any kind of permitting. If you are building in the Hill Country like I am outside of any major towns, you many not need that many permits. For example, Comal County is just outside of San Antonio, and I only need floodplain and septic permits; that is all.

Lenders like to see a GC signed on as a consultant, and I know a few people that simply signed a support contract with a GC to sign on with the lender as an available consultant. The contract only stated that the GC was available for a fee to consult on the project. The GC never got paid a dime as no "consulting" was ever needed. I looked at the Owner Builder Network as well as other internet owner-builder lenders, and they all look like a scam to me. The fees were way too much.

Also, I have a friend who used the Owner Builder Network in Houston, and she did not use a single sub on their list as they were all priced too high compared to the subs that she found on her own. I looked at her Owner Builder Network binder, and it was worthless. I could create the same binder in one hour using Google for advice and the Yellow Pages for a few phone numbers: I would NOT suggest using them.
Reply...


Rodney's Forum Posts: 4

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Rodney in Houston, TX on 6/9/2004


Hi David. I think you are correct about the owner-builder networks fees. Unfortunately I just closed on my construction loan from them. I was hoping you could have your friend in Houston PM me for any tips or suggestions. If I would have been a little more patient I could have saved even more. Thanks and good luck on your project.
Reply...


Deanna's Forum Posts: 16

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Deanna on 6/10/2004


David, In my opinion the OBN is definitely worth what they have charged us. We know ZERO about building. We work and don't have time to search the Web for every little question, and there are 1000's of them. Yes, we too have The Owner-Builder Book, and How to Build Your Home Without Lifting a Hammer and several others, but there are issues that will come up that won't be found in a book. It is nice to be able to have my questions answered immediately, by someone with years of experience.

If I have any legal issues with their subs, they handle it. A book alone can't look at my bids and tell me where they should be on high and low range for my area, they can. They do my lumber takeoff, I didn't see anywhere in the books I have how to do that. We had a site visit with them to look at our lot for excavation bids. So yes, this was the right decision for us. Is it the right decision for everyone, no. So the question is with knowledge from books and the web how competent and safe are to to handle 100% of your own building process?
Reply...


David's Forum Posts: 6

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By David in San Antonio, TX on 6/10/2004


How much did the OBN cost you? What services did you receive for the cost?
Reply...


Deanna's Forum Posts: 16

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Deanna on 7/27/2004


Jessica, Yes we are completely pleased! This may not be for everyone who have lots of time on their hand to find their way through the construction process alone, but we knew nothing about building prior & they have taught us everthing we need to know & continue to answer any stupid questions I often have. We are building in Oak Leaf which is off of Highland (behind Glen Eagles in Midlothian.) You should talk to my rep, ( she is not pushy ) and she will answer any questions you have. Before we decided to use them we sat down with them and worked out a budget to see if this was something we could do(incl thier fee & front & back closing) We are on schedule to save $35,000 easy. If you would like her # post a reply and I will list my email address. Good Luck!
Reply...


Deanna's Forum Posts: 16

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Deanna on 6/30/2005


I just wanted to post a follow up. We completed our home of 4200 sq. ft. for $66.00 per sq. ft. (house only). The upgrades we have are - Hardwood floors, Tile floors, double crown, granite, stone fireplace, circle driveway (150' long), freize carpet, stainless appliances, double master shower, cellulose insulation, etc. . . Please note that our price per sq. ft. does include our interim closing costs, OBN fee and our final closing costs. I know OBN is not for everyone, but for a 2 income full time working family it worked great. See our pics, we are proud!
Reply...


Deanna's Forum Posts: 16

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Deanna on 6/30/2005


Oops! second picture didn't turn out. - Here it is again.


Reply...


Chris's Forum Posts: 1

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Chris in Bergheim, TX on 1/27/2006


Deanna,

It looks and sounds as though your experience with OBN went well. I had a terrible experience with them, which only got worse once I started to request their help. They actually impeded progress by working and manipulating draw schedules with the lending bank.

Here are some things I have learned about this business that may be of value to others in the area:

These types of business in Texas are providing a mechanism to exploit a loophole in the Texas Homestead Act. They do so by representing themselves as a builder-of-record to the lending institution and to customers, subcontractors and suppliers. They have even registered with the TRCC (in Texas) as builder, even though they do nothing that a residential builder would do. 

The company I used in the San Antonio area provided me a list of subcontractors, all of which worked in Houston. The three suppliers advertized to provide "builder discounts" all laughed at me when I mentioned the companies name. One supplier I ended up using for windows forced me to pay in full at time of order, which is not the usual case with GCs.

This same company took their entire fee at the time of construction loan closing, in full. Although, they advise you to not pay subs in full until the job is complete. Well, they feel their job is complete at the time of construction closing, as they have secured you financing and provided you with a binder of information about how to do things yourself. 

I've met others in my area who have used the same company, and they all have had the same experiences. Of course, none of us have made the touted "reference list".

Also, be careful of their recommended subs. As part of their agreement with the Company, they pay a "finder's fee" every time they secure a job with a customer. 

So, this company gets paid by you at construction closing, and a kickback from any sub you use from their list.

I would not recommend this method to anyone.


Reply...


Tom's Forum Posts: 10

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Tom in Austin, TX on 1/30/2006


I asked this question to TRCC (Texas Residential Construction Commission) recently:

In reference to your question, if you are building a home to be used as your primary residence for more than one year, you are exempt from home and builder registration with the commission.  According to the Property Code, Section 401.005(a), a home is exempted if it is “built by the individual who owns the home, alone or with the assistance of the individual’s employees or independent contractors; and used by the individual as the individual’s primary residence for at least one year after the completion or substantial completion of construction of the home.”  However, if someone builds their own home and sells it within one year, they are required to register as a builder/remodeler and register the home at the time it is sold.



Reply...


Stacy's Forum Posts: 1

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Stacy in Aledo, TX on 1/30/2006


So have you found a bank in Texas willing to do your loan without a general contractor listed? We have great credit and want to avoid paying a fee to someone when we are doing all the scheduling and researching of subs. Thanks for any help you can give us.
Reply...


Tom's Forum Posts: 10

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Tom in Austin, TX on 1/30/2006


I'll be self financed so I haven't had a need to learn about that aspect, sorry.

Reply...


Deanna's Forum Posts: 16

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Deanna on 1/31/2006


Hey Chris,

I am sorry your experience with the San Antonio office didn't work out for you. Did you call references in that area? I know that they are all independent franchises, and fortunately for us it did work out with the Dallas office. Please don't "knock" me because you had a bad experience. Even if you took two builders that built 100% on their own, one is bound to have a better experience than the other. If you don't want to recommend them, then don't. Based on my experience with the Dallas office, I can and will.

My rep. with OBN did a great job, she would even recommend  subs that were not on the OBN 'list' that her other clients had recently used if they did good work for a good price. I also personally know a sub on the OBN list and no such 'kickbacks' occur here. The subs on the 'list' do pay to be on it once their references have been seriously checked. As far as the draw schedule, OBN never even saw the draws I requested from the bank, I was in full control of it. Does being a builder of record work to the advantage of OBN? Of course it does, it's probably one of their main selling points. Because you HAVE to have one to obtain a loan in Texas. Could you have Joe Blow fill out a builder of record form and be falsely liable? Sure, but I was not comfortable lying to the bank that was going to loan me the $$$,$$$ to build my dream home. As far as discounts, did I walk into Home Depot and get a discount? NO. Did I save $4,000 on my lumber package by a lumber co. on the 'list' that also sells the lumber for Pulte homes in this area? Yes. I went to 3 other lumber co's. I found on my own and this company beat them by $4,000. You see, to those 3 other lumber co's. I was a 'one time buy', to the rep at the company I used I was with OBN  which is a repeat customer (he sells a lot of the OBN lumber packages) and in return the sales rep. gives good pricing. As far as paying for your windows up front, once you open an account (like other GC's do) you don't have to do that. I fortunately purchased my windows from my lumber co. whom I had already opened an account, so I didn't have that problem.

I hope your posting makes anyone in the San Antonio area do the research and check lots of references before using that office. You didn't honestly mention whether you saved any money or not?( It wasn't one of your complaints . . .)


Reply...


Bob's Forum Posts: 1

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Bob in Rowlett, TX on 2/10/2006


Hello-

This is Bob from Allen, TX and I was wanting to know if you could answer a question for me about when you say you built your home for around $66 a square foot on a 4,200 sq foot home with all those awesome upgrades. Does that square foot price include the garage parking and covered parking? Or is that just the all the HVAC areas?

Thank you for your help. 

Bob


Reply...


Charlie's Forum Posts: 11
Interview Answers: 4

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Charlie in Magnolia, TX on 2/23/2006


Did you check the references? I am shocked that they didn't give you a "heads-up". Did you check out the other "owner-built" companies in San Antonio? If so, what made you select OBN?

Charlie

 


Reply...


Art's Forum Posts: 2
Journal Entries: 1

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Art in New Braunfels, TX on 3/23/2006


Deanna,

I have a quick question about your lumber package savings of $4K and where it came from. Did your lumber package include windows and doors or anything other the framing lumber? The reason I ask is that, most of the time I will review lumber (studs, sheathing, headers, LVL's, etc.) and find most (five in this area) lumberyards to be very close in pricing.

Could I ask what the slab square footage was, and what your lumber price was?

I would be interested to know where you saved that $$$ amount, if it was in any specific lumber area or all the lumber was less expensive.

Thanks,

-ac

Reply...


Charlie's Forum Posts: 11
Interview Answers: 4

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Charlie in Magnolia, TX on 3/24/2006


Compared 84 Lumber with McCoy's and Home Depot. Price varied from $28K - $32K including all engineered products. Total covered space was 4000 sf. What are the prices you are finding? Are you in Austin or San Antonio? What five yards are you having quote your jobs? Who have you found to give the best quote?

Charlie
Reply...


Mark's Forum Posts: 1

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Mark in Dallas, TX on 5/4/2015


Deanna, You obviously work for OBN. You aren't able to be objective and I seriously doubt that you actually built a home using OBN. If you really are a customer, please answer the question: how much did you pay OBN for their services? The fact that OBN feels they have to employ trolls makes me less inclined to put much trust in them or to use their services. I'd much rather just see the unedited truth.
Reply...


Lara's Forum Posts: 4

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Lara in Driftwood, TX on 5/5/2015


We are in the final stages of our home in the hill country (driftwood, between Austin and dripping springs).  We did not use OBN or any other contractor and we were fine. We didn't have any knowledge of building, we just did a lot of research along the way. Thank God for the Internet. Our lender was amazing!!!  I'll put in a shameless plug for them. Frontier Bank of TX in Elgin. Contact there is Vicki. I HIGHLY recommend them!  We did have to have someone there to sign on as a "GC consultant" but they didn't require a license or anything.  If you contact Vicki, tell her Lara sent you. I can't say enough good things about them. 
Reply...


Jill's Forum Posts: 1

Private Message


Jill's Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Jill in Gura, TX on 5/27/2015


Hi Lara - Thanks for the financing recommendation.  I am in hopes to begin building my own home in SW Austin.  Since we are somewhat in the same area, I'd appreciate some more insight.  Sent you a private message.  Thanks, Jill
Reply...


Claire's Forum Posts: 1

Private Message


Randomly Selected Image

Login to Vote

By Claire on 1/24/2018


Hey guys, I wanted to recommend you Premium Residential Remodeling, the best renovation and remodeling contractors in Houston! They did some work on my master bathroom and I am so proud and charmed with the new design. It looks as wonderful as new! The Premium Residential Remodeling team always made sure that I was happy with the progress and the end result. I definitely made a great choice by contracting them. Check their website: http://www.premiumresidentialremodeling.com/
Reply...



Reply... Subscribe to this topic

Copyright 1997-2019 Consensus Group Inc.