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OB allowed in VA?


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By matt in Virginia Beach, VA on 2/27/2007


I'm new at this owner-builder concept. No idea what I'm doing but from the little I've researched the way to go about being an owner-builder is to, in essence, have you as the owner act as the GC. Is this allowed in VA? I can't find anything on the web either way. It seems some have posted in here that are doing it so it must be possible, but before going headfirst into reasearching more I wanted to know if I needed a GC or if I could act as one as most states allow you to do.

Thanks!
matt

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By Michele in Stafford, VA on 2/28/2007


Hi Matt,

Yes, this is allowed in Virginia.  I am doing it right now in Northern Virginia.  If you go to the local forums and look under Virginia, you will see threads on others either doing it, or getting ready to start.  Both the General Forums and the Local Forums have great advice.  I would advise always checking both if you are looking for info.

Michele


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By matt in Virginia Beach, VA on 2/28/2007


Hi Michele!

Yes, I read the other posts under this local forum but none specified if they were building without a General Contractor or not. I didn't want to get my hopes up without knowing for sure. I checked the Virginia state law web site but couldn't come up with anything! Thanks for the info!

Do you know of the statute under which owner-builders are classified under in Virginia law? Do you know of any restrictions that owner-builders are under (ie in Mass it's something like you can't build more than 1 house every 2 years).

Thanks a bunch! I think we'd be doing this in the Hampton Roads area, if I can find (cheaper) land in southern Virginia Beach / Chesapeake / Pungo area.
Matt

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By Michele in Stafford, VA on 2/28/2007


Hi Matt,

I am an owner-builder and I am not using a GC. I also do not have a licensed site supervisor either, its just me.  I'm not sure about state statutes or limitations that you mentioned.  I never had a problem getting my permits as an owner-builder.  I think Virginia still believes in the people's capability to do things themselves! 

Good Luck!


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By Kerry in Newport News, VA on 3/3/2007


Hello!

I'm Kerry and we are O-B(s) in Hampton Roads. We live in Newport News now, but we will be O-B(ing) in Gloucester VA this year. We took a trip out to the land site today and some of the clearing has already begun!!

It's an exhilarating feeling when what you have dreamed and hoped for is starting to materialize. I wish EVERY O-B on this site much luck, enjoyment and great people to work with during their projects.

Kerry

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By Teresa in Martinsville, VA on 4/30/2007


Matt,

It is legal in all 50 states to be an Owner-Builder, you are not required to have a GC or site supervisor (except by some banks - IndyMac Bank is one of the most 'Owner-Builder' friendly). Your best bet before you jump in is to do research and plan ahead. There are a lot of things you need to know before you begin this process. 

You need to make sure your employer is okay with this (unless you plan to take a leave of absence). If you have any family or friends that can assist on the project, GREAT! It's time to call in favors. 

As soon as you know where the build site is, contact the Building Dept. It is never too early to establish a connection -- you will be best friends or raging enemies by the end. (Best to be on friendly terms though.) Check for the schedule of fees and permits. Also, ask if there are any bonds (school, environmental, etc) you should know about.  Sometimes these fees can amount to thousands of dollars. Best to factor them into your budget than to be surprised later on.

Make sure you have a projected amount you want to spend on your house. It is the most difficult portion, but you need to stay inside your budget as much as possible. Get as many hard quotes, as soon as you can. Your bank of choice can supply you with a budget template.

I would advise you to purchase The Owner-Builder Book before you begin. It is full of helpful tips and information.

Hope this helps!


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