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