By Patrick in Naperville, IL on 6/12/2007
I know its been a few months since your original positing, but I have met with Ubuildit in the Chicago area and have been very impressed.
Yes, there is a fee, but it is negotiable. I have not signed up yet, am talking with other options I have, but overall, am leaning towards using Ubuildit. I have already negotiated their fee down 15%.
I think Ubuildit gets a bad name at times for two main reasons:
1 - If you have a lot of expeirence in construction and you have a lot of time, yes it is a waste of money.
2 - If you have obsolutely no experience or knowledge in any facet of construction and have not time, as your work 80hrs at a desk job per week, then you should absolutely not do Ubuildit, as they wont provide enough help.
I fit somewhere in the middle. I have knowledge and some time, but I know I need a helping hand, and most certainly need a hand at the early stages of building. I know going out on my own 100% has the chance to be disatarous. And I know going 100% with a GC or Builder is a waste of my money, as I dont need that much help.
Being in the Chicago burbs, most GC's and builders will take minimum of $60k on the type of house I am looing to build. My guess is it would be a lot more given I would not be paying subs directly, so they would mark those up.
With Ubuildit, I am looking at $19k - sure, its a decent sized chunk, but I guarantee it will save me at least $10k in mistakes based on all the things that I would simply overlook or not know- so a figure the $9k is a worthwhile fee to have someone in my back pocket.
I have also had success tyring to get local builders to do a flat fee set up, where they bid out the subs they normally use but I pay them directly and have the ability to bring in my own. However, most still wanted at least 10% - which is likely $30k.
And concerning Ubuildit, it appears to be very franchise dependent - as in servie varies by office. Here, the local guy is a former GC with 20 yrs experience...very knowledgeable.
Certainly, if I go Ubuildit, i will start a journal...