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By Dawn in Charlotte, NC on 3/28/2007


I am interested in using the services of UBuildIt - Lake Norman, NC. Does anybody have any information on this particular franchise?
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By Kenny in Harrisburg, NC on 4/5/2007


I do not have specific experience with them, but am O-B'ing my home nearby in the Concord/Harrisburg area of North Carolina beginning this summer.

Their fees were too high for me to consider with what they have to offer.  It may be lower than hiring a GC, but still a lot of work on your part. I have family and experience in construction, so it was not for me.  Depending on your experience level and time, it may be a good option. 

BTW: The most valuable thing I have done is get my plans through Nelson Design Group . They have a true-cost estimate of the material and labor costs in your area. They can give you a darned accurate number for constructing to "builder grade", so you have something to compare it with. 

Even with my experience and expectations, there were lots of things I needed to budget for that were on their list and I had not thought of. Without the list I would have been with the majority of owner builders that go 10-20% over budget.  If you do not have a plan picked out, I would highly suggest it.  Even using a builder, if he sees and knows you know the exact cost to build, you may be able to get a better price??

If I can help let me know. I have been planning for a while, and hope to break ground late summer.


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By Thomas in Mooresville, NC on 6/1/2007


Dawn - Ken is right.  They are too high to use and some of their subs are more expensive than those you will find yourself.  I am building here in Mooresville, and have gotten some great deals thus far.  Luckily, I have a buddy who is only charging me a 1% fee of my total build for his lic.  But, you can do it yourself for free.  Why give the UBuildIt Co. 8-10% if you can pocket the money and upgrade and save?
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By Patrick in Naperville, IL on 6/12/2007


Dawn-

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...


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