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Lance in Buena Vista, CO0.002

I presented the free Owner-Builder Book to my local library last week. They were delighted to receive the book. The librarian flipped through the contents and some of the sections of the book, and noted that this would be a great addition to the library collection, and would likely be used frequently. She added that she and her husband had built their own house twice - actually doing much of the work themselves.
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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.
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Ted's Sample Estimate.xls

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Here's the Excel sheet I'm working from showing my estimates and actual cost so far.  One thing to be careful of when getting estimates, including takeoffs on your plans is to dig into the details, everybody typically will quote a little on the low side to get the business but most people want nice stuff and that starts to add cost etc... I would highly recommend estimating everything out by soliciting bids, takeoffs etc... and then add 10% to be on the safe side to cover yourself for cost increases and any add-ons you might wish to make.  It's much easier to overestimate and have savings as to sell yourself short and start wondering how you're gonna pay for it.

Another piece of advice during framing and other activities; most subs will bid based on the way things are "typically" done in the area.  In short that means it will meet code but there are a lot of better building techniques that cost a little extra that go beyond code and "typical" construction style.  I'm not saying that most builders don't build good houses, all I'm saying is that they are typically built to maximize return on their investment.  If you don't ask for what you want up front be prepared to pay a lot more for it while it's under construction.  That scenario may not always be the case but if you convey your building intentions up front you'll alleviate the possibility.

Do your homework early and pick/design a set of plans and try to visualize all possible changes before starting.  You may even want to do a little cut and paste exercise with your scale plans and make scale furniture and lay it out in an attempt to visualize the end result.  We walked through numerous construction sites and open houses trying to visualize what we liked/didn't etc...  The reason I'm dwelling on the visualization process of the end results is that I've watched another O-B take almost 2 years to build a home.  Keep changing their minds, over and over.  Entrances, arches, paint, you name it.  I hate to think what they have in it not including all the extra interest they've paid on it.  Oh not to mention all the subs they've driven crazy and who won't hardly work on their place anymore.



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Leighton in Wylie, TX said: This is a great tool! Thanks for posting it. Out of curiosity how old is this form (when was this house built) and in what state? I am looking to build a similar size home and would like to know what I'm comparing. Thanks
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