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Current Top-Rated Posters

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Lance in Buena Vista, CO0.002

We are so thankful for this board! It has been a valuable asset to us for a very long time now - since September, 2004. We are very happy to finally get started building.
Samuel in Smyrna, DE

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.

Ellen in Orlando, FL's Interview Answers

Previous Owner-Builder for Ellen in Orlando, FL at OwnerBuilderBook.com - Build Your Own Home

How many bids did you get for each subcontracted trade, on average?
 Two
 
If you had a general contractor estimate, how much did you save vs. average estimate?
 20-25%
 
Were utility costs in the new house a surprise?
 About what I expected
 
Did you use any personal friends as subs?
 One
 
Did you use a designer, architect, stock plan?
 Designed My Own
 
Were you working when you owner-built?
 Neither working
 
How long did your self-work trades take?
 200 - 300 hours
 
Do you own a truck?
 Yes
 
Do you have a step-up strategy?
 No
 
Did you get liened by anybody?
 No liens
 
How many tools do you own?
 $3,000 - $4,000
 
What was your original construction budget, not including land?
 $250,000 - $300,000
 
How many finished levels in your most recent owner-built house?
 One
 
How much combined time did you take off work when you built?
 None
 
How many books about contracting or the trades did you read when you owner-built?
 None
 
What's the population of the community where you built?
 100,000-150,000
 
Did you take pictures of the job when you owner-built?
 Used a digital camera regularly
 
How many days when only a single sub was on site?
 5 - 10 days
 
How much personal use do you make of the Internet?
 20-25 hours
 
Did you incorporate active solar panels (PV) into your home?
 No
 
How many trades did you do yourself?
 2
 
Was your project urban or rural?
 In the country
 
Did you get materials separate from labor on any of the trades?
 30% - 40%
 
Did you have contract problems?
 One
 
Did you have a written schedule for construction?
 Yes
 
Would you be willing to help another owner-builder?
 Yes, I would respond to emails.
 
Did you use a computer?
 Yes - extensively
 
What type of construction?
 Masonry
 
House style?
 Conventional
 
How many hours did you spend as a couple, counting planning and construction?
 > 1,000 hrs.
 
How many bathrooms did you include in your owner-built house?
 2-3
 
Was your project a new house or a remodel and addition?
 New house
 
How much management time did you and your spouse spend during the construction phase?
 500 - 600 hours
 
Did you install a water softener?
 Yes
 
How many air conditioning units did you include in your owner-built house?
 One compressor
 
Was yours a starter, step-up, custom, or dream home?
 Custom
 
Did you get a construction loan without a contractor?
 Yes
 
How much did you save altogether vs. appraised or street value?
 20% - 25%
 
Who took primary responsibility in your family for the work?
 Husband primary
 
What trades did you do yourself?
 Shelves, bookcase, hanging towel bars.
 
Did you get bids from generals?
 Two
 
Have you had it appraised?
 Yes
 
Super bargains you got?
 Plumbing fixtures, drywall, inside trim.
 
Ways to save money?
 Look for sale items and store them.
Always ask for a discount.
 
What percentage of O-B's do you think get liened?
 1% - 5%
 
How much time did it take to construct?
 Five months
 
How many trades were involved on your job?
 15 - 20
 
What time of year did you start?
 June
 
Any reason you chose that time of year to start?
 We just happen to get the land and then started building.
 
What do you consider the most desirable features in a custom home?
 The fact that you did it the way you wanted it.
 
What features in your house save operating costs?
 
Heat-resistant insulation in attic
Foam spray in block
3-m film for windows
 
If ever you move from your O-B house, how long will you have lived in it?
 We'll never move
 
Did you have any problems getting your building permit?
 No problems as an owner-builder
 
How much construction industry experience did you have before you owner-built?
 No experience in the industry whatsoever
 
What were the impact fees for you to build?
 $10,000 - $20,000
 

Future Owner-Builder for Ellen in Orlando, FL at OwnerBuilderBook.com - Build Your Own Home

How many finished levels in your future owner-built house?
 One
 
What type of construction are you planning?
 Conventional
 
Planned house style?
 Conventional
 
How much do you plan to save altogether vs. appraised value?
 30% - 35%
 
How many hours do you project spending as a couple, counting planning and construction?
 900 - 1,000
 
Will you be working when you owner-build?
 Neither working
 
Who will take primary responsibility in your family for the work?
 Husband primary
 
Will your project be a starter, step-up, custom, or dream home?
 Custom
 
Will you get comparison bids from general contractors?
 Three
 
What percentage of the time do you think O-B's get liened by subs or vendors?
 Less than one percent
 
What time of year will you start?
 May
 
Do you have a step-up strategy?
 Yes
 
How much combined time will you spend planning?
 More than 900 hours
 
How many times are you planning to do this?
 Two
 
Are you organized?
 Very
 
Are you a good shopper?
 Good shopper
 
Will you build in town or in the country?
 Rural
 
What's the population of the community where you will build?
 150,000-200,000
 
How much calendar time will there be from when you first did some written planning to groundbreaking?
 One and a half to two years
 
Do you know your credit score?
 Yes
 
How many houses have you owned prior to this one?
 3
 
What will you choose for wall insulation?
 Structural Insulated Panels
 
How much construction industry experience will you have before you owner-build?
 No experience in the industry whatsoever
 
How many books about contracting or the trades will you read when you owner-build?
 None
 
Do you plan to use any personal friends as subs?
 One
 
How many houses have you built, remodeled or added on to as an owner-builder?
 Two
 
How many children do you have?
 Four
 
How many children will be living at home when you owner-build?
 None
 
How many bedrooms are you planning on?
 Four
 
How many bathrooms are you planning on?
 2-3
 
How many air conditioning units will you include in your owner-built house?
 Two compressors
 
If stick-built, will you use 2x4 or 2x6 framing?
 2x4
 
How many tools do you own?
 $3,000 - $4,000
 
Do you have experience using spreadsheets for budgeting or scheduling?
 Ten times
 
Is your occupation "blue collar" or "white collar"?
 White collar
 
Will you take pictures of the job when you owner-built?
 Many pictures
 
Do you own a truck?
 Yes
 
How many covered vehicle spaces will you provide in your owner-built house?
 Two
 
How much personal use do you make of the Internet?
 10-15 hours
 
What are the most helpful websites for your owner-builder project?
 This one.
 
What is the average monthly utility cost in your current home?
 $150 - $200
 
What is the average General Contractor estimate to build your plans?
 >$300 s.f.
 
What will be the R-value of your walls?
 < R-14
 
Why are you considering owner-building?
 To get what we want at an affordable price
 
Will you incorporate active solar panels (PV) into your home?
 No
 
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