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Current Top-Rated Posters

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Lance in Buena Vista, CO0.002

I am just beginning the research to see if I can be an owner-builder and am really glad I found The Owner-Builder Book and the website.
Gary

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.

Michael in Cave Creek, AZ's Interview Answers

Previous Owner-Builder for Michael in Cave Creek, AZ at OwnerBuilderBook.com - Build Your Own Home

What type of construction?
 Conventional framing
 
Who took primary responsibility in your family for the work?
 Husband primary
 
How many bids did you get for each subcontracted trade, on average?
 Two
 
How many finished levels in your most recent owner-built house?
 One
 
Were you working when you owner-built?
 Both working
 
Did you have a written schedule for construction?
 No
 
Did you install a water softener?
 No
 
Did you use a designer, architect, stock plan?
 Stock Plan
 
Are you a good shopper?
 Good shopper
 
House style?
 Other
 
How much did you save altogether vs. appraised or street value?
 45% - 50%
 
How many hours did you spend as a couple, counting planning and construction?
 300 - 400 hrs.
 
What trades did you do yourself?
 Underground utilities, plumbing, electrical, framing, tile, hardwood floor, paint, landscape, swimming pool (plumbing, wiring and decking).
 
How much did you save on the trades you did yourself?
 $110,000 - $130,000
 
How long did your self-work trades take?
 >1,000 hours
 
Did you get bids from generals?
 No
 
Have you had it appraised?
 Yes
 
Was yours a starter, step-up, custom, or dream home?
 Custom
 
What's the difference in your mind between a starter, step-up, custom, or dream home?
 
Starter: Small square footage, economy finishes, budget appliances value to $250K.
Step-up: Adds footage - still lots of economy finishes, above $250K, less than $400K.
Custom: $400K to $900K lots of tile, Travertine, hardwoods, solid wooden doors, high quality kitchen, lots of square feet, pool custom landscape, high end appliances, Viking, Wolf, Sub-Zero, Jenn-Air etc.
Dream home: Excessive customization, water features, over 4,000 sq. ft., over $1M.
 
Did you get materials separate from labor on any of the trades?
 70% - 80%
 
What were special features in your house?
 
Saltwater solar heated pool
Desert landscape
Cobblestone driveways and patios
Observation deck
Stained glass pantry doors
Lots of archways and soffits
Low-voltage lighting
Viking Range, Jenn-Air appliances
Solid pine doors
Real maple floors
Snail shower -- custom Travertine
Double-pane windows and French doors
Built-in vacuum
 
Things or approaches you invented?
 We ran a 7-day work week with part timers at nights and on the weekends and the professional sub-contractors during the weekdays.
 
Super bargains you got?
 Full trailer of solid maple flooring imported from Canada. Brick pavers direct from manufacturer.
 
Ways to save money?
 Build in an area that does not have an onerous permitting authority.
Buy extra land, split it and sell the pieces you don't need.
Hire experienced tradesmen who want to earn extra $$$ on the weekends.
Supply all of the materials to your crews -- shop around to get the materials.
Ask everyone for a discount.
 
Did you have contract problems?
 None at all
 
Did you get liened by anybody?
 No liens
 
What percentage of O-B's do you think get liened?
 5% - 10%
 
How much time did it take to construct?
 Six months
 
How many trades were involved on your job?
 10 - 15
 
Have you owner-built more than once?
 Three times
 
Did you read The Owner-Builder Book before you built your house?
 Yes
 
How many bathrooms did you include in your owner-built house?
 3-4
 

Future Owner-Builder for Michael in Cave Creek, AZ at OwnerBuilderBook.com - Build Your Own Home

Will you be working when you owner-build?
 Both working
 
How many times are you planning to do this?
 More than five
 
Are you organized?
 Pretty organized
 
Will you incorporate active solar panels (PV) into your home?
 No
 
How much calendar time will there be from when you first did some written planning to groundbreaking?
 One to one and a half years
 
How many bathrooms are you planning on?
 2-3
 
Do you own a truck?
 Yes
 
Is your occupation "blue collar" or "white collar"?
 White collar
 
How many bedrooms are you planning on?
 Four
 
How many houses have you built, remodeled or added on to as an owner-builder?
 Six
 
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