Why do it yourself...

I watch This Old House, Bob Vila's Home Again, and The New Yankee Workshop. I like them so much that I am linking to them. Watching them, though, for the lay person must be a very scary ordeal, especially This Old House. So much so that lately (past 5 to 10 years), that This Old House really does not go over the budget, or when they talk about costs of a particular trade, it seems like a scary number (and it is!!!). It also seems like a jumbled, unstructured mess when they are remodeling. And it is to a certain extent. But is really a fairly well orchestrated, scheduled series of events, and they do it well. They just don't show it well on TV. Your project will be somewhat cleaner than their's, since that are remodeling predominately, and you will be able to look past a situation that seems to be unorganized to the next steps in your series of construction events. You will be able to see the trees through the forest and the horizon also.

What you will gain by building your house...

There are will be many benefits in building your own house and home. The generic ones, as well as the more subtle ones are listed below:

  1. Save a huge amount of money over hiring a general contractor - up to 35% or more
  2. Get the house you want
  3. Have built in equity in your home right from the start
  4. Learn a valuable set of skills that you can repeat over and over - you can guide your children in house construction
  5. Get a bigger and better house that you normally could not afford

Up until this point, I have not talked about costs of construction. In your home building experience, you will be dealing with contract and "hard bids" from subcontactors and suppliers, so you will have your budget fairly quickly after you have a working set of prints. My cost exposure has been in Florida. In Florida, especially from Tampa south, the construction industry normally builds block houses for single story houses and block and frame for multi-story houses, so my costs will be slightly higher than most of the country, but only by $5 to $7 a square foot. A house in Florida can generally be built for $55 per square foot under roof (Example, a house under 2400 square feet of roof with 2000 square feet of living and 400 square feet of garage), depending on the upgrades, and with optimizing, can be built for much less. But how you design the house will ultimately dictate your budget.