As I talk with people, I continue to hear the same things that really concern me. People want to draw their own house plans and to be the general contractor on their home. So, I would like to address both of these areas.
So you want to draw your own plans? There are so many software packages out there that make it look so simple. And yes, they are easy to use and fun. But are they realistic? Some of the more expensive software looks like it is capable of designing and telling you the materials you will need and more. But, it does not take into account many things. The most critical is the land slopeage. How much more money will be needed for that slab if it slopes up to 4 feet? Does it include the permits and inspections? Does it include the timeline of construction, lining your subcontractors up and more? No, these packages don’t include these items. They do tell you how many nails to buy or how many boards. There are so many packages that give you every aspect of designing and showing you cute pictures of the elevations, floor plans, and more. But did you consider additional cost for insulations or if that A/C return will really work there? Personally, I love to play with these packages and design away. Will my husband be able to build it like I have it? I know he will have to make changes. For instance, I put the electrical panel in a closet that you can not get to. Simple things that you think make sense can turn out to be a problem. There are many builders who will draw your plans for nothing, if they get to build your home. If you like to play with the software, go ahead and draw your ideal plan, and then select a builder who can build you a good, solid home. The drawing will help them see your visions.
And now you want to be the general contractor, too? At this point, I hope you had your design professionally done. It really takes an expert to look over those plans. Being a general contractor is not the easiest job. You have to know what subcontractors to use, how to schedule jobs, how to check the work being done, pull permits and inspections. Can you keep your job on schedule? Yes, you can be a general contractor and build your own house; it just takes time and knowledge. Are you going to save money? Maybe. But what if you had to go back and correct things? This is at your expense. I’ve seen so many people build their own home. What happens when you decide to sell and the inspection is done? You might have to pay to have some major things corrected or give the buyers a credit. These general contractors have had the hands on experience and can save you so many headaches. Just think about what you are getting into.
Like anything, there are so many books and the internet available to help build simple things or more complex things, like your home. Make sure you select the best route for you and your family. It never hurts to just talk to a builder before you take on the project. Good luck if you select the route of doing it yourself.
For all your real estate and building needs or questions, call Debbie at 830-833-4249 or 713-818-6658, or send an email to debbie@vallone realestate.net.