Planning to build your own home? I applaud you. Building a home as a do-it-yourselfer is a major undertaking. It takes real fortitude to create that home building dream. |
Are you an accomplished do-it-yourself pro? Perhaps you consider yourself good with projects, good with your hands, experienced in the building trades, and eager as heck to pursue this dream. But, do you really have what it takes to do it right?
Having personally helped hundreds and witnessed hundreds more, I've discovered the common traits of the most successful DIY home owner builders. I'll share them with you here. Which ones do you have?
1) TIME: Personal involvement requires time. Can you find 30 to 40 hours a week?
The do-it-yourself owner builder must wear many hats when building. First, there is the time-consuming job of managing the entire project from beginning to the end. As a DIY owner builder, you must also add a lot of labor time even if you are only doing a portion of the work yourself.
Budgeting 30 to 40 hours per week for all that is required of you is almost mandatory. It could be more depending upon your personal labor commitment. And, of course, you have your regular job to tend to. Can you do this for a year or so?
2) PEOPLE: No one builds completely alone. What people resources do you have?
You will need help. Many people use friends and family but almost everyone also hires certain contractors from time to time. First and foremost, I recommend that you hire a home building industry professional as your coach.
A good homebuilding coach will guide you to balance your efforts with the efforts of other home building professionals and keep you on track.
3) ORGANIZED: Building is complex. How will you track and analyze your project?
Good organization begins with a home building system. With a step-by-step process taking you from foundation to finishing work you'll be able to minimize delays and organize your help.
Without good organization, you won't be able to quickly handle the problems that come up and get right back on track to completing your home in a timely fashion.
4) DESIGN: Start with good design and blueprints. Can you spot a great plan?
This is extremely important for a successful building project. Keep it simple and you'll avoid costly and confusing errors and delays. Detailed blueprints are a great investment to increase the likelihood of getting what you want.
5) SIMPLICITY: Home building can be complicated. Would a kit home be best?
Whenever possible, look for ways to remove the need for decisions. There will be plenty as it is. A kit home can do this for you. Kit (or packaged) homes limit your involvement in things like shopping, deliveries, and decision-making.
Research the kit home company thoroughly and check their references. Also, make certain that they emphasize and deliver great customer service.
6) FOCUS: Family and work require attention. Can you commit to this project?
Home building is demanding. It's not just the time and physical effort. You must be able to focus and be productive when you're on the job. Be sure that your family is behind you and it is sometimes beneficial to get your employer behind you as well.
Your employer may be willing to put up with a little distraction for a while if they feel your homebuilding project will keep you rooted in the area and committed to your job for the long haul. (Be sure they like you first, of course!)
7) PREPARED: Knowledge and experience count! Do you have what it takes?
This could have been secret skill number one! Actually, it's mentioned last because it's what I want you to remember the most. You need to be prepared. You need information and knowledge. But, even the best do-it-yourself owner builders don't have what it takes to succeed on their own.
I've found that great preparation begins with a good home building coach. A coach that brings contacts, experience, knowledge and a homebuilding system that empowers you.
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