Looking to build your own house?

Frequently asked questions


Don't I need a license?

Just as you can sell your own house as the owner, you can build your own house.  A license is required only when you are building for someone else.  It's always a good idea to stop by your local building department to find out any specific requirements they may have for owner builders prior to starting the process.


Will I need to quit my job?

No.  But as a general rule, you should set aside an hour a day to dedicate to the project.  It also helps if you have a job that is flexible so you can deal with issues during working hours when they come up.  Some owner builders chose to hire a builder consultant to manage some of the day to day activities.


Don't I need a construction background?

It doesn't hurt to have a construction background when you build your own house...but it's not required.  We've trained accountants to history majors to build homes and it really just takes a willingness to learn, the ability to ask for help when needed, and a few problem solving skills.

Why Build your own house?



When you build your own house, you get exactly what you want.  You're not limited to a handfull of house plans or the small list of options the builder offers.



There's a huge sense of accomplishment when you build your own house.  Many owner builders are motived by the dollar savings but the sense of accomplishment becomes the biggest reward once their custom home is complete.

Save Money


Managing the building process can save you up to 25%.  If you also do some of the physical work you can save even more.  Cleanup, painting, trim carpentry,...these are just a few of the physical activities owners tackle themselves to increase savings.


Not Sure where to start?

THE Resource for Owner Builders

You really can build your own house by taking on the general contractor role.  Armchair Builder was created to level the playing field for owner builders by giving them the same tools and resources the professional home builders use.  From creating a budget to selecting the right lot to completing each major phase of construction, these tools help guide owner builders through this sometimes complicated process.  Since 2011, the Armchair Builder resources have been helping folks realize their ideal dream home.  So you think you might want to build your own house?  Let's explore some of the resources available... 

Armchair Builder REsources



Our E-Book, Building a Home:  A Step by Step Guide, takes an in-depth look at how a new home gets built and introduces all of the help available to you as an owner builder.

New Home Schedule


Does the rough plumbing get installed prior to the rough HVAC?  The New Home Schedule resource answers that question by showing/describing when each activity should occur along with the time frame required.

Lot Purchase Guide


There are so many things to consider when looking at different properties to build on.  Here are some of the major topics covered in this guide: house fit analysis, uncovering hidden costs to build, avoiding foundation problems, zoning, utilities and drainage.

New Home Budget


Forgetting just one budget item can leave you with an unfinished home. This resource lists all of the typical budget items encountered in a new home build.   We also include the typical cost percentages for each item to help identify any numbers that may be too high.

Contracting Tools


Hiring contractors, like plumbers and electricians, can be a seriously time consuming task.  Our Scopes of Work and Specifications and Bid Sheets help simplify the process and ensure you hire the best companies for the absolute lowest price when you build your own house.

The Builder's Daily Construction Guide


This guide gives the person managing the day-to-day construction schedule a checklist of what to do each day to ensure the timelines and quality standards are met.  Stop by our ESTORE for details and examples.

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What our customers are saying...


January, 2019  “I purchased your program and am so pleased… After much research on the web I found you… With your book, I am feeling more confident every day.  I am so thrilled with every word I have read thus far and the scope of work and specifications are going to be a God sent.  Granted I have no experience or knowledge at this point but with Armchair Builder, I feel “Let the Games Begin” because of you and your book. This is going to be FUN. By the way, I am 68 years old, divorced, female and my friends think I am crazy. All odds are against me BUT …..We will see.”  Dianna N.

February, 2018  “Thanks for your very prompt reply!  I can’t tell you how grateful to you we are for your advice.” Mary G.

November, 2017  “I just finished building my own home and have really found your complete package to be invaluable…thank you.”  Mike D.

September, 2017  “I purchased your full package and appreciate all of the great information you’ve pulled together.”  Denise R.

May, 2017  “I recently purchased the complete electronic document package, and I am very satisfied overall with the quality of information and tools provided.” Jack S.

May, 2017 I recently purchased the complete electronic document package, and I am very satisfied overall with the quality of information and tools provided. Jack S.

About the Builder

Michael Luckado has built and remodeled thousands of homes throughout the U.S. over the past 19 years.  He created Armchair Builder to pass his experience on to owner builders so they could save money while creating their ideal dream home.

Armchair Builder is the brand for Owner Builders, in other words, people acting as their own general contractor.  Our goal is to give you the resources to help you manage the construction of your own home.  From hiring good trades people to choosing designs for maximum cost savings, you can do it and we're here to help.

Don't take advice from just any builder...get inside tips from a pro that cares.  You really can build your own house at a great price.

More info at ArmchairBuilder.com

Construction Schedules

New home building schedules created from years of experience

Cost Estimating

Learn how to get a cost estimate for your new custom home

Hiring Trade Contractors

Get tips for getting the best prices from subcontractors

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