How to Build your Own home?
Can you really build your own home or addition? But don’t you need a license? These are two of the more frequent questions I get from friends as a professional builder. The quick answer is yes and no. But if you are serious about wanting to build your own home or addition, we should talk a little more about it.
Requirements to Build Your Own Home
Let’s start with the big things you need in order to build your own home. For any new construction project built by owner, your biggest requirement will be time. If you don’t have an extra hour or two per day to dedicate to your general contractor duties, I would recommend getting some help. The video below describes some of the people that can help you get your home built while still saving you money. They can provide expertise and can also help limit the time that will be required of you.
So besides needing the time to dedicate to your project to build your own home or addition, you will also need to use your problem solving skills. The overused cliche, what can go wrong will go wrong, applies here. I have built over a thousand homes and get better with each one I build. Unfortunately, no matter how well you plan, things will go wrong…even on my projects. So if you decide to build your own home, be ready to apply your problem solving skills and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
Do I Need a License?
Do you need a license to build your own home or addition? Typically no. A license in most professions is used to protect people you work for…like in the case of a real estate agent. There’s nothing keeping you from selling your own home without a license. Real estate agents are licensed to make sure the buyers and sellers whom they work for are being represented fairly. When you sell or build your own home, you are completely responsible for the outcome.
That being said, most local municipalities have specific requirements for owner builders. They may ask you to sign a waiver stating that you understand that you are completely responsible for the outcome. They don’t want a shoddy builder to talk you into pulling an owner builder permit when you don’t intend to be in charge of the project. This can get you into trouble. If you decide not to build your own home and go with a full service builder, you want the builder’s company name on the permit in the event that something goes wrong. Be sure to check with your local building department to see what requirements might apply to you when you build your own home.
Free Help for You
We have a great free video series to help you build your own home. For a start…check out the Armchair Builder videos page. In the left margin you will see Build My Own Home with seventeen more videos that will help you build your own home. So, if you get the right help, you can build your own home or addition. Be sure to signup for our free monthly newsletter that gives builder secrets for saving money and tips for building a quality project. If you already have a project planned, stop by our ESTORE for some one-of-a-kind resources to help you save money and time.