Choosing a Builder
You need to hire an experienced building professional with a history of delivering a high quality, finished product within budget and in a prescribed period of time. They should be licensed and bonded, insured and a member of the local Home Builders Association. Be sure to check references and ask for estimates.
Professional builders are well equipped to handle any situation that may occur during construction - cost overruns, situations with lumber, windows, or roof trusses, schedules - all the risk and headaches of the project rests on the contractor's shoulders. The contractor is also responsible for providing a warranty for the home over the first year after closing.
Build Your Home, Yourself?!
You can manage the project yourself as the "owner-builder", although most people build a home using the services of a custom home builder, who is also a licensed residential contractor.
Why take on the added responsibility of overseeing your project?
Simple - You MAY save money and it MAY be a great way to create equity in your new home. But be careful!! This typically doesn't occur. You need to be actively involved in every aspect of the new home construction, including design, budgeting and financing, obtaining permits, gathering bids from qualified subcontractors, scheduling the work, and making payments. All the risk is yours along with any warranty work that may be required. Many owner-builder projects take much longer to build due to the fact that many items are not ordered well enough in advance and problems scheduling subcontractors and material deliveries. This is not time well spent when the interest clock is running and changes/mistakes cost money.
The Role of an Owner-Builder Consultant
If you're not a builder, but still want to create equity in your home by managing the project - even do some of the work yourself if there is a certain aspect of home building that you enjoy - there are owner-builder consulting companies that can help.
Now it's easier than ever for you to build or remodel your own home. You don't need to know a thing about construction or hammer a single nail. An owner-builder consultant is typically an experienced home builder who helps you take control of your home-building project by becoming your advisor, leading you safely through the construction process from start to finish.
If you finance your construction project as an owner-builder, your lender may require that you retain the services of a site supervisor. Your site supervisor, who would usually be an experienced residential contractor, serves as your project consultant. Remember, your lender is lending you money for your home and will want to make sure that the home is completed on time, within budget, and built according to your plans and building code requirements.