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Building a house: hire a contractor or do it on your own?

Asha Bogenfuerst Asha Bogenfuerst
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So you're planning to build a house and wondering if you should hire a contractor or do it on your own. Well, you've come to the right place. This idea guide will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of building your own house versus hiring a contractor to do the job. It's best to inform yourself properly and look at the bigger picture before you make such important choices. 

Firstly, we will discuss some tips on how to find the right contractor. Then, we will briefly touch on communication with the contractor followed by the average costs. After that, the pros and cons of building a house on your own versus hiring a contractor will be debated. Last but not least, an alternative suggestion is recommended. 

We hope the information here will help you make the right choice. Let's browse through some of these tips shall we? 

Finding the right contractor

Sometimes it makes more sense to hire a professional contractor, rather than doing the job yourself. However, choosing the wrong contractor can lead to delays and even legal problems. Here are some tips for finding the right contractor. 

Getting recommendations from friends and neighbours is a good way to start looking for contractors. Once you have a list of contractors, conduct a short phone interview with them to see which one you like best. Make sure the contractor has a license to work in your area, and is insured. Next, pick a contractor who specializes in your project type. Last but not least, make sure you have a detailed contract in place before any work begins.

Communication with the contractor

 Prefabricated home by FingerHaus GmbH
FingerHaus GmbH

VIO 302—Eingangsbereich

FingerHaus GmbH

Trust your gut feelings and instincts when it comes to communication with the contractor. You should be able to trust your contractor up to a certain level. If you can't, don't hire him or her. 

Remember communication is the key, even in a business relationship. Make sure you can communicate with your contractor properly and that you can understand each other clearly. This will make the job more smooth and efficient. 

The lovely house pictured here is built by Fingerhaus GmbH, home builders based in Frankenberg, Germany.

Average costs

 Houses by ArchDesign STUDIO
ArchDesign STUDIO

​PROJETO ARQUITETÔNICO FACHADA E INTERIOR DA RESIDÊNCIA PRUNER (Fotos: Lio Simas)

ArchDesign STUDIO

Budgeting is a very important part of the process of building your own home or hiring a contractor to do it. It's always a good idea to have about 20 percent more money than the actual budget for the house stored away as there are always extra unexpected costs. The worst thing will be having an incomplete house just because you ran out of budget. 

Come up with a cost sheet to write all your costs for supplies and labour as you go along. Keep track of your expenditure daily so that you don't have a pile of paperwork at the end of the month. 

Advantages of building a house on your own

One of the main advantages of building a house on your own is the money you will be able to save. If you are efficient, you may be able to build a house faster on your own as you are the boss, and you will definitely do your best to make sure everything is going smoothly. However, if someone else is in charge, it might be a different story. 

It's also a great project of course, and while you may not put in in your resume as one of your achievements, it will definitely be something to be proud of. You will also pick up a lot of skills and new experiences being on the job, and these things can always come in handy. 

Browse through house designs here on homify to get more new ideas and inspiration on how to design and build your house. 

Disadvantages of building a house on your own

One of the main disadvantages of building a house on your own is the stress that comes with it and the blood, sweat, and tears put into it. Many newly weds often dream of building a house together, but be warned that building a house can very stressful and it can take a toll on your relationship. Make sure you know what you're getting yourself into. 

The sentimental value you attach to a house is a lot more when you actually build the house yourself, so if you plan on moving on soon, it might be best not to get too attached. 

Combination of both ways—is it possible?

 Houses by AR Design Studio
AR Design Studio

AR Design Studio- Abbots Way

AR Design Studio

If you still can't decide, maybe a combination of both ways is the best solution. You can be your own general contractor and hire subcontractors, set the schedules, coordinate with suppliers and inspectors, and buy the supplies. You can save a lot of money by doing this if you're good at it, but there's also the chance of messing up of course. Being your own general contractor works best if you're highly organized, detail-oriented, and have a clear idea of what you want in your home. 

We hope this idea guide has been helpful to you. For more inspiration and ideas, have a look at a modern home with stylish appeal.

Which tip did you find the most helpful? Let us know in the comments section below.
 Houses by Casas inHAUS

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