Considering Owner Building?

Are you considering owner building to save money? Is it the only way you can afford your dream? Perhaps you want to be able to have more choice with fittings and appliances.

Well I have almost 40 years in Construction engineering and I have been happy to use building companies for my three new houses. I wouldn’t contemplate owner building unless I won Tattslotto and could give it my full attention. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Having a house built for you and building one yourself is very different. There are literally hundreds of decisions that are made by supervisors and builders during a build that you would never be aware of as the owner.
  2. You may know a number of tradies but how good are they? Would they take short cuts if you weren’t around to keep an eye on things.
  3. I’m skeptical about how much money you save. You may be able to call on your friends to supply & install for cheaper but you won’t get the discounts that a big builder can negotiate.
  4. Yes you can save by putting time in yourself but you are not going to be as efficient as a tradesman if you costed your time at the rate your employer pays you the saving would be much smaller, if anything.
  5. All the time you put in will be at the expense of family life. I have known a few self builders who have divorced with the main cause been the pressure of the build.
  6. One off projects are hard to budget accurately so you run a real risk of blowing your budget. (You don’t want to finish up with a ghost house).
  7. Anything that goes wrong has to be fixed by you. Going with a builder, anything not to your specifications is their problem.
  8. There is a saying 90% of the effort is the last 10% of a job. Are you going to move into a 90% house and then never going to get round to actually finishing it?
  9. Want to sell in a few years? How are you going to provide a guarantee.

There is an Owner Builder interview and some interesting video links at the Post: Owner Builder Videos

I’m not intending to scare you out of your dream!………….. I just want to make sure you have thought very carefully about the risks ………..otherwise dreams can turn into nightmares!

Good luck with whatever you decide!


Want to choose a builder? or just a tradie for your self build project?

Look at Choosing a Builder