Working with a Builder

The Purpose of a Homebuilder

Licensed general contractors oversee, coordinate and work on the construction of homes and other buildings. In addition to undertaking some of the works personally, homebuilders also manage the entire project. This may include arranging subcontractors to complete specific jobs, and making sure that the project meets industry and government regulations, as well as the clients’ requirements.

Why use a homebuilder?

Some homeowners consider managing the construction of their home themselves. Often, when considering being their own builder, the homeowner is taking on this extra responsibility largely in an effort to save money. Some still want to work with a contractor in some capacity, but also want to physically handle some of the work on his or her own. Others want to exclude general contractors altogether (and their fees), and intend to directly oversee all the skilled trade subcontractors who do the actual field work.

While being your own builder can be done, it is very time consuming and requires a lot of attention. The general consensus is that it is much more trouble than it’s worth. Some typical drawbacks include:

  • Many of the best subcontractors won’t work with owner-builders
  • Risk of out-of-control construction costs and blowing your budget
  • Inability to control your schedule properly, causing costly time overruns and delays in project completion
  • Complicated construction issues, requiring solutions that may be beyond your capabilities
  • Failing to build to local code (and the unbudgeted costs of correcting issues)
  • Banks may not be willing to finance a construction loan without a licensed builder on the job
  • Being taken advantage of by shady contractors
  • Depressed resale value when home is not built by a known professional

When it comes down to it, there are many benefits of working with a skilled, licensed builder. Ultimately, a quality builder can add a lot of value to your home and the homebuilding process, while ensuring you project remains within budget and on schedule.