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Owner Builder - Can You Do It Yourself?

Posted by: Ricardo Hernandez on Thursday, August 25, 2016

 

Owner-Builder : Can You Do It Yourself?

 

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There really is only 1 reason that you would want to be your own General Contractor and that is SAVINGS (or so you think). Many home owners believe that contractors out there love to create change orders and trick the home owner to get more money. 

That is not always the case. Remodeling your home might not be as easy as some people think, especially in South Florida. There are far more inspections and codes to follow in South Florida than pretty much the rest of the U.S. and as an owner-builder YOU will be responsibly for the construction (good or bad), not the General Contractor. 

By hiring a General Contractor and having that company "pull" the permit under their name, they will be responsible for what happens, not you. 

Here are a few that owner-builder should be aware:

1. Hiring subcontractors in different trades

You must hire electricians, plumbers, shell contractors, etc for your remodel yourself and also make sure that their price is competitive and the companies have valid licenses, workers comp, and general liabilities. 

As an owner-builder you might not need to be licensed, but all your subcontractors do. 

2. Supervise and Coordinate

You must supervise the workers and make sure that they are following the construction drawings. If not, you will fail the inspections and get stuck. 

Coordination between the subs, buying of materials, and having the material on site by the time the subs require it. 

3. Call for inspections

Inspections, inspections, and more inspections. In South Florida, there are TONS of them! Need inspection when you put the metal framing, drywall, door buck, windows buck, etc. There is even an inspection for the screws in drywall. You must coordinate these with the city and repair if there are any failed inspections in a timely manner. 

There are a lot of skills needed to be able to remodel your home successfully without going through too much trouble. The pros of being your own general contractor is that you COULD save 15%-20% if everything goes right. Here is a blog i found to be interesting on being an owner-builder.

But most likely the real savings are usually lower than you might expected due to unexpected costs and problems. 

 

 

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