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Build Your Own Home, Issue #018, Do You Have What it Takes to Build Your Own Home?
April 06, 2006

Do I have what it takes to Build My Own Home?

I get hundreds of emails every month and a large number of them are people who are questioning their qualifications to build a home. It is very wise to really consider what is involved in building your home as the Owner Builder. The focus of this newsletter will be what it really takes to build your own home, and how do you know you have the right stuff… so to speak.

Let’s face it… all of us are not cut out to take on a huge project that takes several months or even a year.

So what do I consider the right stuff for home building?

  • Is it a degree in mechanical engineering or structural engineering?

  • Is it past experience in home building or the contract trades that build a home?

  • Do you need to know every aspect of home building?
The answer is “NO” to all of the above.

Oh, yes it may help you having knowledge of home building and if you are an engineer you will know more about reading drawings (plans).

But, what do you really need to be your own builder?

  • You need to be able to do research and find the right people and products to build your home. If you are a “I want it right now wrapped up in a bow”, or it is all done for you type person, you better not take on a project like this.

    This, is in my opinion, the most important part of home building. Being able to find the right contractors, plans and materials will make or break your project.

    Research, Research, Research…. the key to a successful home building project.

  • If you are married or significantly involved with another person, you had both better agree on what you want, and form a united front for the suppliers and contractors. They will test you at times…. just like little kids. They will talk to one, or the other, to see if they can get the opinion….money…etc. they want.

    My wife and I stood united. The contractors knew that they could not pull a fast one when I was not there. This is why good communication is so important between you two. If you are alone, and don’t know what to say, go to the higher power. “I have to talk to my wife (husband) about this. I will give you an answer in the morning.” If you disagree, never let the contractors (kids) see it. They need to know who is running the show.

  • You need to have some self-control when it comes to spending money. It is really easy to spend too much. A few dollars here and there add up to real money…. real quick. When we were building we did our best to remain on a budget that we had figured out prior to starting. My wife made everyone stick to it!

    You need to have an even temper (even if you don’t). When things go wrong (and they will) you need to be able to control yourself. Count to 10 or a 1000 if you really need to cool down then talk to the contractor, supplier or whoever about the issue. Never be angry, be firm and decisive. Remember you have the checkbook and they want what you have. Ultimately they need to please you to get paid. Be reasonable, but certainly not a pushover.

Let me sum up:

Spend as long as you need finding the right plans, the right contractors and the right materials. DO NOT Rush this aspect of home building. Knowledge is the most valuable commodity. There is absolutely no reason you can’t do this yourself and save a bundle in the process! My site is loaded with resources, most of which are totally FREE!!

You don’t have to be Mr. or Mrs. Wizard to build your own home. You just need to know where to find the right people and products to do it for you. Again, if you can’t find a contractor resource on my sites…hang it up! Be tenacious!

Again, use my website You Can Build Your Own Home. Most of the answers are there, and if you have a question do what many others do, send me an email thru the Contact Page. I will do my very best to answer you as soon as I can. I personally answer every email I get, but sometimes I get overloaded.

Remember…. YOU CAN Build Your Own Home.

If your are in a rural setting here is a tip for you

I want to share one last thing. I know many of you have built you home in a rural area or will be doing so. One thing that is always a challenge in a rural setting is high speed Internet (broadband Internet).

When we first built our home I installed a one-way broadband satellite Internet system. It was relatively cheap and ran about 50 dollars a month. At the time it was the only thing that was available that was reasonable. We have no DSL or Cable, just dialup Internet out here.

The company that owned the one-way satellite service was sold first to one company, and then another and became so unreliable and slow that I had to find an alternative. You see I telecommute from home at least 2 days a week because it is so far to my office in town. But like everyone else, I need my job to live. Dependable high speed Internet is important to me.

The one way satellite utilized dialup for the uplink portion of the internet (or the request for a page) and satellite for the downlink portion. At the time we purchased the equipment and the service it was by far cheaper than Starband and DirecWay satellite two way service.

To make a long story short, I had no choice but to revisit my options and got a pleasant surprise. Direcway got cheaper and now it can be networked without special software or a stand-alone (dedicated) computer. The new Direcway system has a stand alone modem that you simply plug a ethernet cable into, and you’re in business. All you have to do to share your connection (network) is install a router that is hardwired or wireless. I run both and it is a breeze to maintain. Direcway handles all software updates directly to the modem. It has been great having dependable internet! The only time it is down (which is rare) is in a very heavy downpour of rain. Even then, it’s back up quickly! I am thrilled!

I purchased the system through Allsat on the Internet. They set an appointment and installed the system in a couple of hours. My upload speed runs around 490K and my download runs 760K. This is the average speed measured using speed tests on . If you are interested in the service click the Allsat link and look for the High Speed Intenet button on their home page for more information.

I did not want to go all geeky on you but I have been so pleased that I want to save you some headaches (and money) if you want high-speed satellite Internet. Of course I would encourage you as always to do your research and get the best deal. I just could not find a better one than at Allsat. All the Direcway dealers sell for the same price and monthly fees. I wanted to make sure I went with one that had a good track record.

Oh, one last note. Starband filled bankruptcy a couple of years ago so that is why I shied away from them. I wanted to make sure I did not get left holding the bag again. They also charge more for as system that is capable of networking. I’ve got three people using computers at my house, so simple networking was important to share my internet connection.

Happy Home Building,

George, from Build Your Own Home.
If you want information about Construction Loans or Home Loans go to our Home Loan & Construction Loan Page.
If you want more information about building your own home go to our Building Knowledge Center.
If you want information on hiring qualified contractor go to our Building Contractor Page.
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