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Build Your Own Home, Issue #011 Time Management & Building Your Own Home
September 02, 2005

Time Management & Building Your Own Home

Time Management is a major concern when you build your own home, especially if you have a job, and family that depends on you. You need to spend some quality time figuring our how you are going to manage the building process, and meet all the other demands that your life normally requires of you.

What are your responsibilities when you build your own home, and how much time will you need to devote to the process? This, my friend, is the proverbial 64 thousand dollar question, and it will depend on how you build your home. I discuss the options for building your home on the New Home Construction Page . You may choose to General Contract the house your self, or have a Building supervisor watch over the construction, or use an Owner Builder Service. Each one has different demands, but as a general rule, being your own General Contractor will take the most time, but of course, offer the most savings.

The unknown factors are the things that eat up your time. Like a contractor that does not show up, or a delivery that does not happen, etc. So how do we manage time to the best of our ability? Preparation and research! I know that you have heard this a thousand times from me if you have read the pages on Build Your Own Home , but it is the best way to get a jump on time management.

Take the time to choose your Building Contractors carefully, and make sure you have more than one (in each respective field) that you can call upon if needed. Research your Home Building Cost and your Construction Loan up front early in the building game. Read and study some good books on home building. Spend a couple of hundred dollars on books; you are about to build what is for most of us, our single most valuable asset. Take some time, and actually read, and study those books. Get into the process… building is a tremendous amount of work and planning, but it is also very exciting and rewarding! My wife and I walk around our home and truly feel a sense of pride and high accomplishment!

Ok, I am off my soapbox now. Sorry…but I just love the thought of you building YOUR dream home! It is truly inspiring to me! Now back to time management…

Good communication is very important, and will save you countless time and frustration. When we first started the home building process I had cell service with a company that did not cover the area that I was building in very well. It was very frustrating to miss calls and not be able to communicate properly with my contractors and vendors. I had to switch cell phone companies mid stream in the building process. What a pain! Learn from my pain! Once you have selected your building lot, take your cell phone there and make sure it works… if it doesn’t find one that does, before you start building.

If you do not have a good fax machine, get one. You will need it.

Make a map to your building site that is legible and understandable. Include your cell phone number, fax number, e-mail address, and your name on it. Print a bunch of them and put them in a file folder. You will need to fax them to vendors for delivery and give them to contractors that need to find your building site.

Plan to visit your jobsite at least once a day, preferably twice. This is especially true if you are the General Contractor. You will need to visit in the early morning to line everybody out and answer question, and see what is going on that day. I found it also very important to visit in the evening to check progress and answer any questions that may have come up during the day. I also spent most weekends on the jobsite. Believe me…it was all worth it!

If you have a Building Supervisor, you will not need to be there as often, BUT it is always a good idea to keep a close eye on the progress. Remember: This is YOUR money and YOUR house. The Building Supervisor is your employee, just like the contractors.

We stayed on site, during the construction process, in our RV. The commute to the jobsite would have killed us if we had to drive it, twice a day, everyday. My wife also took a couple of months leave of absence to monitor and keep the construction process on track while I was out of town on business.

I would also like to pass on a link to a really useful tool  for designing and laying out anything from kitchens, to landscaping, to your whole house go to

I would like to thank you for making one of the most popular sites on the internet for DIY Home Construction.

All the best,

George Stevens

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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