There are many people out there that are probably more than capable of taking care the construction management part of their new home or remodel but most people don’t have the time or resources to do it by themselves. Many People that we talk to that have decided to undertake a large construction project on their own often go into it thinking that they will be able to save tons of money by doing so. This is all well and good in theory but often turns out to be false. What most people do completely realize is that contractors have relationships with suppliers that all them to get products for the construction process at a discounted rate. The other factor is that many of the trade professionals will often tack on more to their proposals if they are dealing with a homeowner directly, as they are unsure what kinds of problems will arise from have someone inexperienced at the helm.
I heard a story about a builder in Texas that had agreed to simply give advice to a friend that was going to build his own home. The builder knew that his friend had started the process of construction his home but was unaware of what he was getting into. When he first arrived at the site he saw that the foundation and the basement floor were in place but there was an obvious problem from the start. it was apparent that the foundation was out of level, and after further investigation with a laser level they discovered that the foundation was over 5″ out of level from one side to the other. After discussing the options for fixing this problem, which were all quite expensive, they went on to address the other overly apparent problems. There was not a single piece of plumbing perturbing from the basement slab showing that none of the underfloor plumbing had been installed. When the builder asked his friend about this he went on to explain that the house was originally designed as a basement plan and he added an additional floor under it which would allow for him to fun all the plumbing on the upper floor. After explaining the effects of gravity in the waste side of plumbing and how the plumbing needed to be under the floor in the basement it was an easy decision to cut the floor and put the plumbing in as needed. The next day the concrete cutting company showed up to cut the floor where it was needed and discovered that their saw was not large enough to cut through the slab. When the builder asked his friend how thick the slab was he was shocked by what he heard. His friend told him that the plans called for a 10″ footing and that the the slab needed to be 4″ higher than the footings so the slab was a total of 14″ thick.
I know that this story seems very extreme but things like this happen all the time. In this situation the friend would have saved money and ended up with a better product if he had simply hired his friend the builder to do the entire project. It is always important to consider the cost verses the savings when you consider and DiY Projects at your home. If you are changing a faucet or an outlet you can save some money and not mess anything up to bad of you attempt this on your own. If your are building an entire new home and have little or no experience chances are you will waste money and time trying to do it yourself. Always think it through before you bite off more than you can chew.