General Contracting your Home Build | TigerDroppings.com

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TigerEye2
LSU Fan
Prairieville
Member since Aug 2011
167 posts

General Contracting your Home Build



My wife and I are in the begining stages of having plans drawn up for our new house. I am considering being my own GC and simply sub-ing out the work. Anyone have any pro or cons or experience with this method? I am told being your own GC can save approx 15% on total home cost.






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wickowick
LSU Fan
Head of Island
Member since Dec 2006
23766 posts
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re: General Contracting your Home Build


I found that I spent about the same, I was just able to get more bang for the buck...





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tigermoney
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2008
353 posts

re: General Contracting your Home Build


i did it, no prior experience

came out to $85/sqft not counting land.

3cm granite in kitchen, wood floors, job built showers, top line heating/ac, high end sinks/bathtubs, interior brick/arches, surround sound, alarm system, etc.

pretty fun/interesting all things considered

i'd definitely do it again






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MikeBRLA
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Jun 2005
9284 posts

re: General Contracting your Home Build


The two biggest cons I can think of are:

1. The amount of time it would take. Unless you have a LOT of spare time, there is no way you could manage the jobsite, get bids, etc.

2. You have no recourse if anything major goes wrong (IE structural deficiencies). Since you are the GC, you'd have nobody to sue.

For example lets say your slab cracks and starts sinking in the ground, you could try to sue whoever poured your slab, but they would immediately say that the soil wasn't compacted properly and it wasn't their fault (and they'd be right). It would have been up to you to do a soil compaction test.






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guttata
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prairieville
Member since Feb 2006
20127 posts
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re: General Contracting your Home Build


I looked into it and figured noway do I have the time nor the experience to deal with this type work. We are scraping dirt beginning tomorrow or whenever the rain gets out of here. Cost us 8.5% of the build to just hire a GC. I figure I'd rather pay someone 8.5% and have it done right. I'm not saying that those who do it themselves can't do it the right way, I'm just not convinced that a sub who will only be doing 1 job for me will be as willing to do a good job for me as he would for someone that he would have to depend on repeat business.


This post was edited on 2/13 at 10:50 pm


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eman65
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Member since Aug 2009
402 posts

re: General Contracting your Home Build


quote:

came out to $85/sqft not counting land
Is that $85.00 living sqft or total sqft?






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MoreOrLes
LSU Fan
Member since Nov 2008
17105 posts

re: General Contracting your Home Build


Do you also cut your own hair?

If you do, does it come out as good as when the barber does it?






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tigermoney
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2008
353 posts

re: General Contracting your Home Build


quote:

quote:


came out to $85/sqft not counting land


Is that $85.00 living sqft or total sqft?


living






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Chad504boy
New Orleans Saints Fan
Five Oh Four
Member since Feb 2005
81638 posts

re: General Contracting your Home Build


quote:

For example lets say your slab cracks and starts sinking in the ground, you could try to sue whoever poured your slab, but they would immediately say that the soil wasn't compacted properly and it wasn't their fault (and they'd be right). It would have been up to you to do a soil compaction test.



If he used a GC, a GC's policy wouldn't pay for it either. Better used an insured professional soil engineer.






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aaronb023
LSU Fan
Boxtard Baseball Club
Member since Feb 2005
10637 posts

re: General Contracting your Home Build


as long as you know how things are done and make sure your subs do quality work you shouldnt have to sue anybody. if you dont know how things are built, do some research. you dont need to be able to do the work yourself, but you should have a good understanding of how it is done.

dont just pick subs out of the yellow pages. try to get references. check the BBB. drive by some of the nicer houses being built(not dr horton) and see who their subs are. you usually get what you pay for.

if you know your dirt needs to be compacted, or something needs to be waterproofed a certain way, or you expect a certain finish, talk to your sub before they do the work and make sure they are going to perform the work the right way. dont wait until they perform the work to talk about those things.

you should go by the site everyday after work has been done, if possible, and inspect the work. if something looks wrong get it fixed asap. being your own GC means you write the checks. dont pay until the work is done to your liking.

there are a ton of books, youtube videos, television shows, and websites that can help you learn how stuff is done. the gardenweb forums are pretty good and have a lot of info and horror stories. watch holmes on homes on HGTV to see what not to do.




This post was edited on 2/14 at 11:08 am


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ScottieP
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Feb 2004
1750 posts

re: General Contracting your Home Build


Just GC our house in 2010. Would do it again if I needed to.

Pros:
Saved about $30000 on a 3400 sq ft house.
Pick your own subs. You do not get stuck with the builders "guy".
Put exactly what I wanted in house (ie flooring, granite, insulation, home audio)
I know what I put into house and quality of the work.

Cons:
Banks are going to give you more shite about $$$ if you do it yourself.
Its going to take you longer. Subs will blow you off, plus you are going to mess up the schedule at some point.
Better know what you are doing or trust your subs.
Very time consuming. I was at the house almost every morning and every evening and alot of lunch hours. Plus plenty of times you get calls that a sub needs you at the house ASAP.

I now have an awesome house with alot of bells and whistles and I know exactly how it was built for way less than a builder would do it. But I had to work for it.






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guttata
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prairieville
Member since Feb 2006
20127 posts
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re: General Contracting your Home Build


I'd rather pay someone $30k and sleep better at night.





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ScottieP
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Feb 2004
1750 posts

re: General Contracting your Home Build


quote:

I'd rather pay someone $30k and sleep better at night.


To each his own. But I sleep just fine in my brand new house with the $30000 in my pocket.






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XxxSpooky1
LSU Fan
A place in SE La
Member since Sep 2007
4253 posts

re: General Contracting your Home Build


You are better off building it yourself. If your house is not built properly, or anything is wrong with it after the GC is finished. Sure you can sue, or whatever you want, but all the GC will do is Close the company down, and reopen under a new name, and you will never see any assistance.

My dad oversee's houses for people, he isn't a GC, but he knows more about any home construction than any GC in this area. e build all of our own houses, and apartment complexes. Sure it is time consuming, but the equity left over is worth every bit of time invested.






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ashy larry
LSU Fan
Marcy Projects
Member since Mar 2010
3581 posts

re: General Contracting your Home Build


quote:

Anyone have any pro or cons or experience with this method?


I would never recommend it for anyone unless they have experience. If you have no experience and insist on doing the work you better be damn sure to have a great set of plans. A good contractor is worth every penny and so is an home designer/architect.

what to expect as a self contractor....
- you will pay the sub more than the contractor would pay (a decent contractor could build the house for about the same that it would cost you and he would still make money)
- the subs will do shittier work for you knowing that you can't dangle the next job over their head.
- every sub will try to convince you that something "isn't my job" or it is an extra. I've had HVAC guys try to get out of venting a dryer. I've had plumbers try to get out of installing dishwashers. It's amazing what someone will try to do if they don't think you know what you are doing.
- you will spend a few grand (if not more) on things you never budgeted for just at home depot & lowes'
- you usually (but not always) get what you pay for






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ashy larry
LSU Fan
Marcy Projects
Member since Mar 2010
3581 posts

re: General Contracting your Home Build


quote:

If he used a GC, a GC's policy wouldn't pay for it either. Better used an insured professional soil engineer.



Their insurance may not cover shotty work, but the contractor is obligated to warranty the structure. LINK
Unless they are a fly by night guy, they should be able to repair it. Regardless, this alone usually keeps a licensed contractor from going cheap on the foundation and structure.






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XxxSpooky1
LSU Fan
A place in SE La
Member since Sep 2007
4253 posts

re: General Contracting your Home Build


quote:

- you will pay the sub more than the contractor would pay (a decent contractor could build the house for about the same that it would cost you and he would still make money)
- the subs will do shittier work for you knowing that you can't dangle the next job over their head.


Totally untrue.






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ashy larry
LSU Fan
Marcy Projects
Member since Mar 2010
3581 posts

re: General Contracting your Home Build


quote:

being your own GC means you write the checks. dont pay until the work is done to your liking.


to the OP.... The only leverage you have is money. Don't pay for something that isn't correct. And MOST importantly, don't give anyone an advance. I can't count how many times I've seen people do this and they get screwed. If the sub can't manage his money to get thru the job, then you don't want him on your site. If the sub needs money to "buy materials", don't give it to him. Go pay the material bill yourself.






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XxxSpooky1
LSU Fan
A place in SE La
Member since Sep 2007
4253 posts

re: General Contracting your Home Build


quote:

to the OP.... The only leverage you have is money. Don't pay for something that isn't correct. And MOST importantly, don't give anyone an advance. I can't count how many times I've seen people do this and they get screwed. If the sub can't manage his money to get thru the job, then you don't want him on your site. If the sub needs money to "buy materials", don't give it to him. Go pay the material bill yourself.



Now that is true, we ran into that when we started. After almost getting burned, we figured out how to manage the subs. Get prices for everything, get numerous bids, get references, go look at their work.






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ashy larry
LSU Fan
Marcy Projects
Member since Mar 2010
3581 posts

re: General Contracting your Home Build


quote:

Totally untrue.



I was talking to a contractor last week that would build the house tigermoney is talking about for $85-89/foot.

I am also close friends with several "subs". Everyone of them will work for a self-contractors but they will pad the cost b/c they know self-contractor are often a pain in the arse and expect extras for free.

as for the quality, i've seen this myself. I've built several houses, but never more than one at a time. the first thing most subs want to know is if you have any more work. If they think there is another job in the works, they will give you better work. You can get quality out of them, but it takes effort on your part. Sure there are exceptions to this (my friends included). your dad is in the business. anyone that you hire will do a good job knowing your dad will hire them again.






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