Homes come in all varieties to fit all needs. Due to the rich choice of existing housing stock, plus the high cost of building a new-construction home, most would-be homeowners buy an existing house. And this is not a bad choice at all. Most houses are durable enough to last for decades, can readily be remodeled, and they have the potential for increasing in value. A new house can be designed exactly for your needs. It comes with few, if any, hidden problems. Hazardous materials such as lead-based paint and asbestos are non-existent. New advantages are built into the house, and old problems are left out. So, it's no surprise that most people would choose to build their own home rather than buy an old home if all other factors were the same.
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Many states do allow homeowners to act as a contractor for their own home. With this arrangement, you become what is frequently termed an owner-builder. In order to contract out for a large-scale project such as a house (rather than an outbuilding or small, lower-cost building), you need to apply for an owner-builder exemption and to sign the building permit application yourself.
Yet very few people are qualified to act as their own general contractor (GC). Building a house requires you to pull together many strings and make sure that they coordinate in myriad ways. Projects and subcontractors have to be scheduled in the correct order, interspersed with numerous municipal inspections. You'll need to know the building code. Plus, it helps immensely to have a network of subcontractors who you rely on to perform trustworthy work.
The person that does all of that is a general contractor. No general contractor overseeing home construction comes cheap. Most general contractors charge between 10-percent to 20-percent of the overall cost of the home build, and this includes permits and materials. It's a fee that most amateur home-builders find well worthwhile, especially if they have any tried-and-failed experience at general contracting.
First, it's time to get situated—literally and figuratively. Not only are you getting your project straight in your mind and on paper, but you are siting your intended home on its intended spot.
If you are laying a slab-type foundation, you will bring in plumbers and electricians to rough-in some of the services prior to pouring that concrete slab:
With the excavation, foundation, and concrete work done, soon you will start to recognize your project as a house. The framing carpenters will arrive to put up the lumber framework for the floors, walls, and ceilings, and then move to the sheathing, siding, and roofing installation. This work can happen with remarkable swiftness. In the space of a week or two, you may suddenly recognize this structure as being a house, complete with walls and a roof.
The interior will begin to look finished as wall and ceiling surfaces are installed.
After the messy work of installing the drywall and priming the walls is done, it is time to bring in the painter.
Lay down the finish flooring (or floor covering) surfaces throughout the house. Floor covering options include carpeting, hardwood, laminate flooring, ceramic tile, luxury vinyl plank, and engineered wood flooring. This is usually a job for yet another subcontractor, though homeowners can tackle the installation of some sections of the flooring.
Clean up the worksite by putting all acceptable debris into the dumpster. The contractor will hire a company that specializes in cleaning up after construction work.