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Affordable Family Housing – Building Your Home – 3 Options

“One half of knowing what you want is knowing what you must give up before you get it.”

– Sidney Howard

Doing it yourself: The Owner-builder

Advantages
• Provided that the owner-builder knows precisely what his doing, he can effect substantial cost savings.

• He can build his home in his own time; halts proceedings if he runs out of funds; resume when more become available.

Disadvantages
• Owner-builder risks faulty basic design.

• He needs to have – but in most cases won’t have – detailed knowledge of the ingredients of the building process, from soil conditions through to the laying of tiles. In addition, he must have a thorough understanding of building regulations and more than a nodding acquaintanceship with quantity surveying, cost accounting and bookkeeping.

• He must supply the materials himself; problematic at the best of times, but especially risky during economic upswings, when shortages could occur. Rescheduling the project can be both difficult and expensive.

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• Quality control: Very little recourse in the event of poor workmanship.

• Supervising sub-contractors is a tricky, complex and risk-laden task – one best left to the true professional.

• Local authorities will be laboriously meticulous in examining Owner-builder’s plans, which means delay and frustration.

• Lending institutions tend to be suspicious of owner- builders; the required loan might be difficult to obtain.

Conclusion:
Disadvantages outweigh the advantages unless the owner-builder is highly skilled and experienced and has an admirable tolerance of frustration. A valid option for the unqualified but competent handyman would to have the core unit professionally structured and then to do the finishes himself.

Commissioning an Architect and Builder

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