Acting as Your own General Contractor when Building your Dream HomeWritten by Robert Kempe
This article is intended for DIY (Do It Yourself) home builder; however, it is very useful information for new home buyer to understand what processes you can monitor even if you are not acting as general contractor and hiring a general contractor. For inexperienced DIY home builder, acting as a general contractor is one of most stressful things anyone can undertake. After that statement, you ask yourself “Why would anyone really want to be general contractor for their new home?” Well number one reason is to save money, and in our society it’s all about money isn’t it? It doesn’t necessarily mean that you are building home (but with this approach sweat equity has a whole new meaning), you are only managing sub-contractors. Successful general contactors are either born good, or have been trained to be good. You, as your own general contractor, do not have time to be as good as a contractor who makes their living building homes. For this reason, I will give you some guidelines to help you out and feel a bit more comfortable managing your new dream home as your own general contractor:
Define Your Project; I have published an article on very effective ways to decide on a dream home floor plan. I recommend that you read that along with this article. The article is called Home Floor Plan Designing for Your Future Home by Robert Kempe. Once you have decided on floor plan and all associated up front planning projects, such as finding right plot of land, gathering information on building codes and permits, having signed construction drawings, etc. you have to apply for building permits. With homework of gathering all this information prior application process and having your construction drawings drawn to comply with city, county and state codes this process is just a paper work issue. If you have not properly done this entire process prior to application, this will slow your time frame down considerably. Most DYI builders wait for building permit application to find out what is needed. Make it easier on yourself and do it first.
Execution of Project; Now that you have a clearly defined project you can get accurate quotes from contractors. The construction disciplines you will need are as follows: Electricians, Plumbers, HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning), Framers, Concrete, Drywall, Finishers, Painters, Roofers, Siding, Landscaping, Windows and Doors, Garage door. Etc. Keep in mind that most contractors will have multiple disciplines and will try to combine them as much as possible either with their own work force or they may hire out subcontractors as well. This is how you execute project. Do your homework on contractors that you will want to work with on your home. Ask people who you know that have recently built homes who they have used as contractors. Actually any resource on contractor evaluation is helpful. Have them evaluate experience. With this process you can then get three to five contractor references from trusted resources without involving any salesmen. Have a set of construction plans ready for each of contractors that you are going to have bid from list you have generated. Make sure that all disciplines will be bid upon.
Deciding who to hire as your subcontractors; You do not always have to take lowest bid! You want contractor that is most qualified and most prepared to build your home. It is highly suggested that each of contractors break down categories and itemize how they arrived at their price. This is best done by communicating this up front before receiving their price. Once you have all this information, evaluate prices according to their breakdown. Rate contractor on their responses on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest rank. If bids are close then it’s a matter of what contractor you favor most. If there is a large gap in prices, you need to determine why. This is where your breakdown of work performed and associated prices can help you determine this. This is also where you find out which contractors are most serious and most qualified and which contractors are easier to work with. This might lead you to conclude that best contractor isn’t always lowest price. You get what you pay for!
CHOOSING A BUSINESS Written by Hamoon Arbabi
Creating a Business of Your Own The majority of people who have a home business started from scratch. Creating a successful business requires that you ask yourself "What will people pay for?" Market research will help you find out, and that can be as simple as asking prospective customers what they need and investigating whether you can compete on price, service, quality, variety and ease of use. With these considerations in mind, here are six possibilities for finding ideal business for you. You can: • Turn your favorite hobby or interest into a business Find a need you can fill that's related to your interest. Example: Someone nearing retirement and interested in helping other senior citizens remain active could create a counseling business, advising on how to enjoy retirement. • Turn your existing job skills into a business. Accountants, communications specialists, graphic artists, salespeople, teachers -- people from all walks of life -- can take their skills and reinvent them. Examples: A secretary could start a secretarial service; a personnel director could set up telecommuting guidelines for companies.
THE RIGHT BUSINESS FOR YOU
• Solve a problem People will pay to have someone do tasks they find unpleasant or need help with. Examples: Errand runners help thousands of people take care of their daily tasks; someone who's dealt with a disease and recovery could provide information and teach classes on coping.