I’ve heard it said before but this is the first I’ve experienced it. “it’s less expensive to hire a professional than do it yourself.”
McCreary Homes priced out a home and submitted a proposal about 3 years ago to build a custom home in Tucson. The contract was for $1.9m. The home owner, having designed a project beyond his budget, decided to build it himself and save the contractors profit and overhead. 3 years later LJ McCreary gets a phone call asking for help. The home was in the intermediate stage (foundation, masonry, framing, rough electrical, hvac, plumbing), but the home owner didn’t know what to do to get through the necessary inspections with local building department inspectors and the project was “tearing the family apart”. A father-in-law was helping with the project, and this evidently set up some friction among family members. Don’t know the details.
We agreed to help get the home through intermediates and to subsequently submit a proposal to complete the project. I thought this would take about 1 to 2 weeks, but as we got into the project, we discovered that there were inspections that didn’t take place that should have, and corrections that had to be made. So 5 weeks later we pass the intermediate inspection (a particular milestone to proceed).
While presenting the proposal to finish the home, and knowing what the original bid was and what it was going to take to finish the project, I asked the owner how much he had spent up to this point. The long and the short of it is the home cost approx. $250,000 more, has taken twice as long, and has caused friction among family members.
This doesn’t have to happen. If your building a high end custom home or really any size home…..choose your team before you start. Choose your architect (or designer) and your general contractor or custom home builder first. As a team you can create an incredible project that will be closer to your budget, get finished sooner, and have design features that you’ll be proud of for years. Your main job is to make timely decisions and write the checks. This is what I call the ABC’s of a successful custom home building project. Architect, Builder, Client. You have your job, profession, career …..do that and leave building your home to people who’s profession is that.