The Pitfalls of being an Owner-Builder

Being an owner-builder should not be entered into lightly, especially if you haven’t had experience working on a site before. This isn’t just something you can Google – it’s important to be aware of the pitfalls of being an owner-builder.

It’s a full time job

Being an owner-builder is not something you can just turn your hand to on weekends – it’s a full time job, requiring full time hours. Unless you’re able to give up your current job to take it on, it can be impossible to allocate the time needed for your new house to take shape. The hours required are substantial even before you commence your build, as you need to make sure you have all the appropriate licenses and insurance in place, not to mention the mammoth feat of gathering quotes for things like bricks and plaster.

The buck stops with you

Didn’t get the right council permissions for that shed? Didn’t comply with occupational health and safety legislation? If there are any issues with safety, or if there’s shoddy workmanship in your project, all the liability and responsibility is yours. When the time comes to sell your house, the blame will also be yours if the new buyers find issues with the home such as any inherent safety risks or parts of the house that may not be up to regulatory standards. Sometimes, it really is better to get the experts involved.

Project managers

If you’d like to be an owner-builder but think it would be wise to have a professional project manager on board to help make sure everything goes smoothly and is up to scratch, this can carry inherent problems of its own. You’re essentially employing someone to be there to oversee the work, but the responsibility to order the right materials and equipment is still on you, so you’ll still be committing a fair amount of time to the project.

Knowing the legislation

Are you really aware of all the legislation necessary to building a house? Are you up on all the required building codes and occupational health and safety requirements? Labour laws? If you’re even a little shaky on these things, it’s probably worth bringing in someone who does it for a living – you don’t want to get into hot water with contractors and be unable to find your way out.

An administrative nightmare

Being an owner-builder can sometimes involve way more paperwork and way less building than you might expect. You’ll need to make sure you have all the relevant insurances purchased, checks on the contractors to make sure they’re licensed and certified and then there’s the inevitable chasing for work when contractors and sub-contractors end up taking much longer than expected to complete your job. Unless your day job is as an executive assistant, the administration itself can kill your owner-builder dream.

The best way to avoid these pitfalls is to bring in the experts. Contact Coral Homes to speak to the best today.

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