It is no easy feat to become a true-blue owner-builder in Australia. Individuals who do their houses from scratch are people with special set of skills, almost unlimited amount of patience and dedication, and unique imagination and creativity. Owner-builders, in a nutshell, are people who decide to build their own house without the help of a general contractor, but they rely heavily on tradespeople like plumbers, landscapers, electricians, and other skilled artisans and professionals to make the job done.
If you are seriously considering building your next home, you have to immerse yourself with how the things really work. For starter, you should know that being an owner-builder is no walk in the park as there will be issues after issues that you may encounter before, during, and after the construction. Below are some tips, reminders, and pieces of information you may find helpful.
- Invest on power tools and homebuilding equipment – You can start investing on certain building tools such as electric drills, nail guns, and circular saws, as well as large construction equipment. If you don’t have the budget to buy them outright, you can always rent them. You can likewise consult banking institutions to finance you, but you must consider your credit history before doing it.
- Build a network of materials suppliers – You should know where to get the best materials and kit homes so you will not go over your budget. The good thing about owner-builder homes is that you don’t have to spend ridiculous amount of money to get the job done, but if you don’t know where to get the materials and where to find the best trades people, you will surely go over your budget.
- Be prepared to get your hands dirty – It is important that you are fully committed to your work. You might find the working outdoors daunting because of the physical work that comes with it. However, you use that experience and the things you’ve learned to lay the groundwork of your dream of becoming a legitimate owner-builder.
- Have a healthy mind and body – Health and fitness should always be considered when getting on the daily grind of working as an owner-builder. As such, you must always ensure that you keep yourself fit, both physically and mentally. You don’t have to be a gym rat, however. All you need is to regularly exercise, eat healthy, and take sleeping seriously.
- Be a safety maniac – The most important thing that you should consider in becoming an owner-builder is safety. Since you will be managing and supervising group of tradesmen, it is important that you have solid knowledge about workplace and construction safety in order to avoid any untoward incident and/or legal repercussions.
For the most part, owner-builders oversee the whole building process, from acquiring kit homes and making excavations to ensuring that all construction materials to be used or installed in the home are of the best quality. They also survey the land if it is fit for construction, study the local or state building codes, and coordinate with local government officials in obtaining building permits. Looking at the abovementioned duties of an owner-builder, being one can be quite overwhelming and extra challenging. In the long run, however, it is a satisfying and rewarding, being able to gain experience not just in completing construction or renovation projects, but in managing people and running the business by themselves.
In a nutshell, being an owner-builder is never easy as you would need to experience, right set of skills, determination, and commitment to excel. However, if you are really passionate about construction and home improvements, then you can easily get hooked on it. Keep in mind that the whole project may not be easy, but if you are really passionate and committed to what you are doing, everything will be a worthwhile experience.