My husband and I decided early on to be the general contractors for the building of our home. This simply means we won't be hiring a main builder/contractor to head the project but instead we will be responsible for arranging, scheduling, supervising, and controlling the entire building process ourselves. From locating the land, to bidding the process and hiring the sub-contractors, to coordinating the construction, to making all the decisions, we will be doing it ourselves.
And by “we,” in reality, I mean me. The Canuck (my hubs) is willing to assist in any way and/or to take care of our current household while I’m handling the new one, but he doesn’t have any background in building or any real interest in learning any more than the basics about contracting. He’s a smart man, that way. He dosen’t bite off more than he can chew. Except perhaps me. I think sometimes he looks at me and asks himself, “What the heck did I get myself into?”
Trust me, I did not take on the responsibility lightly, and it's certainly not for everyone. I had some limited knowledge and experience with building and builders, and I've read everything I can get my hands on over the past 18 months about building a new home and serving as your own general contractor. That doesn't make me an expert in building, by any means, but it did make knowledgeable and confident enough to hire people who ARE experts in every phase of the building process. Then knowledgeable enough to allow them to do their work and to provide whatever assistance or materials they need to do it.
Being the general contractor is a huge responsibility, but experts, builders, other self-contractors claim that doing so can save a homeowner between 15-30% of the cost of building. Only time will tell (and confirm or refute) how well my numbers will shake out but right now, it's looking like at least a 25% savings. I'll be providing more info--including the ups, downs, pros, cons, challenges, and satisfactions--about being the general contractors as we move along.
For now, here are a couple of shots of the first day of construction…the excavation! Yee haw!! We are so excited.