So the question we get asked the most is, “Was it worth it to build the house yourself”. The answer is “Yes” but with some caveats.
First a bit of clarification, my father acted as the General Contractor for this project. Without him, we would not have even considered doing this project ourselves as we just did not have any time to do so between work and chasing two young kids. He did a great job of wrangling sub-contractors and keeping things moving, even when they seemed to be at a standstill.
So while we did “Swing the hammer” ourselves some during the project, most of our physical work didn’t come into play until later in the game as it just wasn’t practical for us. Work had me on the road nearly every week in 2017 and part of 2018, and The Wife was tied up with her own things.
As far as the physical house is concerned, we likely didn’t save a huge amount of money compared to the market value of the house vs. having someone else build it. However, everything was built at a much higher quality than if someone else had built it. Things like extra insulation, hardwood floors, and making sure things are ‘built right’ would have blown the budget considerably if we had paid someone else to do everything as we did. Additionally, while we may not have gotten everything perfect, we had more hits vs. misses with the way the house is laid out. There just wasn’t anything on the market that would come close to fitting our needs. So we can easily see ourselves living here for the next 20 years as planned.
Emotionally/Sanity wise looking back, we should have built a house sooner or later in our lives. I really enjoyed the time I got to spend with my Father working on the house, but our stress levels were at a lifetime high. My job function had changed considerably at work which lead to some extremely high stress levels (mixed in with lots of windshield time), the kids were taking up a large portion of our time (as they should at that age) which took up lots of opportunities for us to work at the house, and surprise weather and budget issues added to the mess as well. So several parts of the process that should have been fun, were not so much.
As a for instance, every time it has rained this year, it has done so inches at a time. There were several rain storms that literally dropped 2-3” of rain per event (often times in under an hour). Like this:
But in the end, we have a place that works as we hoped it would, at a price we can afford, in a location that we wanted to live. It’s hard to put a value on that. I do know that I am looking forward to the time when I can sit down and relax on my back porch as I BBQ.
One other note, if you do decide to tackle a project like this and you don’t have a truck. You better have a minivan or Trailer! Going through the photos to make these posts, I amazed at how many pictures I have where the back of the van looks like this:
Or vehicles got a workout through this whole process to say the least!