09 Oct Owner-Builder Vs Professional New Home Builders – Which is Best for You?
Building your dream home is an exciting endeavour, but it can also be incredibly challenging and time-consuming. One of the first decisions you will be faced with is who will build your beautiful new home. While the most common choice is to engage a professional builder, more and more Australians are taking on the role of an owner-builder, believing they can manage the project themselves and save money. However, taking charge of home building is a massive undertaking and requires a significant amount of time, money, and importantly, expertise. Read on for more information about being an owner-builder and why it’s often better to work with reputable custom home builders instead.
Understanding What it Means to Be an Owner-Builder
As an owner-builder, you are responsible for organising everything required to build your house. This includes applying for permits, organising trades and labourers, and overseeing the entire construction process from start to completion. You will also be subject to all of the same statutory requirements as a registered builder.
You will need to:
- Deal with building permit applications.
- Analyse building reports and interpret detailed specifications and plans.
- Receive materials delivered onsite and ensure that they comply with quantity and quality specifications.
- Handle emergency situations.
- Hire, supervise, and schedule tradespeople, labourers, and contractors.
- Ensure a safe working environment is maintained at all times.
- Organise and acquire insurance policies that cover liabilities for personal injury and personal property against disasters such as storms fire, accidents, and theft.
- Ensure all work complies with the specifications under the Building Code of Australia.
- Rectify any issues or defects in the building works.
The most common reason people choose to build on their own is to save money on construction costs, but it is important to remember that being an owner-builder isn’t necessarily cheaper. In fact, it could end up costing you a whole lot more. Some people the idea of being in charge of their home’s construction, while in some areas around Australia, a lack of available builders may force homeowners to take on the challenge.
For first-time home builders, engaging a qualified, registered builder is usually the best decision. Finding one that listens to your wants and needs will ensure you still have enough input without the mental, legal, and financial burden!
The Risks of Being an Owner-Builder
There are a several risks involved that you must be aware of, and these risks will increase with a lack of proper knowledge and experience.
Everything is Your Responsibility – If you happen to miss out on some important approvals, regulations, or requirements it will likely impede progress and may even cause problems with safety and quality. These risks can result in serious consequences as an owner-builder, especially if the property is sold in future – any faults or safety hazards will be your legal responsibility.
Unforeseen Circumstances – It’s rare that construction of a home runs smoothly from beginning to end, especially when there’s a lack of experience involved. Whether it’s material or labour shortages, quality issues, or even damage from a freak storm, unexpected issues have the ability to affect every aspect of the project and you will have to handle all of these circumstances on your own.
Why it’s Generally Best to Work with Professional New Home Builders
Expertise and Experience – Licenced, custom home builders possess in-depth experience and expertise of the industry. Home construction is what they do every day, so they have a deep understanding of construction processes, building and insurance regulations, and best practices. They are equipped with the knowledge and skills required to manage all aspects of your project efficiently and have a solid network of contractors and suppliers that give them priority on pricing and quality. All of this is invaluable, and something that most owner-builders will lack. The experience and expertise of a reputable builder will prevent costly mistakes and ensure that your project is completed to the highest standards, and in the quickest time possible.
Time Savings – Building a home is a complex process that involves coordinating various trades, obtaining permits, and managing a myriad of details. An owner-builder may find it challenging to dedicate the necessary time to oversee every aspect of the project, especially if they have other commitments like a full-time job. Builders, on the other hand, are committed to your project full-time and can ensure it progresses smoothly and stays on schedule.
Cost-Efficiency – It’s a common misconception that hiring a builder is the more expensive option. Actually, professional builders often have established relationships with suppliers and subcontractors which can lead to cost savings in terms of materials and labour. Builders are also skilled at project cost estimation and can provide a more accurate budget, helping you avoid unexpected expenses that can arise when managing the project yourself.
Quality Assurance – Builders have a reputation to uphold, and they are invested in delivering a high-quality finished product. They are responsible for ensuring that all work meets building codes and industry standards. Moreover, builders typically offer warranties on their work, providing peace of mind that any issues post-construction will be addressed promptly and professionally.
Legal Compliance and Permits – Navigating the legal aspects of construction, including obtaining necessary permits and adhering to local building codes, can be challenging for an owner-builder. Builders are well-versed in these requirements and ensure that your project complies with all regulations, reducing the risk of legal issues down the road.
Stress Reduction – Building a home is a significant life event, and the process can be incredibly stressful. Hiring a builder can alleviate much of this stress by taking on the day-to-day responsibilities and challenges of construction. This allows you to focus on other aspects of your life while still seeing your dream home come to life.
While the idea of being an owner-builder may be appealing to some, especially those with some building experience, the advantages of hiring a professional builder almost always outweigh the potential cost savings. Bringing a wealth of experience, expertise, and industry connections to your project, custom builders ensure that your brand new home completed efficiently, cost-effectively, and to the highest possible quality standards.
New Home Builders – ACT, NSW, QLD
When embarking on a construction project, it’s wise to entrust the job to a skilled builder who can turn your vision into a reality while minimising the stress and challenges along the way. Whether you have purchased land or you’re after a knock down rebuild, Elliott Hardie Homes is here to help. With a collaborative approach, we work together with our clients to deliver truly remarkable homes without blowing the budget. Let us handle the process from start to finish and see just how easy and stress-free it is to build a contemporary new home that suits your lifestyle. Get in touch with us online or by calling 1300 446 039 today.