26 Apr 2021

Pros and Cons of Being an Owner/Builder

Pros and Cons of Being an Owner/Builder

You’re a pretty handy person and you’ve just bought a piece of land. You have an impressive tool set, you’ve done some wiring and plumbing before. And besides, there’s always YouTube to help when you get stuck. You should just go ahead and build your own house, right? 


Well, maybe. There are certainly advantages to being an owner/builder (someone who takes responsibility for the domestic construction on the land they own) instead of hiring a contractor. But owners/builders face unique challenges, which everyone should know before undertaking such a demanding project. 


The Advantages of Being an Owner/Builder


  1. Financial Savings – This one is the most obvious. In addition to materials, a contractor will charge you for labour. If you’re putting in the labour yourself, you won’t have to pay extra for it. Also, you can save money by making sure that you use the materials properly, in the way that you, the owner, consider best. 
  2. Control – Like the old adage goes, if you want something done right, you do it yourself. While that might not be always true, building your own house means that you get to decide how you want the wall to look, what fixtures work best, and so on. You don’t need to rely on the opinion of anyone else. 
  3. Personal Satisfaction – You built your own house! How many people get to say that? It will be a great conversation starter for every dinner party you host. 

The Drawbacks of Being an Owner/Builder


  1. Time Spent – As anyone who has ever visited a construction site knows, it takes a long time to build a house. The average Australian residential house takes 6 months to build, and that’s using full-time contractors and subcontractors. An owner/builder working on their house in their off-hours can expect a much longer period. 
  2. Supervising Help – While the control offered to owner/builders might be tempting, we could all use a little help sometimes. And if you’re not familiar with construction standards, or with the processes used by inspectors and subcontractors, you may end up wasting time and money. 
  3. Lending – Many lenders look at owners/builders as a higher risk than an established contractor, which means that you might have trouble securing a loan. And the loans you do get may have higher interest rates. 


What Are My Options? 


If you’re still interested in being an owner/builder and want to explore lending options, Mortgage House is here to help. Contact us today to start looking at available loans as you decide on your next big project. 


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