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Building Your Own House On A Budget

Oct 31, 2007
You can save a fortune by building your own house.

If you do not want to go into debt, you can sometimes build on the installment plan instead of paying for it that way.

With a kitchen, bedroom, bath, and one other small room, many families can be quite comfortable; then as funds become available, the rest of the house can be built.

The plans for the whole house must be complete before any part of it is built.

Otherwise, an awkward situation is sure to develop. You can plan a good house, and build half of it, but you will find it difficult to build a small house and then make a large house out of it later.

Plan the complete job. Then build enough of it to get along in until you can build the rest. In fact, in any planning, it is well to arrange things so that enlarging the living room or adding an extra bedroom will not be too difficult.

The cost of a house is not entirely dependent on its size. The cost of the plumbing, the wiring, the heating, and of the doors and windows would not be materially affected by a slight increase in the size of the rooms, but if the size increases too much, then one begins to add another bathroom and more and larger windows; of course, the cost goes up.

Do not have too much space, but have it well organized. It is usable space that counts. If a space can be used for more than one purpose, that is good economy. There must be enough space, however, to carry on the family life without one activity encroaching too much on another.

One of the things that makes modern houses cost so much more than their previous counterparts is the fact that so much more mechanical equipment is now included in a house than was formerly the case.

I remember a house built in our community in 1907. It was one of the first plastered houses in our part of the country, but it had no bathroom, no electrical wiring, no furnace, no concrete foundation, no gutters, no garbage disposal, no garage with automatic doors, no electric doorbell, no radio, no television aerial, no fireplace, and no central vacuum cleaning installation.

With all these things and many more added to the house, the cost had to go up; then with inflation the way it is, the price of a house is following in the wake of the "cow that jumped over the moon." With building costs soaring, many people are finding that the only way they can get the house they want is by building it themselves.

Legal Liability of the Owner

In any work, whether by contract or not, remember that the owner is legally liable for all that is done. If you hire a legally licensed contractor, making sure that he carries the proper compensation insurance, and making sure that all the subcontractors also carry adequate compensation insurance, you are then reasonably safe from lawsuits arising from the building work.


Never employ help unless you are covered with compensation insurance, either state compensation or from a private company.

In case someone gets hurt on your job, it is your liability no matter whose fault caused the accident, or what happened. It is more unsafe to hire help without proper insurance than it is to drive a car without public liability and property damage insurance.

It would be well, also, for the owner to carry some kind of home owner's insurance in case neighbor's children or others not a part of the contractor's group, come on the property and accidentally get hurt.

Lawsuits are so easy to get involved in these days that proper insurance is really essential.

It might be wise for anyone beginning to build his own house to take out an accident policy on himself, if he intends to do much of the work, in addition to protecting himself from lawsuits as suggested above.

The cost of insurance is negligible compared with the risk one takes without it.

It is customary to take out fire insurance on the building when enough is built so that a fire could cause major damage.

This insurance should be taken out at least as soon as the roof is in place, better if taken out sooner.

In some places, some companies give an extra three months' insurance if a three-year policy is taken out early in the course of the construction, 39 months for the price of 36.

If you buy property with a mortgage use a mortgage calculator to help save yourself money.
About the Author
How To Save On Your Mortgage: Save Money With Mortgage Calculators http://www.greatpublications.com/mortgagecalc.htm
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