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General Contractor vs. Owner/Builder

Posted by Angela on November 19th, 2001 10:56 PM

Hi all. I'm in a bit of a quandry. We're building our home - final plans and financing going on this week hopefully. We want to break ground next spring. Anyway, my father-in-law is currently acting as the general contractor for his home he's building now. He and my husband want him to be the contractor for our house. He would not charge us so there's a theoretical 10-20% savings. However, he does not build houses for a living, never has, and he's never had any training for this beyond the little test you have to take to become your own contractor and the experience he's getting now by doing his own house. I am feeling really uneasy about this whole thing. Number one: He's made several costly mistakes on his own place that a real contractor wouldn't have
Number two: He has a full-time job already, and therefore is unable to supervise his subs on a regular basis.
I am thinking that any cost savings we would get by him doing our contracting would be negated by stupid mistakes made innocently either by him, who doesn't know better, or by subs who don't have the direction they need. I would rather hire some new contractor on the way up who's willing to give me a reasonable bid for a job well done. I am willing to admit that I don't know a lot of the technical aspects of getting a house built, and I'd feel a lot more comfortable with someone who has been trained to do it and does it for a living. However, my husband is sure we'll save money, because his dad is giving him some outrageous figures - saying he's only spent $100,000 on his 2800 sq. foot house. I can't believe that, and I still don't think that it would be worth all the hassle and frustration to have him do it. Opinions?

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