-- Builder Budget Beetle -- CT's Project Management Tool for Owner-Builders in British Columbia Budget & Schedule Worksheet
This home building management tool is available for projects in British Columbia, Canada. Not to say it can't be adapted to other locations, but the experiential information and development data originates in BC and we are comfortable recommending here for now.
This is NOT just for timber frame house projects - any type of construction will benefit here. If you are hiring a GC for a Time & Materials project, you may find this tool extremely valuable to track the project and understand the process better.
Background I've been building houses for almost 30 years, usually as a specialty heavy timber subcontractor but often as the GC also. These have all been in "hands-on" mode so I know the challenges of site conditions and weather and snarky labourers as well as the benefits of good organization and people skills. My travels have taken me near and far, and onto sites with excellent project managers as well as those who have lost the trust of their building teammates. So many stories for another time and place....
Many of us develop a desire to "build our own house", the reasons are often many but the common threads I find are: - Satisfaction of "building my family's home" with accompanying responsibility and opportunities. - Physical, tactile joy in doing the work myself; using my accumulated skills and learning new ones. - Direct quality control of all aspects and materials. - Belief that I will save money by closely controlling the reins of the project.
All admirable, and at this time I offer you encouragement to keep asking questions and thinking about the practicalities of doing-it-yourself. Home building can be immensely rewarding (emotionally) and is often more therapeutic than people imagine; sadly the financial windfall is seldom realized especially if you value your own time. BUT, with the recent changes in British Columbia's Homeowner Protection Office rules, using a registered General Contractor has made home building significantly more expensive (to cover warranty and insurance requirements). We can help.
Call to Action Call Randy at 250 - 218 - 7097 to discuss your project, tell him how you'd like to save money and avoid the drama often encountered on most building sites.
What Is It? See the snippet below, shown is one small part of an online Budget & Scheduling Worksheet that we can create - WITH YOU - to help you manage your home building project. You are going to have a tool belt, hammer, cell phone, and hundred other tools to finish your project - each one contributing to the whole. This may be the most important tool in your arsenal as it will literally save you "thousands" of dollars on your project. Call to arrange on online viewing of a full sample Worksheet.
Financial Opportunities As you contemplate building a new home, notice that no one is able to give you a very accurate estimate of the cost. This, although frustrating, should make sense because each location is different and the local labour & material rates can fluctuate quickly and dramatically for lots of reasons. In a rural area, you can usually rely on the premise of getting a "good home at a fair price". You might want it cheap and amazing and done next week, but the best you are realistically going to get is "a good home at a fair price". If you approach the project with that goal, tradespeople and supplies will be very willing to work with you - as soon as anyone has a different goal, the apple cart gets upset. Projects are even more expensive in urban areas largely because of the additional oversight required to keep all parties on task.
Square foot costs on Vancouver Island right now are running $250/sqft on the low end, and can blow through $350/sqft or more extremely easily. (Much of the cause for high prices are usually attributable to high interior finish expectations, not the basic structure.) Controlling costs REQUIRES GREAT PROJECT MANAGEMENT before and during the process. If you think you'll be able to save 20% or more of the cost of your home building yourself, I urge you to dig into the matter a lot deeper and temper your expectations.
BUT - using this Budget & Scheduling Worksheet, and working extremely hard on a wide range of Project Management skills, I think it practical to save quite a bit over retail construction costs. Saving just 5% off a $500K home is $25,000. Keeping the "profit" or margin that a registered General Contractor needs to make on a home for yourself can sooth some of the sting of building. You won't get the volume discounts and favourable allegiance of sub-trades, but if you are really well organized and make good decisions you can save tens of thousands. Note that the biggest impact to your overall house cost is the size of house you build - invest in really great design to drive size down as much as practical.
This Budget & Scheduling Worksheet is available for your customized / unique / special house project. The cost is $1/sqft of house plus labour spent working with you to individualize & maintain the Worksheet. I'll prepare a personalized proposal for you after initial consultation about your project; assuming concept plans are already in hand. (The sooner we chat - i.e. before plans are started - the more I can help you control costs and improve the process of building your home yourself.)
Action Item Call Randy at 250 - 218 - 7097 to discuss your project, tell him how you'd like to save money and avoid the drama often encountered on most building sites.
No such thing as bad weather - just inappropriate clothing. Call (250)218-7097 today, tell us about your project and let's talk about making it even better. Thanks for your interest.