We're considering undertaking a new owner builder home project on our semi-rural property and thought I'd share my rationale for wanting to owner build and describe my build concepts to get some feedback on my expectations.
- Cost - I want to save where I can and be on tools where practical.
- Flexibility - Being in control of the construction will allow some additional flexibility with timing, selection, design (to a limited degree)
- Semi-rural property in Adelaide Hills (50+ acres)
- House plan is for 2 families (my family + 2 elderly-ish parents cohabiting)
- Large-ish house comprised of 2 house designs merged into a single house to give the utility of two houses in a single dwelling.
- Total floor area approx 500sqm
- Based off 2 existing house designs but modified to suit our needs (larger rooms, etc).
- Relatively standard architecture - 4m*4m*2.7m standard "box" type bedroom design.
- Simple design (I hope?) except one "architectural aspect" (maybe?) where the external wall between our main living area and the outside patio area is to be around 4m high (sloped roof/ceiling through that par of the house) with high windows letting light in (possibly above any future patio roofing).
- Design the house to standard sizes to minimise customisation cost and cut wastage (windows/doors/wall height/etc).
This gives an idea of the rough design (sketchup model):
(ignore that both houses are separate in this model - they are joined and that hallway runs straight through the middle.)
The higher roof/walls/ceilings are shown below. The blue circled area I want to be around 4m high and the red circled area to be about 3m high, the remainder of the house can be 2.7m (unless it makes economical design sense to have higher in some areas to accommodate the 3m-4m transition).
On The Tools:
As the Owner Build we plan on doing the following work ourselves:
- Initial house design (as above but including specifications for door/window/etc sizes) - I expect this will be passed to a draftsperson (???) to create the actual house design? Or can I give this to engineers to design the structural aspects slab/frame/etc)??
- Earthworks, we can prepare our own pad (have access to earth moving equipment)
- Excavation - this is a "possible" item depending on the excavation skill required, and if I'm up to the task (researching) This will most likely be done by a trade though).
- Self install external cladding using Hebel PowerPanel XL.
- Install wood flooring - may use polished concrete in some areas.
- Electrical install (designed, checked and signed off by qualified electrician).
- Install insulation.
- Other incidental work/installations/etc.
We expect to use trades for:
- Concrete slab
- Wood frame
- Internal lining (Gyprock)
- Roof and gutters (Colourbond)
- Septic (but not excavation)
- Tiling (most of)
- Likely all other big bits I've missed!
My initial question are:
- Do you think this is a realistic undertaking?
- Do you think we will save money taking the owner builder approach here?
- If there are good saving to be had, what sort of percentage are we talking here? (note, I do have access to some traidies through a friend's small building company).
- With our design we have, what steps would you take next? Draftsperson? Architect? Engineers? Something else?
- Am I just crazy and should just give up now?
I'm interested in advice, ideas and wisdom from all angles!