3 ways to save money before building your house by subcontracting the work yourself.
Roger & I are so excited about building our dream house.
We’ve been dreaming about it for years, seriously.
We started drawing rough draft sketches of our floor plans even before we were married 6+ years ago.
So as you can imagine, now that we are in the process of building we’ve been trying to stay ahead of schedule.
And since it can take a while for a building loan to be finalized we decided to go ahead & subcontract a couple of things in order to get a head start & save some money.
Now, to be honest, we only subcontracted the first two ourselves, but we know you can do the work yourselves for #3 to save money too!
1. Clear Your Land
This can either be done yourselves or you can hire someone to do it for you.
Be sure to call around & get free quotes for renting equipment (such as excavators/bulldozers/etc) as well as from small local businesses that already have equipment who can clear your land before you get started.
You could even get lucky & find a crew who can do it for the same price as renting the equipment to do it yourself!
Roger & I started clearing our land the good old fashion way, with a chainsaw (him) & bare hands to hall the trees away (me).
This was exhausting & took forever!
The original plan was for us to clear it with a chainsaw & then Roger was going to rent some equipment to clear away the stumps & smooth out the driveway.
When we started calling around to get quotes for rental equipment we also called a man whose name & number we received from both sides of our family, whose work was recommended to us.
After he came out & walked the property with us he gave us a quote that was similar to the cost of what it would be just to rent the equipment & then we would still have to do the actual work ourselves.
It was pretty much a no-brainer to hire him.
He’s an older man, who likes to say that he is “semi-retired,” & he is very nice & super easy to work with.
We’ve already hired him a second time to bush hog the front of our land & we plan to hopefully hire him again later on in our building process to clear some more land where I plan to plant some berry bushes next spring.
But the moral of the story is, if you do your research you can save money & save your back from pain!
2. Put in Your Driveway
This goes along with #1 if you have a forest that needs to be cleared on the way to the place where you plan to build your house.
Just call around & get quotes from local companies to clear, prep (install culverts if needed), & level the land for gravel.
Then you can call around to different gravel companies for quotes on gravel.
Also, be sure to ask how they lay the gravel & if they need or plan to lay something down below the gravel.
One person we spoke to said that we would need to pay extra for a plastic sheeting/house-wrap to go down before laying the gravel.
Thankfully our land’s soil was hard and we didn’t need any underlayment to hold the gravel and keep it from sinking into the soil.
Another good question to ask before choosing a gravel company is to ask how they lay the gravel.
Some companies just dump it along your road leaving you to smooth it out.
And some companies will dump it & smooth it out for you!
3. Set up Utilities
First, talk to your contractor & neighbors to find out what utilities are in your area then you can easily call the utility companies to find out what they need from you to
set up utilities for your home build.
Some of these utilities may be temporary, like electric, & others will be permanently set up, like water.
And remember when I mentioned in this post 10 Things You Need to Know Before Buying Land about the big mistake I made.
It was around this time that I discovered we wouldn’t have fiber optic internet or any internet at all at our new home. For now that is… I’m working on that problem.
We had originally planned to set up our utilities ourselves, we even had our contractor take it out of our budget.
But once our house loan went through we ended up deciding to go ahead & have our contractor set up our utilities to ensure everything was to code and properly installed.
That just means we are having to make some cuts & adjustments to our budget as we move forward.
However, if you even just dig the trench for your utilities that will save quite a bit of money, & purchasing the conduit for the water & power lines will help as well if you have a long way to go from the street to your new build site.
In the end, even without setting up the utilities ourselves, we were able to save quite a bit of money by subcontracting the clearing of our land & the putting in of our driveway before our house loan was finalized.
Not only were we able to save money, but we were able to get work done ahead of time so that our contractor could more quickly get to the process of building our house once the loan closed.
And now that the rainiest summer we’ve ever had is coming to a close (& I’m not just saying that because we are building a house, everyone has been saying this has been a ridiculously wet summer) we are finally starting to see the framing of our house take place!
If you want to follow along or see the whole process of our home build be sure to check out my monthly video updates on YouTube.
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What date are you most excited about checking off your list first?
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With love, Giustina
I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.
Psalm 119:60 NIV