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Being An Owner Builder
The Contracting Process
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Planning Your New Home
Funding Your Project
Developing Your Budget
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Plans And Specifications
Cost Estimate
Construction Schedule
The Home Building Sequence
building an energy efficient home
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Construction Management!
(Also Referred To As "Superintending")

Construction Management! Here is where the home building rubber meets the home building road. If you've been plowing through these pages in pretty much the order we've presented them, you have come to the part of home building you thought it was all about - the actual building of the home.

But, as you have discovered, there's a little more to it

. . . like PLANNING!

Don’t feel alone! Most owner builders are initially completely unaware of the preparation involved in the building of a home. But not you! By the time you reach this point in the process, your new home will just about build itself!

Just kidding. There's still a lot to do. But you are thoroughly prepared. Right? If you feel you need to go back and review - do it now.

You should be thoroughly familiar with the lot, the plans and specs, the people who will supply the money and the materials, and those who will do the work. You have planned the sequence of events. Everything is ready for you to begin!

Construction Management and a Dog Houst

Construction Management - What it is:

Construction Management is the job of being the boss on the job.

This involves:

Getting the Permits Purchasing Materials Scheduling and Supervising Subcontractors Scheduling Inspections (and dealing with Inspectors!) Quality Control Understanding Building Codes Cost Control Cost Accounting


So-o-o-o . . .Construction Project Management is generally getting the home physically built. Being organized is important. Here are two forms that will help you.

The Master Materials Record

The Master Construction Record

Here's Some Areas of Construction Management You'll Need To Master

• Permitting your job

• Dealing with your subcontractors - contracts, change orders, etc.

• Purchasing your materials - purchase orders, paying the bills

• Getting your subcontractors and materials on the job site at the right time (Daily Schedulilng)

• Having a basic understanding of the building codes.

• Understanding and dealing with Inspectors And Inspections

• Managing Quality Control. - How good is “good enough”

• The tools you will need when wearing your Construction Management hat




Home building requires a substantial time commitment. If you plan to be an Owner Builder, there will be many times that you will need to be on the phone early in the morning talking to subs or ordering additional materials.

And you will often need to be at the job site at different times during the day to receive or secure materials, answer questions, and inspect the quality of the work. Below you will discover some of your options. In other words, it’s not all or nothing. You can choose the level of your involvement.

In this option you elect to do everything a general contractor would do. You will need some flexibility in your time to do this successfully.The only greater commitment you could make is if you also decide to do some of the actual work (that would normally be done by a sub contractor) yourself. This level obviously requires the greatest amount of time on your part.

You can do most of your checking in the early morning and after work, but occasionally you’ll have to meet someone there during the day. If your spouse can help out here, you’re in business.

Most of our students work with a spouse or other family member to lighten the load. Family members are the most reliable source of this kind of support, since they have the greatest stake in the project.

Finding someone to act as your agent at the job site can significantly lighten your load. This could be a family member, friend, or just someone you know or have found that has the EXPERIENCE and TIME to carry out this important task.

A retired builder or job superintendent is often a good choice. You may be able to find such a person through a building supplies dealer or a local labor union. Of course, choosing this option will automatically reduce some of the hands-on control you will have over the project. If you go this route, find someone you communicate well with, and have a clear understanding as to the duties and compensation involved.

You can often find a small custom homebuilder who will offer you a menu of services they will perform for a fee. These include anything from plan review, cost estimating, and subcontractor recommendations to cost accounting, bill payment, and superintending.

For many people paying a professional to “hold their hand” is a comfort worth paying for, and could even be required by a nervous lender.


As noted above, in the section on what you will get from this course, some people take the course so that they will be dealing from a position of strength when they hire a general contractor to build their home.

This is your final option and the one that offers the least control. It can still be a tremendously rewarding experience, if you have prepared yourself with the knowledge you need to be an equal in the relationship with your builder.


Your construction management activities can be grouped into the following:

1. Daily Scheduling
2. Purchasing
3. Supervising and Coordinating the Construction. This work involves managing the work of subcontractors and getting the proper inspections.

In all of this, you will be primarily concerned with controlling the quality of the construction and keeping the project reasonably on schedule. That is, insuring that what is placed on the ground is in accordance with what is called for in the plans and specifications, and that the quality of construction meets generally acceptable industry standards for homes of similar design and cost in your area.

These topics - permits, purchasing, scheduling, inspections, quality control, cost control, and cost accounting - are sufficiently involved to demand their own pages. Anyway, this one has already gotten too long!

Click here to move on to our next major topic: Subcontractors

For additional insight to Construction Management,
see Lesson Thirteen of our online course
Successful Home Contracting

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