Welcome to our very first story featuring insights from Reg, who started as a builder back in 1970.
Although now retired, Reg is not one to sit around. Now an Owner Builder, he takes advantage of the extended time OB’s are given to build. Reg recently completed a stone cottage on his 50-acre property in Queensland, using 36 tonne of stone (WOW!) and is now building a log cabin on the same land.
Stone Cottage, log cabin = idyllic!
We've summarised our conversation with Reg by sharing his best tips:
Work out how much work you're going to do yourself.
The more you do, the more you save.
Know your limits and ask for help when something is outside of your ability. Not only will this save you time, it also means less work for the Building Inspector (more on this to follow).
If you can, do most of the running around.
Get the supplies yourself and have everything onsite for the trades ready to start work.
A great $$ saving tip!
Your local Council is a great source of information. Use it.
Some Council’s can provide a step-by-step guide of what you need to as an OB (who doesn't love a guide!). Ask your local council if they have a guide.
Head to our Pre-Plan page for state based information – Where to Get Information
Your building inspector is an excellent source of information.
Take advantage of this. They’re there to help because if they don’t, it means more work for them!
BIG TIP: Avoid arguing with your Building Inspector. Your Building Inspector should be one of your best friends during your build.
You have the option of going with a Council Inspector or a Private Certifier (consider both).
Do a rough sketch or take images of what you want to your Draftsperson.
Let them do the rest. It’s what you’re paying them to do.
Make sure you make all changes before plans are finalised otherwise it will cost you to make changes during the build.
The very first thing you should do on site is a property alignment.
Don’t laugh like we did because Reg has seen it happen more than once i.e. people don’t do a property alignment and end up building on their neighbours property. Yikes!
Check your alignment OB’s!
Get a carpenter/builder who really knows what he’s doing.
Keep asking questions.
And finally, if you want to save money on a house, do it yourself!
And that’s coming from a Builder.
It was great chatting to Reg who is also a Member of our Closed Facebook group. Head to our Facebook page here, join the Closed Group and say hi to Reg.
Until next time, happy researching, planning and building!
The Team at The Owner Builder Club.