A Step by Step Guide to
Building your

When building a modern-home-plan in a home building project, you can often build a house which results in you owning your home in just 3 or 4 house-builds with you acting as owner/builder.

Your own home can generally be paid for completely in just 3 house-builds, with you acting as the owner builder (general contractor). By being the GC yourself and doing the work of a GC you can pocket around 33% per house-build on a modern-home-plan. You often can build three houses and profit sufficient to own your home, free and clear of any mortgage in just 5-7 years.

This website will give you some of the experiences that we encountered while building our first home. Hopefully you can benefit by not making some of the somewhat costly mistakes that we made in building our first house and consequently pocket more savings than we did.

Perhaps you can avoid some of the pitfalls that often happen to owner/builders, by being more informed than we were as you build a house with your first house building project,

What's the catch? What do I want from all this free information? Well, frankly, there is no catch. I'm giving this free information now, but when I'm finished with this website, I may compile it all into an e-book for a modest fee. In the meantime the information is here and is free to you as it applies to your house building project. You can believe it, because we actually lived it, as we built our first home. You'll see pictures as we went along with the home building process. I've brought in a few pictures that show some of the specifics that I talk about too.

By you being the owner builder, you build and live in your new home for 2 years, and begin your second home the second year. By selling the first home, you profit around 30-40% or more, which reduces the amount to finance on your second home. You live in your second home again for 2 years, or whatever length of time your states' law requires, and repeat the process for a total of 3-4 homes.

To build a home to own without a mortgage, is something most people would like, but many people think they can't do it themselves, because they aren't qualified, or don't know enough to build their own modern-home-plan, and worst of all they don't have any money.

Being the General Contractor

By this time, I expect you may be thinking, “but I don't know how to build a house, or much less be the GC" You may say “I don't know anything about even framing a house.”

This isn't about YOU DOING THE WORK. It's about you being the general contractor. The subcontractors know their job. From excavator to cement contractors, then plumber in all it's phases, to framer and electrician, then drywall contractors, etc. This site will help you to understand the basics of building your own home. If you get good subs, you just follow them through to completion and make sure they follow the plans, and right before your eyes, your modern-home-plan becomes a reality.

The “General Contractor” often never picks up a hammer. He is the brains of the operation. He/she organizes, makes appointments, hires, fires, orders materials, manages the subs and pays them. He/she makes it all happen.

You can do that too

I am a mother of 9 children, with no building experience, but my husband has had some experience building a garage, an apartment in the basement, installing doors, etc. On the other hand, I organized the raising of those 9 children, the meals, laundry, housecleaning, home repairs, I was taxi driver, nurse and medic, plus zillions of other things, and I realized that I could be a general contractor too.

With both RL's and my experience, we decided this was a duable project, and so we decided to jump in with both feet and get more than our feet wet. Our kids thought we were going to drown cause we were in “way over our heads.” I don't think they realized all that experience I got raising them!

This is the house that we built

Suffice it to say, we successfully built our wonderful 1800 sq ft rambler. My husband, RL, says “This is the modern-home-plan that Linda built.” Of course, I say it's the house that RL built, but truly I did orchestrate the entire show.

Did you realize that most General Contractors net about 58% profit? Granted, they have overhead, and other business expenses. The 58% profit is before rental of their vehicles, insurance, bonds, workman's comp, advertising, and other fees. By the time these things are deducted, the General Contractor will only profit 12-18% when building a home.

YOU Be the General Contractor on your own home and earn around 30% per build of your modern-home-plan. You don't have any of those other expenses that General Contractors have, so you can profit the rest in your pocket.

For you and me, acting as owner/builder home general contractor. of a modern-home-plan, we can build our own home and in many cases, by following the guidelines mentioned herein, generate at least 30% profit on each home. In just 3 house builds, and approximately 5 years, you can own your own home and only have to worry about taxes and insurance after the mortgage is paid for. No house payment each month!

NOTE: It may take 4 house builds, if you are paying off debt with the first build and of course, the length of time before you own your home-built4u depends upon the price of materials and land prices plus how the real estate market is in your area.

Testimonials or Comments

Is it Buy Direct, or Costco?

You mentioned using a buying club to purchase a lot of your materials in order to save money. Can you give me some examples. Is it like Buy Direct, or Costco? Or something totally different.

Another question. Did you have to get a general contractors license in order to be the GC for the homes you have built? I will be building up a home up in Tennessee. I currently live in Orlando, FL but will be retiring on some land we bought above Chattanooga. Thanks,


Hi Bryan,

You are correct, it was Direct Buy. We saved quite a lot with our cement, lumber, insulation, shingles and a number of other things using their buying power. Not being a contractor ourselves, we lacked that purchasing ability and we lacked cash to pay directly. As I stated, we did not get a general contractor's license. As long as you are not selling the house to someone else, (you live in it for 2 years), most states don't require one. But check your state's laws and requirements to be on the safe side.

Good Luck with your build in Tennessee!

Regards, Linda

I sure would like to know what country you live in. I have just discovered your site and we hope to be building or getting a ready to move house in the next couple of years.

You have a lot of interesting information here, I haven't even looked at half of it yet but was so excited I had to send this email to you.

Thank you for taking the time to set up this site and for sharing your experiences. Cristina D. fr Canada

Dear Cristina, Thanks for the nice comments. Our home is in Utah in the USA. I hope you have success with your new home. It took me about 6 months to gain the confidence and learn how to be the "general" so you've got plenty of time to learn about this. Regards, Linda

We recently had a fire in our house due to faulty wiring because of a DIY electrical job which was done before we bought the home. I can't agree with you more about the importance of having the wiring done by a professional. Thanks for your website. I love it. HG

Dear HG,

Thanks for sharing your electrical experience with us. It's amazing how many people think they can DIY it when they don't know what they are doing. Our neighbors had a fire due to DIY repairs in their home. Put back together with "scotch tape and paper clips" approach! It took replacing ALL the electrical wiring and months before they could move back into their home.

Regards, Linda

You have a pretty nice website with a lot of good information about home building.

I wish to emulate your idea of building a series of homes, starting with small, then ramping up as much as I am comfortable on the succeeding homes.

Thank you for the information on your website. Chris.O.

Dear Chris,

Thanks for your comments. Lots of luck with your project. Be sure to get your estimate down so you don't under price yourself. With today's economy you can't be too safe. We chose to wait a few years for a rebound in the economy before continuing to build. Adding on to your home today might be a wise thing to consider.


Do you know where I can get a ready-made home build checklist? This will be my first time as a GC and I'm looking for a thorough list that will tell me what order tasks need to be done in as well as when to order certain materials so they arrive in time to install them (ie:windows).Thanks!TaniaG

Dear Tania You can go to my specific pages for some info, and others you'll have to research. For a list of materials needed. go to List of Materials HERE.

my wife and i are planning to build and be the gc next year. your site is very helpful and informational, as i begin my research. i am interested in "cost estimates." approx. what did it cost you (beginning to end with all associated costs) to build your 1800sf house? thanks, tim

Dear Tim, Thanks for your interest and kind words. It's been five plus years now since we completed our building project, so our specific numbers wouldn't even be relevant for you. Suffice it to say that we paid for our land, city fees, various tools that RL used in finish carpentry and painting, our membership in the buying service, extra interest on the loan, plus all building materials and labor, among other things, ending up with a grand total of $192,000 in 2007. Today's economy (2012) should be different, so be cautious. Regards, Linda

Building a House


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