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May 07, 2008 | | Comments 0

Why Owner Builders Fail

Here is the unspoken real reason Owner Builders fail and what to do about it. This article may not win friends but it is definitely meant to influence people.

Please allow me to begin with a generalisation.

There are 3 types of people …

1.     Those who know and know they know
2.     Those who do not know but think they know
3.     Those who do not know and know they do not know 

My guess is that one should do their best to learn from the first group, avoid the second group and teach the third.

Unfortunately the stereotypical owner builder belongs to the second group. 

The stereotype

  • is generally an over confident young male (or worse an over confident older man trying to cling to being young)
  • has just enough building skills to be dangerous
  • is too caught up in the ego of the manual aspects of owner building… “a real man builds his house with his own hands
  • does not invest enough time in education, training, planning, project management and systems
  • can’t be told or is not teachable
  • is not willing to get help… “real men go it alone
  • is easily conned because he believes he can’t be
  • does the majority of things in the wrong order
  • whose only real saviour is very deep pockets, or a wife who flat out refuses to literally lose her house by standing around pandering to her husband’s ego.

The ripple effect

  • Mention you’re an owner builder to trade suppliers and the price instantly goes up by 20 to 40%
  • Banks and mainstream lenders are extremely reluctant to provide owner builders with finance
  • The investment in time and money is often grossly under-estimated
  • The majority of owner builders who do not seek professional help either fail or are forced to go massively over budget to succeed
  • Draftsman and architects do rushed plans with critical (often crippling) mistakes that have little regard, if any, for the overall costs of the project
  • Families are left living in a house that is never quite finished and is a complete compromise of what their real dream home should be

The answer:

If you’re going to owner build and truly want to succeed then you simply must do the 3 most important things:

  1. get help
  2. get help, and
  3. get help

One must put their ego behind them and learn to do things in the optimum order. Putting your shoes on and then your socks may still allow you to walk but it makes for uncomfortable feet and dirty socks. Owner building has an optimum order that begins with a lot of tasks that may not be as appealing as the image of the young bronze Aussie male outside hammering nails into timber, but you can be sure that they are far more important for your project’s success.

If you’re willing to listen we’re willing to help.  Please book your Free Owner Builder Consultation today.

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