Owner Builder: Panelized Kit Home Planning


Panelized kit home planning for the owner builder is a critical first step. Save money and reduce stress by being prepared and having a plan. One of the greatest advantages of being an owner builder for a kit home in many programs is the ability to act as your own General Contractor (GC). The GC can be thought of as the manager of the building project.

While building a kit home is not for everyone, if you are organized, can communicate effectively, and can act like a builder, you're on the right path! The construction support that your kit home manufacturer provides will help ensure your success.

As the project manager, your primary responsibilities will be for the following:

  • Projecting a builder's attitude ~ you need the respect of those you will be working with
  • Research the property you will be building on
  • Obtain Bids from subcontractors
  • Obtain Permits and make sure all work is done according to your local building codes
  • Keeping good records
  • Budgeting (and staying on budget!)
  • Scheduling material delivery and labor
  • Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!

Act like a Builder

As an owner builder, you may choose to do much of the work yourself on your new panelized kit home, but you'll also likely be working with a variety of subcontractors. These subs you hire will be experts in their fields (I hope), and it's a good idea for you to do enough research that you are comfortable using building terms and can present yourself in a confident manner.

My experience as a builder is that if it's obvious to them that I've done some research, the sub-contractors were more than willing to answer questions and explain more complex issues.

Building a panelized kit home is a big project, and having the right mind set will go a long way toward your success. Remember that in a project this size, there are bound to be delays and set-backs. Be patient, thorough, and persevere through any difficulties. If you provide clear information to your subcontractors and can stay calm when things aren't going smoothly, you'll find that before you know it you've moved past the problem and can enjoy the process a lot more.

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