Our Mission is to help homeowners plan and complete
successful building and remodeling projects, from start to finish.
We provide free information and resources to help you:
- Evaluate a building lot and buy it at the best price.
- Develop a design that’s just right for you.
- Decide what work to do yourself, what to hire out.
- Negotiate successfully with sellers, designers,
contractors, subs, and other professionals.
- Accurately estimate project costs.
- Build a healthy, low-energy, and durable building.
- Get your project built on time and on budget.
- Reduce your costs.
- Reduce your risk.
- And keep your sanity!
- COMMON BUILDING Q&As
WHO WE SERVE
Whether you are an owner/builder who wants to do it all, or plan to use the services of an architect, general contractor, subcontractors, or a construction manager (or aren’t sure which way to go), we can help make your project go more smoothly – and save money and gray hairs in the process. Who we are
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably the kind of person that wants to play an active role in your building project, maybe designing and contracting it yourself, and maybe even swinging a hammer. It’s great to be actively involved. You’re much more likely to end up with the project you want in terms of design, cost, energy efficiency, comfort, and durability. It’s not that the other people on your building team don’t want to do a good job. But no one understands your goals, or cares as much about your project, as you.
WHERE TO BEGIN
Maybe you’ve been thinking about this project for years, or maybe you just got started yesterday. In either case, you should begin at the beginning — assessing your needs, capabilities, time constraints, and budget, and deciding what responsibilities to take on yourself and which to outsource to others.
HOW TO USE THIS SITE
The site is organized roughly in the order of a typical project, although in reality, you’ll often be jumping back and forth between sections. Your three biggest assets going forward will be knowledge, planning, and communication:
Knowledge – The more you bring to your project, the better the outcome. Learn as much as you can about design, materials, building systems, contracts and contractors, costs, and risks before proceeding. Take advantage of the vast amount of information available today on the Web and elsewhere. Without knowledge you are shooting in the dark!
Planning – The more time you spend planning, the faster, better, and cheaper your project will be — with the fewest headaches. Construction on the building site may be the most exciting phase, but the planning is the most important. Surprises on the job site always cause headaches and cost money, so don’t be surprised — plan ahead!
Communication - Remember, it’s your project. If you don’t clearly communicate your desires to all members of your building team, don’t expect things to come out the way you want. They won’t! Your contract, plans, specifications,and budget are your primary tools for communication. Learn how to use these effectively to keep everyone working together, on track, to meet your goals.
So don’t skimp on any of these. Remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint. Take the time necessary to learn the ropes, to formulate a good plan and realistic budget, and to communicate clearly with everyone on your team. Invest your time in good planning, the building will almost build itself.
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