You really can build your own home as an owner builder, taking on the role of the general contractor. So in addition to the online course, we've created a resource kit that includes tools to help you make it happen. Our digital products (pdf and Excel) are available for immediate download giving you quick access to our money and time saving pro builder resources.
For a comprehensive review of how to use these resources when building a home, check out the "Build Your Own Home" online course by Open Book Build.
This guide will take you through the steps that a professional builder goes through when purchasing property to build a home. Our goal is to flush out all of the important information that will affect construction, your budget and your overall living experience. Surprises are sometimes unavoidable. Nonetheless, we want to minimize them in every way possible. (Downloadable PDF)
The budget has all of the line items needed to build a home so nothing will be forgotten. Every cost experienced from the construction of an actual single family home is included in this as-built budget. From foundation to final paint, the real budget includes each line item for material and labor to build the structure. And because the budget is in Excel format, the numbers can easily be changed to fit your particular house plan costs.
The new home schedule shows how the house comes together from lot stake to final inspections. This Excel schedule template includes the order of activities, their durations, and the relationships of each. The schedule includes critical quality inspections and typical material ordering lead times. We used formulas in the Excel cells to designate workdays only. Plug in the top start date and the schedule automatically updates through to final inspection. (Note: the schedule is templated for a simple, single-family, ranch house plan. Be sure to adjust as needed to fit your specific plan.)
When hiring trades and suppliers, you want to make sure they understand exactly what you expect them to do. You also want everything you expect to be in writing and signed by them. This will give you an accurate estimate (knowing they included all work in the price they gave you) and an accurate subcontract agreement; both are critical to prevent errors and legal issues. The Scopes of Work and Specification gives the details of your expectations for each activity for your new building project. Use the fillable fields to adjust the forms to your own project. (Downloadable PDF)
After years of building homes, I realized that a good portion of my time was spent reviewing bids between competing subcontractors to see which had the best price. The problem was, each bid came back to me in a different format. So, I created a standardized bid sheet for each activity telling the trade how I wanted the bid submitted. This way, I could quickly and easily compare them. Use the fillable fields to adjust the bid sheets to your specific project. (Downloadable PDF)
This sample contract, which you need to have your attorney review to make sure it meets your needs and local laws, ties together all of the contracting kit items to form the agreement with our subs and suppliers. (Downloadable PDF)
This sheet captures all of the key information about each vendor you are requesting bids from. (Downloadable PDF)
Students enrolled in our "Build Your Own Home" online course are eligible to receive a 20% discount on "The Build Your Own Home Digital Resource Kit".