Being an owner builder vs. DIY-er

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Being an owner builder vs. DIY-er

Post by harrymellark »

The DIY (do-it-yourself) movement is well known. Renovations are all the rage, but instead of hiring contractors, many homeowners are choosing to complete the remodels themselves. This can make the job cheaper, but has the risk of reno-gone-wrong. If you don’t think you’re up to the DIY renovation, there is another option you might look into. Instead, of doing the reno, you could oversee it as an “owner builder.”

Trend gaining Australian popularity

The owner builder trend has been gaining popularity in Australia, where home renovations and extensions add up to a whopping $30 billion a year. However, the Commonwealth Bank said that many homeowners who attempt DIYs end up poorly planning their remodel, have a lack of budget control, and an overly high opinion of their own technical and carpentry skills. Australians who realize they aren’t up to DIY are choosing to become owner builders instead. In fact, 40,000 Australians are renovating and owner building each year. Generally, those who choose to do so are young people trying to improve their quality of life and have confidence in their management skills.

Acting as a manager, rather than construction worker

Owner builders are basically overseers, rather than “doers” of tasks. They manage a team of contractors, which means they spend a lot of time trying to find the best people for the job. They’re more likely to take on bigger projects because they aren’t limited by their own skill set, rather they try to find the finest craftspeople they can to do the work for them. Another benefit of this approach is they don’t have to divide their time between personal needs and renovation. They can direct the work to be done and then go about their own business. This makes the whole process far less stressful and frees them up to get away from the work whenever they need to without slowing down its completion.

Minimize personal risk

A downside of being an owner builder is that it’s more expensive than the DIY method, yet it’s still less expensive than hiring a firm to do everything, including the managing, for you. Andrew Heaton, senior construction and home improvement writer for, said, “Ultimately the decision to DIY, owner build, or engage a registered builder remains with homeowners. . . . Renovating, whether DIY or owner building is a challenge, and minimizing personal and financial risk is mandatory priority.”

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