Are kits built by builders cheaper than DIY

by Jim
(Broome Australia)

Q Is there a way to work out if a kit home of a certain size and makeup would be cheaper to owner build than a builder doing the whole project?

A There are many ways to answer this, but lets look at 3 ways of owner building a kit home first.

OB1 project manages his kit home from start to finish, sub-contracting carpenters, slab builders, roofers, inside and outside wallboarders, painters etc. OB1 has a full time job and continues to earn while the kit is built.

OB2 project manages and does the work as well (except the electrics, plumbing of course). OB2 is unable to work during the project as he is building a kit home.

Person 3 (not an OB) has a builder project managing the kit home build. BTW some builders refuse to build kits as they are someone elses work and there is less margin as half the kit is pre-fab. Person 3 has a job and works during the build period.

Basic summary:
OB1 will be subject to higher costs as OBs will never get the deals builders get. He gets to control the site and make the big decisions. He also earns (about) 4 months wages.

OB2 gets to control the site and make the big decisions. He saves huge amounts doing the work. It takes longer to build the house (about 6 months) and as he is not working, loses 6 months pay.

Person 3 pays for all contracting plus 10-20% for the builder, but earns wages during the project. Has little or no control over the project.

If you look at the summaries the reality is, it is all relative. Depending on your own circumstances, whether you are earning or not, whether you sub-contract or do it yourself, there is little cost difference between the three.

This is a very simple way of comparing so I hope it goes some way in helping make a decision. There are many opinions on this topic and this will spark some comment.
Best of luck

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