You can save a lot of money on a house by contracting it out yourself. The downside is this is a very time consuming task. Also you need to know which contractors are good and which ones are not. Good contractors are usually busy and cost more. Having an experienced builder can save you a lot of mistakes which could cost you more money than the cost of the builder.

So far my wife and I have talked to multiple builders. Most of these builders quote a percentage of there cost as the fee. In my local area the percentage fee is roughly about 10%. A few builders have quoted me a set fee which works out to less than 10% of the cost. If I go this route it will save me a lot of money on the house. If I go with more expensive appliances, why should I have to pay more money for the contractor to have them installed? There is no extra effort involved, but they want to charge me more money.

Some contractors say they have contractor pricing on appliances, lets take a look at this. The contractor (at least in my area) prices out the appliances in a big box store like Home Depot or Lowe’s. They use there contractor pricing (which you can get if you are buying over a certain dollar amount of goods) and add their percentage fee to the cost of the items. So lets say their discount at a big box store is 10% just to make the math easy. If the contractor buys the appliances at a 10% discount and then charges a 10% fee have you saved any money? Not really! Do you think they have the time to look and see when specific appliances are on sale? No! Do they have time to shop around and get you the best price on items? No! So what can you do? Either negotiate these items up front with your builder (have them negotiated out of the cost of the house or install them yourself), or get a builder that charges a set fee, preferable less than the percentages everyone else charges.

If your able to do some of the work yourself, make sure your contractor leaves this off the cost of the house. I have had some contractors say they only offer turn key houses and will not let me do any of the work on my house because if I do bad work it looks bad on them. If I can lay tile or hardwood and want to install it in a room to save some money, I should have the option to do so. If you are wanting to do some of the work yourself, find the right builder!

Last, when you talk to builders carry a notebook! Write down any information that is interesting that you might need later. Most importantly, ask a few questions like who does your cabinets/drywall/flooring etc. Write down the names of these contractors, you may want to use them later. If the contractor you choose uses a different contractor, you can price the work with another contractor to make sure its a fair price. You may find the work cheaper somewhere else. Most of the builders have set contractors they use for most jobs, so their prices may not be the lowest. A contractor may give you a slightly better price to compel your builder to use them in the future. So having the names of these contractors may save you some money.





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