I've seen several owner builders going on and several questions about how much savings can be had by doing that. Thought I'd share my savings for those looking at it. Disclaimer: my savings are not necessarily what you'll see and pricing is very regional.
I'm not yet done with my build (a week away), but there are enough known costs that I think it's pretty representative. I'm sure I'll get surprised again by an extra cost I didn't foresee but hopefully not too big of a swing.
First of all, the guy on howibuiltmyownpool.com also has his cost breakdown and his savings seems to reflect mine.
Secondly, the builder that I'm comparing to is a national builders price quote in Austin for a very basic pool. Every other builder was more expensive, but this builder was reputable (by some accounts cuts some corners, but a decent one).
And my savings was... Roughly 30%. I've heard that builders shoot for at least 25% margins and that seems to be the case. My entire cost breakdown can be seen in my spreadsheet here: Pool - Google Sheets
I had to take out some of my upgrades that I did to compare apples to apples (like adding a heat pump), but I think it's a pretty fair comparison.
I have to qualify this 30% savings however. You will NOT actually save 30%. That is, I would not have spent $64k on my pool. You WILL upgrade things that you wouldn't have otherwise because "hey. I'm getting it a lot cheaper than I would with a builder". I could have built my pool for a lot cheaper, but I couldn't resist. And Im glad I didn't cheap out in my usual fashion (though I might be saying a different story if a go broke ).
The things I liked about the OB process:
- I liked having control. I'm the type of person that even with a PB I would have been overseeing everything, annoying the contractors.
- I liked saving money
- I liked the sense of ownership I took in doing it myself
I don't like:
- If something goes wrong, I have some blame in that and my costs might go up
- i don't have a great warranty. Each sub stands by their work but for a short amount of time (though sometimes with PBs their warranty is not worth much because they either go out of business or play the fine print game)
- I've felt like I had to obsess over this process (that's just sort of what I do), which has taken away from work and family
Anyway, that's my experience and those are my numbers (unless I get surprised). Let me know if you have any questions.