In this week’s episode, we’ll hear the final part of an interview I did with owner builders Chris and Shacuna Jones. I spoke with them recently about them building their new home. They acted as the general contractor and have some great construction management and money saving tips for us. But before that, let’s define flashing, our pro term for this week.
Flashing: Flashing is the term applied to materials used to seal seams where building materials meet, and where water has the potential to get into your home and cause damage. Flashing is thin pieces of water resistant material installed to prevent the passage of water into your home.
On the sides of your home, flashing is used where windows, doors and trim meet the siding. It ensures that water, from heavy, driving rain, for example, doesn’t penetrate the outer surface of your house. Flashing is also important at the base of window sills and door thresholds.
Flashing is key on the roof where chimneys, skylights, roof valleys and vents are found. When installed properly, flashing ensures that Gaps and spaces are sealed and watertight. At the lower edge of the roof, flashing is known as a drip edge. So our pro term for today is flashing—thin pieces of water resistant material installed to prevent the passage of water into your home.
The metal strip is an example of flashing.
Below are the questions and answers from the second part of the interview with owner builder interview with Chris and Shacuna.
1. Did you get most of your materials locally or online and did any suppliers give you a builder’s discount?
- They got most of their building materials locally but found
many items online and asked local suppliers to match the
2. Did you use any books, blogs or online resources to prepare you for the construction process?
- Pinterest and You Tube.
3. Were there any surprise costs that you hadn’t anticipated?
- The cost of hiring a soils engineer for soil testing and the
cost of bringing in good soil for replace some of the
“bad” soil that was on their lot. They incurred these unexpected
costs mainly because their land is in a flood zone and they
wanted to make sure their soil would be able to support their
foundation without issue.
4. Are there any other cost savings tips you can give us?
- Ask local suppliers to match lower prices that you find online.
- Ask subs about discounts that you can get for helping with
- Talk to and hire subcontractor company workers instead of
hiring the subcontracting company or the company owner
(but be careful because those workers may not be insured
and they might not give you a warranty.)
- Ask suppliers for a builders discount
5. What would you warn other owner builders about regarding the construction process?
- Don’t try to do any labor that you are not comfortable with.
- Don’t expect perfection.
- Cheaper is not always better.
6. What part of the construction process was the most frustrating or challenging?
- Delays due to weather was the most frustrating part. It was
otherwise not a very frustrating process.
7. What was the best part of building your own home?
- The sense of accomplishment, the fact that their
relationship didn’t suffer during the construction process and
knowing every detail of the house so well.
Special thanks to Chris and Shacuna Jones for taking time out of their busy schedules to share some of their wisdom with us. We’re a little bit better prepared to build our dream homes because of you, so thank you. After we finished recording, Shacuna and Chris told me that they really enjoyed the process of building their own home. They said it was actually fun! So realize, BYHYU, that being your own contractor can at times be stressful, but that can be an overall fun and enjoyable experience.
If you know someone who’s acted as the general contractor of their home and you think they would like to be a good guest for this podcast, if you would, have them contact me firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear about their experiences.
Alright, It’s quiz time…
1. Flashing is material that is used to protect the home from:
A. Penetrating water
B. Sun exposure
C. Hail damage
D. Air borne toxins
The answer is A. Penetrating water. Flashing is thin, water resistant material used to seal seams where building materials meet, and where water has the potential to get into your home and cause damage.
2. What’s the advantage of hiring the actual “on the job site” subcontracting workers instead of hiring a subcontracting company and negotiating with a company’s owner?
Homeowners can often get a better price when hiring the workers instead of hiring the official subcontracting company. Like builders, many subcontracting company owners will charge homeowners a higher price than they are paying the guys who are actually doing the work. And many times those owners are just acting as a middle man and never show up to the job site. I know that’s what a lot of people call “business”, but if you want to save some money, you could hire the workers at their lower rate and not have to pay the owner’s mark up. Just go to safe construction sites and talk with the workers directly. But be cautious, some workers aren’t independently insured and some may not able to give you a warranty on their work.
Please remember that the purpose of this podcast/site is simply to educate and inform. It is not a substitute for professional advice. The information that you hear is based the only on the opinions, research and experiences of my guests and myself. That information might be incomplete and it’s subject to change, so it may not apply to your project. In addition, Building codes and requirements vary from region to region, so always consult a professional about specific recommendations for your home.