Asking this in badassity because it is badass to build your own home without much help even if it might not make the top financial sense.
I am curious if any of you have built a home from the foundation up (having the land graded and foundation poured by a company is acceptable).
Having built a RV from complete scratch with electrical, propane, plumbing plus having designed and built a large shed including asphalt shingled roof, a 50 foot by 16 foot deck, and other random items I think it might be possible for us to build our own home if we can figure out how to keep the costs reasonable and get some contractor type discounts. I am interested to hear of any other experiences.
Having helped others build a home from scratch and having put two additions on my home, I agree with the others, you have the skillset needed.
My lessons learned (many of them echoed in other responses):
1. Many things are easy to do but hard to do well (dry-wall mudding). If you have time to learn, they can be rewarding. If time is a constraint, then I agree with hiring out someone to do the mudding. In my mind, hanging is too easy to pay for BUT you need help, it's not a one-person job. It's very forgiving too, tape and mud cover up a LOT.... Anything that you can do the "initial" work on and then have an "artesian" come in and finish, might be worth it, the initial work is usually the most labor intensive thus most expensive/where you might see the largest savings.
On the flip side, some of the easy things take too much energy to do on your own/manually/without the right power tools. For example, digging your foundation can be a lot of work if done manually. Hiring someone to knock that out will result in them bringing in unskilled laborers to dig/move the dirt, allowing you to focus on other things and save your energy (it's a marathon, not a sprint).
2. In my area, Craigslist is my friend! I ran short on time on a project so I put out an add for a siding "guy", had 15 responses in a matter of hours, hired a guy, had him do the job in a few hours and I moved on, saving me two days of work. I was unsure about how to build the roof so I hired a roof guy and he and I knocked the job out in three days. His experience and tricks of the trade were well worth the cost (and it didn't cost that much, I paid him cash by the hour and bought him lunch). That part of the job would have taken me two weeks if I had done it alone.
3. Inspectors are a pain/part of the process that must be dealt with. My understanding is that if you build/add on someone and you don't pull permits, and you go to sell the house, it can cause problems as you may not be able to price the addition/upgrade into the value of the home. I may not have a full understanding of the situation but I've always pulled permits.
4. I think the only contractors getting discounts are the BIG guys, those who build hundreds of homes/apartments etc. in an area. Where I'm at, there are plenty of those big guys BUT a LOT MORE of the smaller guys, and those small guys cover up the home depot parking lot. I think the discount point is far too high for the guy building a single home to obtain, and I doubt it's worth focusing on. By the time you do your own framing/electrical/finishing plumbing etc. etc. etc. you'll have saved so much in labor, you can easily absorb the "higher" prices you paid for materials (I'm assuming the material prices are not THAT much more than what the big guys pay...).
I've gained most of my knowledge from books, hiring experienced guys on craigslist and working side by side with them, and volunteering for habitat (don't overlook the value of that...). The best "start to finish" book I've found on building a home is "How to Build a House" by Larry Haun (I'll read anything by Larry), this book takes you step by step through a simple home building project that, in my opinion, enables most folks to be able to build their own place, it might not be the fanciest design etc. but, I don't think that's an issue on this message board.