Student Reviews

  • Great information explained well

    Adam Upchurch

    This validates so much. Some I already knew. But learning much more I didn't!

    This validates so much. Some I already knew. But learning much more I didn't!

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  • Great Course

    Japhet Amaya

    I love the owner builder LLC company CEO talking about financing and the unexpected site costs.

    I love the owner builder LLC company CEO talking about financing and the unexpected site costs.

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  • Genuine Real Course For Beginners & All

    joben sandhu

    Thanks Michael.

    Thanks Michael.

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  • Great Resource

    Ashlee Fadjoh

    Just completed course one and I'm so happy with this purchase. This is an amazing resource even if not doing an owner build. The info is given in bite size p...

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    Just completed course one and I'm so happy with this purchase. This is an amazing resource even if not doing an owner build. The info is given in bite size pieces that are easy to understand. I love the different education techniques that make it fun to learn. The videos, text, mini review quizzes, and interviews keep things fresh and fun. Thank you so much for creating this course!

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  • Great!

    Kim Blanchette

    This course is far more detailed than I anticipated. Plan to spend plenty of time on completing the course. It's certainly not a one-day and done program, ...

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    This course is far more detailed than I anticipated. Plan to spend plenty of time on completing the course. It's certainly not a one-day and done program, but I'm glad because I really need all the detail.

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  • Open Book Build Course Review

    Dale Deines

    Very good presentation with quality videos and documentation throughout. The fact that it was produced during an actual home build makes it easy to follow a...

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    Very good presentation with quality videos and documentation throughout. The fact that it was produced during an actual home build makes it easy to follow and understand the steps that are being explined. I have been building for over 50 years and hold an unlimited building contractors liscense (both commercial and residential) and picked up some good ideas! For those who have never built a home, ths is a great resource to get you up and running quickly! Thanks for your attention to details.

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  • very good course

    Aslam Lodhi

    The best ;;; I learned a lot thank you so much.

    The best ;;; I learned a lot thank you so much.

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  • Very informative and comprehensive

    L Relerford

    I'm not a GC, but this course made me more confident in my decision to accept the role.

    I'm not a GC, but this course made me more confident in my decision to accept the role.

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  • Well worth the cost!

    Christian Overman

    Details are at the right level. Not too much, not too little. Great balance between written instructions and video instructions. Good reinforcement of import...

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    Details are at the right level. Not too much, not too little. Great balance between written instructions and video instructions. Good reinforcement of important points. Appreciated the email reminders to "keep going." Appreciated the ability to send Michael questions and actually get real answers quickly. Outstanding.

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  • House Foundation

    Christopher Franklin

    I found this section very helpful and it really motivated me. I'm sure I can manage this section as a owner builder. Great section, can't wait to see the nex...

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    I found this section very helpful and it really motivated me. I'm sure I can manage this section as a owner builder. Great section, can't wait to see the next steps.

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  • straight forward

    Roy Robinson

    very detailed considering markets are constantly changing/the cost to perform trades

    very detailed considering markets are constantly changing/the cost to perform trades

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  • amazing course

    Jarmiaz Whitaker

    amazing course so far!

    amazing course so far!

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Course Curriculum

  • 1
    Welcome to the course!
    • Course Introduction
    • About this course
    • Can You Build Your Own Home?
    • Before we begin...
    • Support When You Need It
  • 2
    Chapter 1: Finding a Building Lot & Financing the Project
    • Creating Your Overall Budget First
    • How Much to Spend?
    • What to Look for When Evaluating Potential Lots
    • Soil Report Sample
    • Lot Selection Criteria
    • How Much Should My Lot Cost?
    • Open Book Build Lot Details
    • Rural Lot with Drainage Ditch/Driveway Crossing
    • Lot Purchase Checklist
    • Lot Holding Cost Worksheet
    • Homeowner's Insurance Check
    • Septic System
    • Water Well Installation & Cost
    • Land Pre-Purchase: Don't Do This!
    • Purchasing Your Lot or Land
    • House Plan Lot Fit
    • Expansive Soil & Your New Building Lot
    • Test your learning
    • Owner Builder Loans
    • Introduction: The Owner Builder Loans Interview
    • Common Terms with Owner Builder Loans
    • Typical Qualifications for a Loan
    • Financing the Lot Purchase
    • Inspections for Loan Draws
    • Interest Rates and When Interest is Charged
    • Loan Processing Fees
    • Options for Financing Your Build
    • Construction-to-Permanent Loans
    • What if you exceed the 12 month loan term or exceed your budget?
    • Good Advice for Owner Builders
  • 3
    Chapter 2: Hiring Subcontractors
    • House Plans
    • Determining Rough Cost to Build
    • Rule of Thumb Estimating
    • Help with Determining Preliminary Rough Cost per Square Foot
    • House Plan Recommendation
    • House Plans 101: Reading Your Plans
    • House Plans 102: Cross Sections & Key Notes
    • Architect or Designer...Which to choose?
    • Student Question: Floor Trusses vs. 2x12?
    • Prefab Wall Panels vs. Stick-Built Onsite
    • Finalize Bid Packages for Subcontractors
    • Roofing Scopes of Work and Specifications
    • Scopes of Work and Specifications: Video Walk Through
    • Scopes of Work and Specifications: What are they?
    • General Scope of Work and Specification
    • Example of a General Scope of Work and Specification
    • Common Mistakes by Owner Builders
    • Bid Sheet Video Walk Through
    • Bid Sheets: What are they?
    • Bid Sheet, Asphalt Shingle Roof
    • Subcontractor Information Sheet
    • Sending out Bid Requests
    • How Far Out From the Start Date Should You Request Bids?
    • Making Changes Later On
    • Test your learning
  • 4
    Chapter 3: Finding Trades & Suppliers
    • Create the Bid List
    • Test Your Learning
  • 5
    Chapter 4: Attorney Review of Contract
    • Attorney Review of Contract
    • Contract Review
    • Test Your Learning
  • 6
    Chapter 5: Review Bids
    • Review Bids
    • Bid Comparison Video
    • Help! My Contractor Won't Break Down Their Bid
    • Test Your Learning.
  • 7
    Chapter 6: Negotiate Pricing
    • Negotiation
    • Review: Hiring Subcontractors
    • Lien Waivers
    • A Great Question from a Fellow Student
    • Test Your Learning
  • 8
    Chapter 7: Sign Contracts
    • Sign Contracts
    • Test Your Learning
  • 9
    Chapter 8: Finalize Budget
    • Finalize Budget
    • Budget Line Items
    • Test Your Learning
  • 10
    Chapter 9: Insurance During Construction
    • Insurance Coverage
    • Test Your Learning
  • 11
    Chapter 10: Develop Engineered Site Plan
    • Engineered Plot Plan
    • Tree Clearing Next to Home
    • Engineered Site Plan Video Walk Through
    • Test Your Learning
  • 12
    Chapter 11: Obtain Building Permit
    • Permit Application
    • Working with Your Local Building Department
    • Why so Many Departments?
    • Permit Application Process Example
    • Owner Builder Affidavit
    • Owner Builder Affidavit, Disclosure Statement, or Exemption Form
    • Test Your Learning
  • 13
    Chapter 12: Review Construction Schedule
    • The Schedule
    • Video Introduction for the Construction Schedule
    • Detailed Video for The Schedule
    • Owner Builder Toolkit
    • Checking Schedule Progress with Video Camera
    • What's The Best Time of Year to Start Building?
    • Schedule Delays
    • Safety on the New Home Job Site
    • Test Your Learning
  • 14
    Chapter 13: Let's Start Construction! The Foundation
    • The Foundation Schedule
    • Clear Trees & Install Temporary Electric Service
    • Lot Preparation
    • Strip Topsoil & Install Construction Drive
    • Stake Lot & Order Windows, Exterior Doors and Trusses
    • Excavate for Foundation and Install Sewer & Water Service
    • Tips for Storing House Plans on Your Job Site
    • Soil Bearing Check
    • Check Excavation Elevation & Soil Bearing
    • Form Footings
    • Footing Quality Check
    • Inspect & Pour Footings
    • Foundation Walls
    • Strip Footing Forms & Pour Foundation Walls
    • Strip Foundation Wall Panels
    • Prepare for Basement Waterproofing
    • Foundation Quality Check
    • Waterproof & Insulate Foundation Walls
    • Waterproofing & Drain Tile Best Practices
    • Install Drain Tile
    • Backfill, Install Downspout Undergrounds, Trench Electric Service, & Rough Grade
    • Underground Plumbing & Sump Crock
    • Downspout Locations
    • Backfill & Install Downspout Undergrounds
    • Prep & Pour Interior Slabs
    • Why it's Important to Insulate the Basement Foundation Wall
    • Install Above Grade Foundation Insulation
    • Foundation Insulation Above Grade
    • Foundation Engineering Best Practices
    • Foundation Schedule Complete
    • Foundation Quality Check Two Years After Pour
    • Slab Foundation Types
    • Turnkey Contractors & Suppliers
    • Test Your Learning
  • 15
    Chapter 14: Frame Schedule
    • Lumber Delivery
    • Frame Floor Deck
    • Frame Walls & Basement Stairs
    • Roof Framing
    • Install Windows & Exterior Doors & Pour Front Porch
    • Exterior Door Installation Best Practice
    • Frame Porch Roof & Install Trim and Columns
    • Roof Installation
    • Frame Punch 1
    • Frame Quality Check
    • Plumbing Rough
    • Hot Water Heater Location
    • Install Exterior Stone
    • HVAC Rough & Exterior Paint
    • Electrical Rough
    • Indirect Lighting with Crown Molding
    • Preparing for Finishing the Lower Level
    • Draft/Fire Stop & Frame Punch 2
    • Draft and Fire Stop
    • Frame Inspection
    • Bath Fan Connections
    • Insulation
    • Drywall Hang & Install Overhead Garage Door
    • Finish Drywall and Blow Ceiling Insulation
    • Siding, Soffit and Fascia
    • Install Awnings & Corbels
    • Test Your Learning
  • 16
    Chapter 15: Final Finishes
    • Prime & Paint Walls/Ceilings
    • Install Cabinets, Interior Trim/Doors & Master Shower Tile
    • Paint Interior Trim & Doors
    • Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring
    • Install Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring
    • Install Countertops
    • Final Plumbing & Install Appliances
    • Electrical and HVAC Final
    • Install Master Shower Door, Shelving & Hardware
    • Driveway
    • Final Grade
    • Final Clean & Final Punchlist
    • Call for Final Inspection
    • Test Your Learning
  • 17
    Bonus Content
    • Options to Consider for Your New Home
    • Detailed Cost Savings for Owner Builders
    • Lumber Costs Are Still Expensive by Historical Measures: Ideas on how to deal with it
    • The Energy Check
    • Radon Mitigation System
    • eBook: Building a Home: A Step by Step Guide (free download)
    • Free eBook Bonus: "97 Secrets Your Builder Won't Tell You"
    • eBook: "97 Secrets Your Builder Won't Tell You" (free download)
    • Slab vs. Pier and Beam Foundation Resource
    • The Dry Well for Low Spots in Grade
    • Termites and Your New Home
    • Dumpster Fire
    • Multi-Family Construction: Key Differences in Planning and Execution
    • Reducing Stress as an Owner Builder
    • Building in Florida
    • ADU Planning Resources
    • Because the Attorney Says So
    • Build Your Legacy
    • Do I Have What it Takes to Be an Owner Builder?
    • Glossary of Terms
  • 18
    Next steps
    • NEXT STEPS AND ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
    • Before you go...