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What I Learned as a Builder Building My Own Home

Chris Legare is the owner of Nautilus Construction, LLC. He also, is the builder of his own new home in Kennebunk, Maine. What has he learned in the process of running a construction business while building his own home? The first thing he would say, is he has a lot of empathy and greater understanding for his clients. A tempestuous housing market, low supply and higher cost of building materials, and the decision fatigue of building a house are all things he can relate to on a more personal level.

Building a new home allows homebuyers to often realize their dreams through their new homes. Chris currently has a two-bedroom house, two children (ages 6 and 9). Chris and his wife, Suzy, quickly realized they needed more functional space for the family to live in. They both also value energy efficiency and green building and wanted that to be a part of their building dreams.

Building a house of your dreams involves consideration of cost and budget. This is when what you and your family value and consider most important come into play. The Legares chose a simple house plan. I modern colonial style design that allowed for more space and room for their family. The children currently share a room and with the new design they will each have their own room which is a win for everyone! The simple design elements allowed for the Legare Family to prioritize energy efficiency by adding solar panels and energy efficient windows. They cut back on fancy interior and exterior finish work and also had to find budget friendly supplies. Chris said, “I would emphasize that currently building costs are fluctuating quite a bit. Both subcontractors and vendors are all very busy.” Chris advises to be prepared for some cost over runs and delays.

Chris said, “If you are looking to build right away, it is my recommendation to make your land offer subject to a building permit.” Things can pop up that can delay building, so its safest to close on the land after you have the building permit from the city or town. To get the building permit, you will need: a house plan, a survey with house placed on lot, and other plans and approvals (wetland delineation, septic plan etc.).

Overall, Chris believes the process of building your own home can be long and its never perfect. Building your own home really allows your own family values and dreams to come true. This is true not just with new homes but with remodeling and any house work you add to your existing home. We will continue these blogs about building and remodeling your homes, with tips from Chris. Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook for updates and to learn more.