Builders know the codes.
The Minnesota Energy Code is one of the strictest in the country. In order to build a home here, you must deliver site plans to the city, complete with heat calculations. That means measuring all of the windows you plan to include, listing their energy efficiency values of "R" values, and detailing the type of heating and ventilation system you will use. This is just one code and one set of paperwork.
Along the way, your home project will be inspected several times. One slip, like cutting into supportive joists for plumbing, and the inspector could shut you down. Concern over code violations also will make it difficult for you to hire a professional to complete a half finished home or project.
Builders file the paperwork.
If you plan to play builder, lenders will expect you to file a sworn construction statement detailing the materials used, where they will be purchased, which subcontractors will be on the job, and dates for phase completion. A professional builder will handle that paperwork for you, along with building permits, site plans and inspection schedules.
Builders follow a strict timetable.
Builders don't get paid in full until the job is done. They are responsible to their subcontractors, the lender and you. Project delays cost them money, throw off subcontractors schedules and threaten the client's closing. So they are motivated to finish on time. If you experience delays as a do-it-yourselfer, you have little recourse. After 120 days, you can lose your lock on interest rates. If interest rates have gone up in the meantime, you may no longer qualify for the same loan amount.
Subcontractors show up on schedule.
One reality of the building industry is that subcontractors are most loyal to the clients who give them the most work. It's good business sense. So while their intentions may be honorable to work with the do-it-yourselfers of the world, plumbers, electricians and other specialists will still prioritize the seven jobs a professional builder is offering over the one home you're building. In a housing boom, that means your project waits . . . and waits.
Changes won't endanger your loan eligibility.
If you coordinate your home project well from the beginning of the design to the selection of materials and fixtures, you should have few changes or additions once construction has begun. This is important because the amount of the loan is calculated by the allotments for labor and materials. A builder is experienced in setting the allotments, and knows what can throw off a budget. The builder also can take advantage of discounts on materials and control the costs of subcontractors. When doing it yourself, however, a change of window brands alone could potentially endanger your loan qualification.
Someone else is responsible besides your spouse.
Building a home can be a dream come true. But the decisions, potential delays and unexpected complications can create stress in your relationship. By delegating the project to a professional, you are kept abreast of your home's progress, yet can maintain a comfortable distance and family harmony.