Back in the summer of 1980, my father had just retired and I did not have a summer job, so he decided, what the hell, let’s build a house. We already had the land, and pretty much started from scratch. Let me tell you, this is not a trivial undertaking, even if you have the skills and access to the proper equipment. My father was an electrician, and had worked as a plumber, carpenter, and mason, knew how to drive a bulldozer and backhoe, knew how to mix and finish concrete, and I had done roofing and aluminum and vinyl siding. These are among the skills you need to do this job. You also need to be able to get (rent, borrow) things like backhoes. This said, it’s still a do-able thing, provided you plan adequately and do the appropriate research. In addition to numerous books about home building, you need to check local building codes for all the regulations (there are an unbelievable number of regulations inthe building industry). The advantage of hiring some sort of general contractor is that they already know all this stuff, and you presumably need to learn it all. Ideally, you either build a “practice” house first, in which you make all the beginner mistakes and then sell, or you find a general contractor that will consult for a smallish fee so that you don’t miss anything. Then do all the stuff that you can reliably do yourself, and find subs to do the things you can’t do. There’s a problem with subing as well, in that you have one house to do - a short job. Finding someone to do a short job on your house (say, plumbing, or finishing the drywall) can be hard when a developer will hire them to do 20 houses. So you may end up paying some of these guys cash to come in on the weekend and help you out. Developing these types of relationships takes time and a certain type of personality. My father already knew these people, and had no problem getting skilled people to come out for a small job. I know other people that have trouble getting reliable skilled help. Don’t take this as discouraging, because in general building your own house is a great experience, you learn a lot and can save considerable money, but it’s a huge amount of work, especially if you’re trying to save and can’t just throw money at the inevitable problems that arise. Good luck.