The first big decision you’re going to have to make is whether to build your house yourself or hire someone else to do it for you.

If you have no experience with construction, I STRONGLY recommend that you forget about trying to do it yourself. No matter how many YouTube videos you watch, you’re never going to be able to match the professionals. Paying to retrofit mistakes down the line can be cripplingly expensive. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Anyway, building a house yourself takes a long time. I mean forever. Modern day pioneers, Mae Ferber and Benjamin Brownlow, have been building their own house for over two years and they still aren’t finished. The tradeoff is a lower price tag, because they aren’t paying wagers to builders. (Though they still have to find ways to meet their living expenses in the meantime.) So far, they’ve spent about $6500, excluding their own labor, tools and sporadic hired help for specialized tasks and heavy lifting.