Harmonie Construction

Self-build home versus with a general contractor ?

Un couple en plein projet autoconstruction qui se demande pourquoi ils n'ont embaucher un entrepreneur en construction

For most of us, building your own home is a dream come true. Every day, we talk to people who, like you, are planning to build a home of their own.

But before you break ground and get started, let us share with you a few concepts to better prepare you for a self-build project or perhaps, consider to work with a general contractor that will allow you to get involved in the work on your new home project without having to endure unnecessary stress.


The call of self-build

We’ve all heard the stories: someone who’s saved thousands of dollars by managing their own construction site, or a friend who’s put their shoulder to the wheel on a self-build project. It makes sense on paper, right? According to APCHQ, around 71% of new home buyers consider self-build at the start of their project planning. Their motivations are clear: reduce costs and personalize their future property as much as possible.

However, a poorly organized and executed self-build project is likely to end up costing much more than one built by a general contractor. Vigilance at every stage and on every aspect of the project is terribly important to prevent disappointment.


What is a self-build new home?

A self-build project, according to the Desjardins DIY homebuilder’s guide when you take the initiative to build your own home, primarily for your own use or that of your family. This includes various types of residences, such as single-storey and multi-storey homes, semi-detached houses cottages, or even
an multigenerational homes

Self-build in Quebec also allows the use of modular homes and kit homes, but excludes multiplex construction, unless you have a specific license. In your self-build project, you are both the planner and the coordinator, organizing and supervising the work, whether it’s done by yourself, by friends, or by licensed professionals.

Please note that certain tasks must be carried out by licensees to comply with current standards. However, entrusting the entire project to a general contractor or external project manager is no longer self-build. As a self-builder, you need to be familiar with regulations, the requirements of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) and the
Quebec Construction Code (NBC)
without benefiting from the usual warranties offered for new construction by accredited professionals.

All these regulations are designed to ensure the quality and conformity of construction in Quebec, while clearly delimiting what constitutes a self-build project versus professional construction.


The escavation stage in a self-build project


Why question your self-build project?

Building your own new home is a major challenge. This requires a considerable investment of time, energy and knowledge.

Before taking the plunge, ask yourself these 4 questions:

  1. Are you ready to devote a year of your life to it, almost full-time?
  2. Do you have the necessary skills and patience?
  3. Do you have what it takes to manage the problems that will arise throughout the construction process?
  4. Will your relationships with those around you, and more specifically with your significant other, hold up?


A few tips for discerning self-builders

If, at this stage, self-construction still appeals to you, here are some realities you need to consider:

Project coordination challenges : Coordinating the various trades is a complex task requiring a fairly good knowledge of the new home construction process. Each step must be precisely planned to avoid unexpected delays and additional costs.

Rigorous financial management : From the detailed quotes required by financial institutions to managing payments to suppliers, a self-build project demands constant financial vigilance. Not to mention the need for a cash reserve to cover unforeseen events.

The reality of costs : Beginner’s mistakes aren’t just minor glitches; they can have a major financial impact. Without the expertise of a new home builder, these mistakes are almost inevitable.

Current regulations : Construction is a regulated field. Hiring friends or family may seem like a good idea to save money, but it can quickly become complex in the face of strict industry regulations.


Like a self-construction, a man and a woman get involved with the support of a building contractor


Stress-free involvement in the construction of your new home

The idea of personally contributing to the construction of your future home is not only understandable, it also reflects a desire for personalization and involvement in the creation of a space that will, in a way, tell your story. Taking an active part in your project allows you to infuse a part of yourself into every corner of your new home without the burden of self-build and living with a major source of stress and anxiety, especially if you lack experience in the field.

Fortunately, there’s an alternative that lets you get involved in your new-build project while avoiding the mental burden and complications of complete management. By choosing to work with a reliable and understanding home builder like Harmonie Construction, you can find a happy medium.

From the earliest planning stages, it’s essential to discuss your desire to participate openly with your general contractor. Clear communication about your expectations and skills will enable the home contractor to integrate you into the process in a meaningful and safe way.

For example, specific tasks can be identified so that you can contribute at weekends or at key moments in the project. Whether it’s painting, installing certain finishing elements, or even landscaping, these activities will allow you to get your hands dirty without compromising the overall construction process.

The advantage of this approach lies in its flexibility. It offers you the opportunity to be physically and emotionally involved in the construction of your home, while benefiting from the expertise and supervision of a seasoned building contractor. You’ll reduce the risk of costly errors, and ensure that critical aspects of construction are managed with the necessary care and expertise.

What’s more, working closely with a passionate and experienced team gives you access to invaluable advice and professional tips that can turn your personal contribution into real assets for your new home project.


Choosing your general contractor

Choosing the right home builder is an important step that can determine the success of your new home project. A competent, reliable general contractor will not only provide you with technical expertise, but also peace of mind throughout the process.

Find a trusted partner who understands your aspirations and can turn your ideas into reality, on time and on budget. Make sure the builder shares your vision and is willing to work closely with you to realize your dream home.


The reality of the new home contractor

But what about the general contractor, that orchestral conductor often perceived as an additional cost?

Maxime, the founder of Harmonie Construction, likes to say he’s a problem-solver. His mission? Turning day-to-day challenges into solutions, negotiating the best rates for you, and ensuring the quality of every step, not to mention the five-year warranty on your new house (GCR)

In short, it’s a partner who will ensure the serenity of your project and keep your sanity intact!


The added value of a home builder

The home builder doesn’t just supervise the work; he’s your ally. A good home builder gives you peace of mind, the expertise essential to your project’s success, and access to a network of reliable professionals. At Harmonie Construction we see our role as that of a trusted partner who guides you through every step, ensuring that your project not only meets, but exceeds your expectations.

Don’t hesitate to consult our article to help you in your selection process:

Choosing your general contractor is a crucial moment that determines not only the build quality of your future home, but also the smoothness and overall satisfaction of the construction process.


It’s a process that requires thought and discernment, with particular attention to : Complete guide to choosing your new home general contractor


Trusted partner : Choosing a home builder means opting for a team that puts your aspirations at the heart of every decision. Look for a home builder whose philosophy is based on open and transparent communication, ensuring that every phase of the construction process accurately reflects your wishes.

Expertise and advice: Think about how you can confirm the expertise, and ask questions to find out whether the home contractor is willing to give you advice even before you have signed with him. A good new home builder should guide you through the key decisions, ensuring that your investment is optimized without compromising quality. Its mission: to help you get through the complexities of construction at your side, making the journey as pleasant and straightforward as possible.

Security and warranties : The security of your new home and your total satisfaction should be part of the values of the construction company you choose. Rigorous compliance with current standards and regulations guarantees that the project undertaken will be a success.

The Importance of Good Fit: The success of your new construction project depends on synergy and understanding between you and the homebuilder team. Pay particular attention to this dynamic right from your first appointment. Be aware that a “good fit” or compatibility between you and the home contractor team is the foundation of a positive experience.

And it’s not for nothing that we’ve chosen this slogan, “When Everything Comes Together”. It reflects our commitment to establishing perfect harmony between your dreams, our skills, and the final product.


When Everything Comes Together with Harmony Construction

All team members at Harmonie Construction are passionate about their work. We understand the appeal of self-build, but we also know the challenges and risks involved.

By choosing to work with an experienced and dedicated new home builder, you not only ensure the quality and longevity of your investment, you also give yourself the peace of mind of knowing that every detail is taken care of by professionals.

At Harmonie Construction, our mission is to turn your dreams into reality, by creating a space that reflects your desires, your lifestyle, and that adapts perfectly to your needs. We’re here to accompany, advise and support you at every stage of this exciting adventure.

If you’re planning to build a new home, let’s talk. Let our team of enthusiasts guide you from the outset towards the realization of your project, in complete confidence and harmony.