Owner-Builder Risks

Unless you are knowledgeable about construction, mistakes can be costly and take additional time to repair or correct.

Subcontractors and suppliers who are not paid on schedule may file mechanics liens against your property. Educate yourself about mechanics liens and how to prevent them.

If your workers are injured, or your subcontractors are not licensed or do not carry liability insurance or workers' compensation insurance and they are injured, you could be asked to pay for injuries and rehabilitation through your homeowner’s insurance policy or face lawsuits.

You should be cautious of unlicensed individuals claiming to be contractors who prey upon homeowners. They may promise to guide you through the owner-builder process for a consulting fee, but they are breaking the law.

Reminder symbolREMEMBER:

As an owner-builder, you assume full responsibility for all phases of your project and its integrity.

Licensed contractors must demonstrate knowledge of their craft, be tested, fingerprinted, bonded, and undergo an FBI background check before they are licensed to work in California.

Illegal contractors can botch a job or leave with the down payment, leaving the owner-builder to deal with the consequences.