Complicated House Design


I hired an architect who designed a rather complicated house.

It has 1887 sq. ft. but has over 1200 sq. ft. of glass--much of it 11'-14' tall.

The house has 18 corners.

The floors are designed as steel with lightweight concrete and the roof is steel with lightweight concrete.

The walls of the house are split-faced concrete block with wood studs on the inside to hold the insulation and wiring.

The inside ceiling is fire-proof plaster.

Is this type of building out of the skill range of me, as the owner-builder?

Should I be afraid and run for my life or can I find skilled craftsmen who
can complete this house without me knowing these somewhat specialized skills?



Hi Richard,

You have good reason to worry and are wise to do so.

Your home design is not what I would consider a home building project for a novice General Contractor.

Here is a complicated house that sort of matches your description. I wanted my readers to get an idea of what I think you are talking about. Photo courtesy of

You should plan on hiring your architect to oversee construction whether or not you act as the General Contractor or hire one.

You could hire a “Site Supervisor” or “Construction Manager” to assist you in being your own General Contractor.

A company called UBuildIt has a ready made program you should look into.

It is a home building program whereby you remain the General Contractor while a UBuildIt professional (and licensed) General Contractor provides, schedules, and supervises the subcontractors (skilled professionals).

According to UBuildIt, they also have numerous lenders who will loan construction money to UBuildIt clients…a definite plus in the current lending environment.

You might also want to consider hiring a General Contractor (builder) to build the home under a “Fixed Price Contract”. This is the most expensive way to go. Your architect should be able to recommend a General Contractor (builder) …choose wisely.

Good luck,

Carl Heldmann