Ken Kerns: 7 Axioms of the Owner-Built Home
1. Build According to your own Best Judgment: So if we are to be at liberty to build our own home at less cost, we must necessarily be free from all building code jurisdiction. This means we must locate outside of urban control—in the country or small township districts.
2. In Building your Home, Pay as you Go: If one expects any success at all in keeping the costs of his new home down to a reasonable price, he must keep entirely free from interest rates.
3. Assume Responsibility for your Building Construction: The contractor is an expensive and non-essential luxury for the low-income home builder.
4. Use Native Materials Whenever Possible: Emphasis should be placed on readily available natural resources—materials that come directly from the site or from a convenient hauling distance. Rock and earth and concrete and timber and all such materials have excellent structural and heat regulating qualities when properly used.
5. Supply your own Labor: One would do well from an economic, as well as from a self-satisfying standpoint, to supply his own labor for his own home insofar as he can.
6. Design and Plan your own Home: Experience in this branch of home building has led me to the conclusion that anyone can and everyone should design his own home.
7. Use Minimum but Quality Grade Hand Tools: If the house design is kept simple, and the work program well organized, an expensive outlay in specialized construction equipment can be saved.
More at the source: Mother Earth News