You know this discussion reminds me of my first house. I was 20, getting married and we bought a fire job. I hired a contractor to fix the fire damage and make the house weather tight. Then I did all the electrical, plumbing, painting sheetrocking, etc. We got married before it was finished, and lived in a 14 ft travel trailer in my parents backyard. I worked 6 days a week. Then at night and every weekend on the house. About 11 months into it my dad said "You know I did the same thing with our house, but it only took me 6 months to build it from scratch! You spend more than half your time tearing out and trying to fix it without tearing it down." I often have to ask, what if I built my own boat and never had to go backwards all the time?
That house gave me a lot of good lessons too. While I was working on it my wife was cheating on me, we separated before I finished it. We had put down $6,000 and got a $13,200 6% mortgage. I made exactly 24 mortgage payments of $110 and change, or about $2600 total. At closing when we sold the house I paid off the mortgage balance, $13,180! Yep, got to love that compound interest crap, I'd only paid off $20 of the original balance in all that time!
This house we paid double our mortgage every month, and after three mortgages, major upgrades, and my daughter's college tuition we paid it off in about 20 years.
Gary H. Lucas