So how much is all this going to cost? How much do you want to spend? You can buy a set of plans for under $100 and build an airworthy plane totally from scratch. Or you can spend $50,000 or more on quick-build kits that will have you flying in no time.

Actually, it's the investment in time that will keep you on the ground. If you're building from plans, you might need to invest 2,000 hours in construction — that's two years of very intense weekends! On the other hand, a simple quick-build kit can cut that to about 250 hours and get you flying in just a few months. The less you do the more you pay.

Because of the time and money required to construct a custom-built aircraft, here are two good rules to follow:

  • Make sure you know exactly what plane you want before you buy and build it.
  • Make sure that others in your life (spouse, partners, kids) support your decision to give up some of your time and money to fulfill your dream.

You're going to spend lots of time — and money — in the garage or hangar. Be sure you make an informed decision and know all costs before you proceed.