Many people build their own homes in the Hill Country. They might spend a year or more renting until they finally discover that perfect piece of land where they want to build their dream home.
Many homes in the hill country are on private wells and septic system. The alternative is usually a subdivision where you might still be on septic, but your water is piped in.
We purchased our home already built, but just being around all of these people that are in the process of building their own homes, I've sort of gotten the bug. We purchased a 1.5 acre lot within the same area that we live now and are scouring the plan books.
There are not a lot of cookie cutter homes in the hill country and that's because houses generally are built one at a time to suit the desires of the owner. Day laborers, although maybe not legal, are often used which holds down the construction prices and generally there isn't much standing in your way in terms of permits and inspections. This can be good and bad. Good if you're building and you know what you're doing and can assess the quality and workmanship of your contractor and workmen, but not so good if you can't.
I bought the Owner-Builder book and read a lot about what it takes to build your own home. They have a very extensive website with a forum that provides all sorts of great informatin as well.
One of the posts had a listing of the subs they used to build their house. I'm including an excerpt of that here. I do NOT endorse any of the subs listed here. I do not have any personal experience of their credentials or abilities. This is posted as a starting point only. Do your own homework.
Looking to Build Green?
Fredericksburg hosts a Green Building festival every year. Here are some of the vendors and organizaitons that showed up in 2008:
Build Solar Panels (Do-it-Yourself)