I took the EAA class and it gives you a starting baseline. Before that you have no idea what people are talking about. I built the toolbox kit and a couple of the airfoil kits. I was still not an expert builder. I'm much further along now and still I wouldn't claim to be an expert, but I'm much better than I was. Take some time to practice and see what it's like. I love the building part of it, but other people are not that type. Make sure you are before you really jump into it. In the grand scheme of thing the Empennage kit is not that expensive but it's still a good chunk of money. If you get through the Empennage kit or not you will know whether you want to continue.
Some people are able to use a cordless drill and fewer tools. I didn't buy a full set of tools at first. I bought the absolute minimum and I kept adding. This is probably not the cheapest or most productive method since you are always in need of a tool that you haven't purchased yet. It did allow me to spread the cost out some until I figured out whether I really did want to do the build.
2018 Donation Paid
RV-7 Fuselage in progress
* Rolled the Fuselage
RV-7 SB Wings
* Both Wings fully skinned
* Fuel Tanks Complete - No leaks finally
* Ailerons Complete
* Flaps Complete
RV-7 Empennage - Complete (a little fiberglass work left)
Vans Training Kit # 2 - Complete
Shop Setup - In Progress (Gathering Tools, Never Complete)
RV-7 Preview Plans
Vans Training Kit #1 - Complete
EAA Sheet Metal Class - Complete