Series: How to Plan, Contract & Build Your Own Home
Paperback: 912 pages
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 5 edition (August 17, 2010)
Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #546,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #14 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Home Improvement & Design > How-to & Home Improvements > Roofing #54 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Home Improvement & Design > How-to & Home Improvements > Estimating #78 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Home Improvement & Design > How-to & Home Improvements > Contracting
This is an excellent book with a lot of great advice. The part of the title that says "build your own home" is misleading -- it does not mean it shows YOU how to build your home, it means it in the general sense of whether people will buy a pre-owned or build-your-own-home. I was fine with that because that is exactly what I was looking for.I spend a half hour poring over a wide selection of similar books. This one looked best. I spent another ten minutes on it before selecting it as the best. I was looking for specific tidbits that I know that I would give other home builders. After reading the book, I was even more impressed. There is a tremendous amount of good advice in an easy-to-read format. Highly recommended.
This book is lives up to the first two parts of the title - Plan & Contract. It falls short on the building process but if you know you are going to use a Builder or General Contractor, it is a great source of information.I haven't got the time to manage the building process but I know I can intelligently talk with my contractor. This book gives the reader a firm footing in dealing with the house design and contractor processes.
This book is very helpful for you to work with and speak the language of your contractor. It is not designed for you to be your own contractor, but to work with one that you select. In Part II "How to Build It", the book shows how a house is put together. If you never lift a hammer throughout the entire construction process, it still pays to know how a house can and should be put together. The difference between mediocre and excellent construction involves a ridiculously small materials cost. Knowing construction methods and materials will also assist you in your dealings with whichever contractor you choose.
I've read dozens of books on home design and this is the most useless of all of them. It's full of such brilliant insights as, "Have the toilet paper holder installed within easy reach of the toilet." (I kid you not) Some construction methods are suggested which are generally frowned upon by builders and there are suggestions of using materials that are illegal to manufacture. The description says it was thoroughly revised and it has a publication date of July 27, 2010 but another suggestion is, "Consider running two phone lines into the kitchen in case the household cook plans on being on the Internet while preparing meals." Do the authors think that most of us still use dial-up? Don't waste your money.
This book gives excellent strategic advice. It is not a tactical manual on how to build a house with your own hands, but rather informs a buyer on how to get the job done and which decisions are critical (e.g. site selection, architecture design selection, and builder selection). If you want to learn how to install drywall, then this is not the book for you. If you want to get a general idea of how it is done, but want to learn more about specifications from an owner's perspective, then this is the book for you. Some of the best advice in the book is really in the chapters on builders (how to select them, and how to work with them). This 'soft sceince' is the critical knowledge that I needed to build my own home that I would not have obtained otherwise. The sample specifications list using a HUD form proved to be invaluable to me. I didn't need an architect after that.
I bought the book with the intention of using it as a guide as I built my new home. I found it more of a research guide to use in the process of preparing to build or purchase a new home. The "how to" portion is absolutely not there. It is a good book and well worth the money, but not what I was looking for. I was looking for something to "knock the cobwebs off my brain", since it has been over 20 years since I was involved in home construction in my late teens. I just bought another book on line, "How to design, build, remodel and maintain your home", hopefully this will meet my needs.
FIrst, it should be noted that the editorial review and back cover both note, "Know when you'll move in with a helpful calendar-style checklist" and "Select the right mortgage". Neither of those are covered, at least not in this 4th edition. I see the number of pages were reduced from 824 pages in the 3rd ed. to 791 in this edition. Part of the mystery may be that the index does have an entry that says, "moving in timeline, 783-803". Well, not only does it NOT have 803 pages, the index is on pages 775 - 791! Finally, the back cover also says "Evaluate doing it yourself vs. subcontracting". This my be presented in a round-about way, but it really goes right into using a builder - never presenting the "do-it-yourself" versus contractor analysis.With that said, the book DOES provide a lot of great information. Every part of the building process seems to be covered. The pros/cons of the various construction methods (such as foundation types, wall construction, etc.) is very useful.The bottom line is this is a very good book that I would recommend for anyone building a home, but just keep in mind things noted in the editorial info, back cover, etc. are missing. I can't believe the editorial staff at McGraw-Hill were so negligent in this matter, and it makes me wonder what other inconsistencies can be found throughout the book.
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