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What Your Contractor Can't Tell You: The Essential Guide to Building and Renovating
15-10-2010 Views: 1154

from Price: $19.95
Sale:$14.36 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25

By Amy Johnston

Product Description

What Your Contractor Can't Tell You is a comprehensive guide to getting the best results while building or renovating a home. Most homeowners spend about 20% of their time on the plan and 80% of their time on a messy, traumatic, expensive construction phase. Pros spend 80% of their time on the plan and 20% on a smooth construction phase. But the homeowners can't know what goes into a solid plan unless someone tells them. This book is based on a simple premise...if homeowners knew even 10% of what the professionals in the construction field know, they could avoid 90% of the problems. Creating a dream home shouldn't be a nightmare. Hiring a contractor is an enormous investment and a high-risk endeavor involving decisions that will last forever. This book equips homeowners with the information and strategies needed to turn their vision into a home or a renovation that can be built on time and within budget. Chapters give detailed coverage of critical topics: design; selecting and supervising the architect and contractor; cost estimates; budget; plan specifications; contracts; dealing with town officials; and keeping track of everything along the way. For each stage of the project, there is detailed information on common pitfalls and how to avoid them, as well as insiders' tips which reveal what most contractors can't tell you. This book was previously published by Warner Books (2004) and titled What the "Experts" May Not Tell You About Building or Renovating Your Home.


Product Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #6730 in Books
  • Published on: 2008-01-01
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 224 pages

Features

  • ISBN13: 9780979983801
  • Condition: New
  • Notes: BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, Over one million books sold! 98% Positive feedback. Compare our books, prices and service to the competition. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Creating a dream home shouldn't be a nightmare. Hiring a contractor is an enormous investment and a high-risk endeavor involving decisions that will last forever. This book equips homeowners with the information and strategies needed to turn their vision into a home or a renovation that can be built on time and within budget. This book was previously published by Warner Books (2004) and titled What the "Experts" May Not Tell You About Building or Renovating Your Home.

From the Author
Most homeowners spend about 20% of their time on the plan and 80% of their time on a messy, traumatic, expensive construction phase. Pros spend 80% of their time on the plan and 20% on a smooth construction phase. But the homeowners can't know what goes into a solid plan unless someone tells them. This book is based on a simple premise...if homeowners knew even a fraction of what the professionals in the construction field know, they could avoid most of the problems. I hope you find this book illuminating and helpful. Best of luck with your project.

About the Author

Amy Johnston is a Construction Manager and Owner's Representative based in Burlington, Vermont. She grew up renovating homes with her family and went on to build and renovate several of her own. For her clients, she has spent the last twenty years managing the design and construction or renovation of residential homes, affordable housing projects, historic downtown restorations and commercial spaces, totaling over a hundred buildings. As liaison between the parties on so many projects, Amy enjoys a unique perspective on the dynamics of successful design and construction. She is also the owner of Dreamhouse Institute,(dreamhouseinstitute.com), offering training seminars in construction management for both professionals and homeowners. It was her students in these seminars who insisted she write this book. Amy also speaks publicly on the topic and appears regularly on CNN's Open House.


Customer Reviews

Good money-saving advice on your most expensive purchase5
Designing and building a new home is intimidating for three reasons (1) It is something with which you are not familiar; (2) you are not likely to have many friends who have done it; and (3) it is VERY expensive. Worse, you feel responsible for every mistake made, and you know that each mistakes cost you money and time. Buying this book is NOT one of those mistakes. Instead, it is the "ounce of prevention" that will pay for itself many hundreds of times over.

Amy Johnston is a professional construction manager and owner's representative. Her wisdom focuses with framing the entire construction project in terms of a tradeoff between time, quality, and money - you can only have two of the three. We're only part way through our new house, and that rings very, very true. We clearly opted for taking a longer time - will we keep that focus as construction progresses? In any case, she gives the insights into each part of the triangle. Better yet, she is fair - she makes sure that neither you, nor anyone else, is getting cheated. Contractors, architects, bankers, inspectors, and everyone else are clearly defined in their roles - though the most important role is the home owner's, which she describes in great detail.

Every chapter is focused on another phase of the project, and her clear writing opens up the mysteries along the way. She describes who is doing what (or should be doing it), and describes what choices need to made - and what the alternatives are - before saying what her choice is.

Her points are illustrated with good references, pertinent anecdotes, and points that she labels "Insider's tips" and "pitfalls". I was pleased to find that I had miraculously avoided some pitfalls before I bought the book, and I expect to avoid many others as a reuslt of her advice.

I was trying to figure out if this book could be described a "home construction for dummies" book. My initial reactiion was that dummies shouldn't be building a house - there are too many choices and decisions, and way too much complexity. But anyone can feel like a dummy when they make a bad decision, based on not enough knowledge and information. With this book, I have far more confidence that I will be well informed, and the problems that will inevitably occur will be minimzed as much as possible. I refer to the book constantly, and appreciate the wide margins that allows for notes to be made.

Useful detailed practical information for building a home5
I am looking to build my own home on a nice suburban lot in an existing neighborhood (replacing a teardown) and have purchased half a dozen books from Amazon in hopes of learning how to start the process from scratch. This is by far the most informative useful book of the lot.

It contains detailed information on how to go about hiring an architect and contractor, selecting materials, etc. along with choices that will save money or upgrade your home. It explains the differences between materials and provides tips on how to make sure you get what you put in your plans. It is written for someone like myself, an ordinary joe who has zero experience in design, building or construction. But unlike the awful Dummies book, this one contains useful information and tips for avoiding problems.

If you only buy one book on building your own home this should be the one.

Excellent read and reference5
This book is excellent for those new to building or renovating and need to know what to do and say and who to say and do it to. The author does an excellent job setting out the relationships, processes, chronologies, and thinking for dealing with other parties all the way from dreaming about doing a remodel/build to finishing it. This is exactly the book I was looking for -- not a technical manual about building, but a handy reference about my role as owner and how I can or should interact with the architect, lender, general contractor, etc. to get the home or addition I want.



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