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Designing Your Dream Home: Every Question to Ask, Every Detail to Consider, and Everything to Know Before You Build or Remodel Paperback – April 15, 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Susan Lang is a personal home building consultant who works with projects as small as $3000 and as large as several million. This is her first book. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 386 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401603521
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401603526
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.9 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By L. R. Rozman on April 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent collection of very helpful design advice and checklists to design or remodel every room of your home. It focuses on "what you need to know" and "what you need to consider" for every phase of design or remodeling. It is to-the-point, with few wasted words. The checklists help you quick identify where you need to learn or do more without plowing through a dozen books on any one particular subject. Many checklists by room, type of space and situation. Interview guides for builders, architects, designers. Helpful tips and gottchas to avoid. You will find it can help you plan, organize and clarify your thinking, plus organize the mountains of information you find when you plan to build or perform a large remodel.
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At first I thought the book was a little heavy on the blank forms and checklists, but she covers the basics, and there are a number of useful illustrations that teach you what you need to know about what a house is made up of. Plus a glossary, architect's symbols that help you decipher your house's blueprints, measurement basics (very helpful), mistakes to avoid, and more. The forms and checklists require work, but they can prevent you from making some serious mistakes. (I'd advise looking at more than one house book, btw. I had a number of them--most of which I have since culled, but I still have a few to refer to.) I would also advise you to keep this book for your records. I bought house record books--The Home Owner's Journal: What I Did & When I Did It and The Home Owner's Diary: What Was Done and When We Did It. (For two different homes we built; these books became very cluttered with additional work and notes.) You will find these records essential in the future.
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This book is filled with incredibly thorough checklists and worksheets for every aspect of your future home, from where you are going to store ski gear to the place in your bathroom for bobby pins. Many of the worksheets are helpful for making sure you have thought of everything and I do feel like it will prevent us from overlooking small details. However, when I say there are a lot of sheets...I mean a LOT. The author advises a 3 ring binder system to keep all of these worksheets organized in sheet covers, which means each list/worksheet needs to be scanned/copied/printed. You will need to make multiple copies of some of the pages as well. Building a home is stressful enough and trying to print all of these pages is just exhausting. The book really should come with cd including all of the worksheets so you don't have to go through all of that, but unfortunately it doesn't.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book shows you a very thorough approach to designing a house with no stone left unturned. I would give it five stars if there was a way to print out the pages and pages of forms and checklists, but I can't seem to figure out any remotely simple way to do that from Kindle. Alright, most of that is stupid Kindle's fault, but, if you are going to release an ebook, you should keep those limitations in mind. The author could have the forms available for download on a website, or sell them in a packet, or put them in a printable .pdf file, but none of those options seem to be available either. Very annoying. I would buy the hardback version if I had it to do over again.
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By Suzy on April 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
Designing Your Dream Home is a must have for anyone thinking about or in the process of designing or remodeling a home. As I remodeled my kitchen this book kept me from making some very costly mistakes. The biggest mistake I avoided was having custom cabinets made that were not deep enough to hold my oversized dinner plates. Fortunately, I read the kitchen section of this book just in time to call the cabinet makers and have my cabinet dimensions changed to accomodate my plates. By reading this book you will avoid many inconveniences or daily annoyances that could have been avoided. You will not be disappointed!
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It's right on the cover--the author thought of Everything. I think this book will really prove it's worth when it comes to actually hiring people and working with them to build my home. It's pretty much a giant workbook on how to stay organized while taking on such a humongous project. There are pages and pages of blank fact sheets and checklists for you to use.

Very detailed things to consider. From the Floorplan Review Checklist: "Will persons sitting at the breakfast table or counter be clear of morning sunlight shining directly in their face?" (yes or no?)

I'd like to see someone review this book who has actually used it to build their home.
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Format: Paperback
Susan Lang has written a masterpiece for anyone involved in building a new home. There exists in this book all the hidden jewels to create the perfect home with ease. Builders, architects, interior designers, contractors, subcontractors and the lay people who are building their home should have this book at their side at all times. It is complete, detailed yet easy to read with many charts, flow sheets, captured inserts of important points and much much more. Having completed a new home recently I would have loved to have a copy of this book to avoid some of the pitfalls inherent in the building process. I highly recommend that you buy this one and tell your friends about it.

Mark Houston MD
Nashville, Tennessee
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