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How To Hire A Home Improvement Contractor Without Getting Chiseled: An experienced home contractor explains how to: find a contractor or architect, ... avoid the scams, get the most for your money Paperback – December 15, 1996

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Rev Sub edition (December 15, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312146205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312146207
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,095,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Philbin, coauthor of The Complete Illustrated Guide to Everything Sold in Hardware Stores ( LJ 3/1/89), seeks to help consumers from being ripped off by home improvement contractors. In the first section he deals with contractors; he explains, among other things, how to plan a project, get multiple bids, find the right contractor, and supervise that contractor. In the second part he discusses kinds of contracting jobs, such as electrical and plumbing, and the areas of the home, such as kitchens, where most work is performed. He includes a sample contract and glossary in the appendixes. There is a lot of interesting material, but Philbin tries to cover too much ground; it is difficult to become educated about ceramic tile or showers in three to six pages. While consumers will find more information from do-it-yourself magazine articles or by talking to the people in the lumberyards and hardware stores, this book may still serve as a handy resource in public libraries.
- Patty Miller, New Hampshire Technical Coll. Lib., Laconia
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"A handy resource" --Library Journal

"A virtual directory of common improvement and maintenance jobs...very thoroughgoing."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is actually based on an even older book, and very little was updated. Some of the pricing is half to one third of today's price. Many of the new features and techniques in kitchens, baths, and so on are not mentioned at all.
This book predates cell phones and the internet, so there's no advice regarding internet searches, using text or email to keep in contact with your contractor, that sort of thing. Like many books about hiring a contractor, half the book is chock full of bad projects, people who hired inappropriate contractors, with the way to avoid doing that taking a sentence or two near the end of the story. I wonder if that is enough detail so most readers can avoid that happening to them.
For the most part it's another contractor-oriented book for projects over $50,000, which is the kind of work they want; it won't help much with the 90% of projects a homeowner must undertake that are under $5,000. It assumes the answer is always 'buy new' --a new deck, a new roof--and is totally silent upon maintaining what you have to stave off replacement for six years -- but why would a contractor want you to think like that?
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