Engineering & Transportation
Buy Used
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by monarchbooksusa
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Very Good Condition.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

How to Plan, Subcontract and Build Your Dream House: Save Up to $50,000 or More as Your Own General Contractor Paperback – January 1, 1998

Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
$37.95 $5.32


Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at

Product Details

  • Paperback: 279 pages
  • Publisher: Trojan Homes; 2nd edition (January 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0964782405
  • ISBN-13: 978-0964782402
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #838,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This book has been sold by mail order to people all over the world such as Australia, Canada, Turkey, Germany, Puerto Rico and every state of the United States.

From the Author

I am delighted that you have decided to take the first and most important step in building a home, and that is to gain the necessary information and knowledge to assure your success.

I have been in the construction business since 1949 and with a few years out for the Korean war, have operated my own contracting business since 1954. I have been a subcontractor on Manhattan sky scrapers, schools, hospitals, airports and industrial plants.

I have always had a creative urge and in 1973 I designed and built my own home in the beautiful Hudson River Valley in New York. I must have done something right because people heard about the house I had built and came to me asking that I design and build their dream house for them.

Building and designing homes was love at first sight. I never felt so fulfilled and satisfied. The excitement and delight of my clients as they saw their life's dream take shape was a big extra bonus and I never looked back. Over the years I have designed and built hundreds of original homes, developed sub-divisions and condominium projects.

I was often invited to give seminars on new home construction to real estate brokers and sales people who wanted to know more about the product they were selling. The lectures were popular and I was more and more in demand. After every seminar people told me how helpful and informative my little talk was. They always asked, "Why don't you write it all down?" But with running a very active building business there just never was time.

Well a few years ago, after I had finished selling out my condominium project the housing market was pretty poor so I decided to take some time off. Suddenly I realized that I had the time to write that long delayed book. SO NOW I WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU ALL THE KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE I HAVE GAINED BUILDING CUSTOM HOMES, IN A WAY THAT WILL ENABLE YOU TO AVOID THE MISTAKES AND PITFALLS THAT I MADE ALONG THE WAY IN LEARNING THE BUILDING BUSINESS.

This book pulls no punches. It tells you exactly what you are in for if you decide to build your dream house and what will be required of you for success.

This is your first important decision and it must be an informed one. "HOW TO PLAN, SUBCONTRACT AND BUILD YOUR DREAM HOUSE" will give you all the facts you need to know.

There are important things you need to know before buying land or a building lot. In this book I explain to you all the factors and pit-falls that the broker trying to sell you the lot is not going to tell you about, even if they know!

How do you find and hire good sub-contractors? How do you motivate them to do what you want? How can you tell if they are doing the work properly? All of these things are carefully spelled out for you in easy to understand language and with real life examples.

Just learning how to insulate the RIGHT way will save you hundreds of dollars every year in energy costs. The TABLE OF CONTENTS will show you how many topics and details are covered, from selecting the lot to planting the lawn.


When have you ever gotten an offer like this? Act now and start on the road to the excitement and satisfaction of building your dream house! I'll be at your side every step of the way. Very truly yours, Warren V. Jaeger LaGrangeville, NY. Email:

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Very useful information writing in a concise way.
Thank you Mr. Jaeger, for answering my many questions.
It is one of the most rewarding things you can do.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

101 of 103 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful and very comprehensive book covering every aspect of building a house in all climates. It contains information that I have not seen anywhere else. i.e. The chapter on looking at and evaluating a building site is very informative and insightful. Every step of the construction process is explained in detail. There are diagrams showing construction details, grading techniques and even showing how to survey and lay out a foundation yourself. There are special chapters on understanding electricity and it's role in your home, Radon and most importantly in this time of rising energy costs, how to insulate for maximum effect for both heating and cooling in hot and cold climates. I especially enjoyed the anecdotes and real life examples taken from the authors vast experience. Mr. Jaeger has the knack of explaining complicated things in a clear and easy to understand way. I am most impressed with his offer to answer all reader questions by E-mail and I can verify he keeps his word on that. I've never before heard of an author offering free consultation but he does. He answers all questions about the book and/or your own project. I read the prior "review" by "greeba" and I wonder how much of the book she actually read because she missed all the important lessons. She admits she got her knowledge from watching "The Brady Bunch" so how much can you expect? The paper is standard paper used for high speed electronic printing and I only noticed a few minor typos. The line drawings are technical diagrams, not illustrations. If you want pictures I suggest you watch the television programs that show all aspects of actual building in progress. Check out, "Hometime", Bob Villa's "Home Again" and "This Old House".Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
48 of 48 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
If you want to have a house built, this is a great book to start with. The author is a general contractor who has seen it all and wants to educate readers about the building process. His intention is to prevent others from the pitfalls and scams of building, and simultaneously he explains the science behind plumbing, electricity, sewarage, insulation etc. He also discusses the attitudes and scams of subcontractors and local bureaucrats. This is not a how-to book; the purpose is to educate you enough so that you know what questions to ask as your house goes up.
He begins with purchasing the land and ends with the final detailing of the house. He includes interesting anecdotes to make his points. I was impressed his ability to go from the abstract to simple things usually overlooked. Although I was lost in the section on laying the foundation, the book was written simply, and is easy to follow.
My only criticisms are limited. There are occasional typing errors (I'm an English teacher) and a need for a few more illustrations. The author can also be opininated about his person tastes in decor and such, but I found that to be humorous and endearing. Finally, I don't think the book is titled incorrectly. Yes, you should read it if you want to be your own gerneral contractor. But I think this book is more about the risk involved in doing that. After 20 pages, I was convinced I would definately want a general contractor.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By C. Woodall on November 24, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mr. Jaeger comes across as a very experienced man with some strong opinions, however his expertise seems to be in colder, northern climates. This does not mean that some of his opinions are not valuble. He does seem to have a prejudice against basements, as he finds them damp and musty (perhaps if he recommended poured concrete instead of cement block foundations this would not be as much of a problem). He also makes some recommendations that are code violations in Georgia. For example, he instructs you to dig a burial pit for your construction debris. This might be fine in colder regions where termites are not a problem (as long as you don't mind sink holes as the wood rots) however, in the south, buried wood is a picnic for termites that will soon go looking for another source of food after the construction trash is consumed (most likely your new home). He also says to run your natural gas line in copper (a code violation in GA) instead of threaded pipe. He dosen't cover the pros and cons of steel construction, and the book is very short on illustrations. However, the sections on lot selection and dealing with subcontractors are good, as is his "matter of fact", direct style of writing. I am not saying that you should not buy this book. I learned a great deal from it! I would say that with ANY book in this genre, many opinions are just that, OPINIONS. The writers opinion may not match up with your lifestyle or taste. The words of the proverb are very true, in a multitude of counselors, there is wisdom. Buy more than one of this type of book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Richard Sherwood on December 4, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I would actually give it 4 1/2 stars if I was able. The book had many useful tips concerning windows, framing and insulating to produce an energy efficient house. It also had tips for hanging drywall, planning lighting and measuring techniques, as well as tips for dealing with contractors and inspectors; all of which are helpful. The authors distaste for basements leads to an absense of information on poured basements which are the standard in my area. He continually pushed slab houses and only had block wall basements as an example. This was disappointing. Not being a plumber, I also would have liked more information on tapping into city sewer and water and into gas lines. Most of his examples were of a septic system and well. The book was not edited well, as it had many spelling errors. If you are not looking for a novel, this should not bother you much because the information in the book is simple and very benificial. It is well worth the purchase price and should save you a lot of money and headaches if you decide to build your own house.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews