- Series: Be Your Own House Contractor
- Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC; 5th edition (April 1, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1580178405
- ISBN-13: 978-1580178402
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 62 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Be Your Own House Contractor: Save 25% without Lifting a Hammer 5th Edition
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“If you are thinking about building a new house, or renovating your current home, first read [this book].”― San Diego Union-Tribune
“If you are bound and determined to plunge ahead…pick up a copy of this little book before you start.”― Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“If you’re intrigued by the idea of being your own contractor for your dream house, here’s where to begin.”― Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
“…Heldmann offers something that you can hold dear for a lifetime: the skinny on homebuilding.” ― Timber Home Building
“Carl Heldmann has written the bible for people who want to act as their own general contractor….Strewn through the book are interesting tidbits a layman probably wouldn’t hear unless he showed up at a job site at break time with a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts.” – Los Angeles Times
From the Back Cover
This excellent book offers the average person a way to say 25% of the high cost of a new house. Recommended. (Library Journal)
For those who are considering building a home (or addition) this book is a must! (American Homeowners Foundation)
If you can balance a checkbook, read, and deal with people in a fair manner, you can build your own house or addition. You don't need any technical knowledge or building skills - in fact, you'll never pick up a hammer.
With veteran contractor Carl Heldmann as a guide, you'll learn that you can get exactly the house you want, done the way you want it, for less.
In this completely revised and updated fourth edition of his classic how-to book (more than 185,000 copies in print), Heldmann gives an overview of all the steps of building and includes a glossary of building and business terms and sample contracts. He tells how to:
Develop house plans
Identify cost-saving options
Buy materials and supplies
Estimate building costs
Top customer reviews
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In fact I can save you the money and tell you the entire book in just a few words
1 Hire good people that know what they are doing and trust them to do a good job, the city will ensure they do it to legal spec.
2 make sure you like your house plans before you start
3 don't pay ahead of schedule Have a budget and stick to it
Of course the problem with this advice' is finding good contractors and trusting them. That is exactly what general Contractors do for a living they spend time developing relationships with contractors. It does not happen overnight, GCs also hire bad contractors they just stop using them after one or two jobs. We don't have that luxury the owner builder needs to get the right ones first time out and that is hard
Carl's big idea is to go to a lumber yard and ask for help, this is great if you happen to get lucky. The lumber yards loyalties are not to some walk in that is only buying lumber for one house it is to the guy who builds houses 365. So sure he might suggest someone, and that guy might talk a great fight and he might be great. But he might also be the next "up" or the guy struggling to pay his lumber yard bills.
These kinds of books are suitable if you just want a very hazy outline. But it fails completely to deal with the real issues of acting as your own GC. Schedules, build orders inspections etc are all huge deals that are hardly addressed at all.
If you want solid building advice there are a number of very strong sites that give strong detailed accounts of owner builder construction.
I strongly suggest skipping this book. And if you want a cheap lightly used copy.....