- File Size: 2560 KB
- Print Length: 256 pages
- Publisher: Chubby Builder Publishing (January 18, 2015)
- Publication Date: January 18, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00SF72DH8
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,435 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
How To Build Your Dream Home Without Getting Nailed!: Save Your Time, Money, Sanity and Relationships Kindle Edition
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- The book was cheap (only $3 on kindle)
- It's intentionally concise. The author notes that he didn't want to pad the book with useless filler. I respect that. The paperback version is 256 pages, but the last 1/3 of the book is a glossary, so really it's more like ~170 pages.
- The author has a very frank tone.
- He is himself a builder and he knows the business. He covers lots of interesting topics: foundation, framing, siding, roofs, window positioning, the different kinds of contracts that exist for building a custom home, what kind of build issues are considered acceptable and what should definitely be fixed, what to expects from architects / lenders / etc.,
- He is self-aware. He notes that the best kind of builder for a custom home is someone who listens well and has a lot of patience, and he is not that kind of person. He prefers to be a "spec home" builder, where he does as he pleases to build the home and then sells it.
What I didn't like:
- There are several "I told you so" anecdotes in the book, stories about homes he built where things didn't go smoothly. He gets pretty defensive. It's possible he's entirely right, but I don't love the way he blames former clients "in public" without giving them a chance to argue back. Sample quote: "To this day these folks still don't like me. I have to say there is no love lost. What a couple of dip wads."
- He goes into detail about issues that may be relevant in the regions where he works (TN) but probably less so where I live (e.g. exposed rock, storms, etc).
- Even though the book is concise, there's still some redundancy. One chapter has a very long checklist showing all the steps of building a home. But there are a few different way to build a home, so the checklist is copy-pasted a few times in the book.
- There's relatively little about how to design the home. The are a few suggestions here and there, but for the most part this book assumes that you've figured out the design of the home and you're mostly concerned with how to get it built.
You can read this book in a day, easily. The layout of information is well-organized and presented in adequate doses to give the reader a good understanding of the topic being covered. I found that several questions I had about the building process or standard procedures were addressed in the book. There were other pieces of information shared that I did not know and am thankful were covered. The glossary of terms in the rear of the book would be helpful through the building process.
Some new-ish building processes are identified in certain sections and are noted as such. The checklists alone are worth the read--they give almost a step-by-step guide through the building process for a few different building methods.
The novice will gain the most benefit from this book but it can also be helpful to those with some experience. It's thoroughly enriching and often funny (when he shares personal stories). I actually laughed out loud a few times.
A couple of things that could enhance the work might be to provide some type of rule or way to gauge what is customary for what subs charge for specific work or services. It will vary for sure but would be helpful to have an idea. Several of the examples used in the book referenced builds with basements; it would be nice to have the 'slab' version. For some with experience, it might seem unnecessary, but for a novice, you can't take any knowledge for granted. Overall, I would totally buy this book again. If the author decides to write a book on the homeowner acting as the builder, project manager, or GC, I'd purchase that as well.
After reading this book I felt I was much more informed as I begin planning to have a custom home built. The knowledge gained from this book will allow me to communicate better with my home builder to express what I have as my vision for a custom home.
Thanks Chubby Builder!
Top international reviews
After making it through 60% of the book I found out the the entire remaining 40% is an alphabetical list of construction terminology definitions - no narrative. While it's great that this is here, it also makes it impossible to read. Imagine trying to read through a dictionary. Since the terms are all alphabetical there is no flow, similarities, or groupings. It's simply term after random term for almost half the book.
I took a picture of a bookmark at the point where the "dictionary" starts. It's almost half the book!