Top positive review
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Full of fascinating money-saving ideas
on November 6, 1999
To assert that a house can be built "for a song" may be slightly hyperbolic, but David Cook's book is so laden with intriguing money-saving ideas that any owner-builder who uses just a handful of Cook's ideas is bound to save thousands of dollars on the construction of a house. To do so, however, takes time, planning, plenty of energy, and a place to stockpile the lumber, ducts, plywood, salvaged windows, drainpipe, even the land, that Cook says can be picked up virtually for "a song" and/or barter at auctions, salvage yards, fire sales, construction sites, and so forth. In the house that he built himself, Cook installed kitchen cabinets that he had bought for a fraction of their worth years before he had a kitchen. (A German manufacturer displaying the cabinets at a trade show sold them cheap to avoid the cost of shipping them home.) To find an architect to do the required drawings of his house, Cook dropped in at the school of architecture of a nearby university in order to find grad student to do the work. Cook's methods are fascinating. While reading the book I kept wishing that I had thought of that in years past while building the equivalent of two and a half houses of my own. To think of all the money I could have saved if I only had had David Cook's luck, insight, fortitude, ability to take advantage of a bargain, and, of course, his book.