Synopses & Reviews
This book should be required reading for anyone who is thinking about building or renovating a house. The savings involved can make the difference between just dreaming about that dream house and actually building it.
The primary message behind Be Your Own House Contractor is “You can do it!” According to construction expert and author Carl Heldmann, anyone can oversee the building of a house and save up to 25 percent by acting as the main contractor. This popular book has sold over 268,000 copies since it was first published in 1982.
Written for those with little or no experience in the building trades, Be Your Own House Contractor clearly and simply lays out the steps involved in home construction and answers the many questions that arise. Concise chapters deal with:
•Locating and purchasing land
•Estimating costs and staying within a budget
•Hiring subcontractors and finding suppliers
•Building the house
•Restoring an existing structure
An extensive appendix contains examples of the forms, certificates, and permits that are required, as well as sample contracts and plans.
The 5th edition has been fully updated and includes Carl Heldmann’s new Web site, where readers can get loan information, daily updates on interest rates, and cost estimate worksheets for planning and tracking building expenses. Other new features include new chapters on renovating and restoring an older house and a Spanish glossary of common building terms.
Simple language with no technical jargon. (The New York Times)
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
While building a home is not a simple task, expert Carl Heldmann shows that it is not as complicated as one might believe. With his sound advice, readers can act as their own house contractor and save a quarter - or more - of the cost of building a home. And without picking up a hammer!
Heldmann explains each step of the home building process in non-technical, easily understood language, helping readers avoid the pitfalls that plague general contractors, even experienced ones. Readers will learn how to develop house plans, establish schedules, select good subcontractors, identify cost saving options, negotiate contracts, estimate building costs, purchase materials and supplies, and much more.
About the Author
Carl Heldmann is a construction loan consultant and an expert on residential construction costs. A licensed homebuilder and real estate broker, he is co-founder of the Michigan School of Home Building and founder of the North Carolina School of Home Building. He lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Be Your Own General Contractor and Save (3)
Chapter 2 Where to Start (14)
Chapter 3 Financing (30)
Chapter 4 Cost Estimating (41)
Chapter 5 Further Preparations (52)
Chapter 6 Subcontractors (57)
Chapter 7 Suppliers (65)
Chapter 8 Building the House (69)
Chapter 9 Additions to an Existing Home (88)