Home Improvement


The Owner-Builder Book: How You Can Save More than $100,000 in the Construction of Your Custom Home by Mark A. Smith, Elaine M. Smith (Contributor), Elaine M. Smith The Owner-Builder Book: How You Can Save More than $100,000 in the Construction of Your Custom Home
by Mark A. Smith, Elaine M. Smith (Contributor), Elaine M. Smith

Paperback: 288 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.65 x 10.92 x 8.34
Publisher: Consensus Group Inc; 3rd edition (September 24, 2002)
ISBN: 0966142888

Check price @ amazon.com , amazon.ca , amazon.co.uk

Women's Day Home Remodeling: "... the Smiths' advice covers everything about building a home ... the book is an awesome resource guide"

The Pocket Change Investor: "It's incredibly detailed, with valuable lists, charts, ideas and questionnaires, yet is easy reading ... this is must reading."

The Orange County Register: "If you've always dreamed of your own custom home, you may want to try The Owner-Builder Book."

Creative Downscaling: “Why would anyone want the [contracting] hassle? Money and quality, ...and $100,000 tax free is not bad...”

REM: Canada's magazine for Real Estate Professionals: "Even if you decide to hire a contractor, [book] will help you manage your builder while still realizing significant savings."

Pocono Record: “Can't afford it? Can't swing a hammer? [Read] this book, start [your dreamhouse] and save a bundle of money, too.”

Rocky Mountain News: “...guides you through...building...and saving considerable dollars that will build [your] wealth without the [typical] risk...”

Kansas City Daily News-Press: "What are the secrets to...save money on the construction of your home? This book tells all."

Book Description: The best available guide to saving money on a home construction project, The Owner-Builder Book shows you how to contract your new home, remodel, or addition at phenomenal savings. Contains a step-by-step description of the process, including how to find and hire good subcontractors, how to get a construction loan, and how to estimate costs and choose features for your project. Includes 85 planning steps and 100 new construction bargain strategies to save you thousands. Includes contracts, agreements, budget and schedule forms and worksheets. Super-index provides 1,150 search terms for total utility. Winner of the National Association of Home and Workshop Writers Silver Hammer Award for Books.

"...16 easy to read chapters with lots of charts, lists and examples...More practical advice..." Nancy Cook-Senn, The Shawnee News-Star

"...this is the book which will tell you how to design and build your own home just the way you want it. It also tells you how to save thousands of dollars in the process...You can also save up to 50% of the cost of a house by becoming an owner-builder...goes through the stages of how to plan, planning, how to buy, developing a network for purchasing your materials, how to get bids, what to look for in bids on different areas, how to supervise your sub contractors, etc...seems to leave very few, if any, stones unturned." Curtis Rivers, Vero Beach Press Journal

"Assuming you have the same costs that a general contractor will have, you will save the profit (more than 10 percent average) and the overhead (two to three times the profit) paid to a general...The Owner-Builder Book discusses just how this can be done." Ask the Experts, Country's Best Log Homes

"If you don't want to sorry, follow the process outlined by Mark Smith in his book, The Owner-Builder Book." Builders Showcase, Northwest Herald

"...covers every aspect of the building process, including planning, scheduling, working with subcontractors, financing, building permits, etc....has, perhaps for the first time, demystified the home-building process for the layman. Consider this to be a textbook." Prince William Region Home Focus

"...highlights techniques for materials shopping (what he calls "commando shopping") and planning your home room-by-room to maximize savings." Home & Real Estate Weekly, Daily Times-Call

"This new book gives a step-by-step approach to building your own home and saving up to 50 percent on construction costs. Chapters show how to beat contractor pricing tactics, how to deal with paperwork (contracts, permits, and legal and insurance protection), how to manage home building project on a daily basis, and how to avoid common owner-builder mistakes." The Henry Herald

"Great practical little book filled with tips to save money when building a home. If you want to take on the project yourself, it's good to know the tricks of the trade first. You'll learn to manage bureaucratic paperwork, how to get subs on your side, and even become privy to "commando" shopping techniques. The Smiths explain how to benefit from new tax laws and how to prepare yourself to get loan approval." Simple Living Quarterly

"If you ever have thought of building your own home, The Owner-Builder Book is for you because it is a step-by-step guide for the amateur and covers all aspects of building a home." Robb Northrup, Kitchener-Waterloo Record

"When it comes to building your dream home, sweat equity a.k.a. doing it yourself, can help economize. But you don't need to swing a hammer to nail substantial savings. In The Owner-Builder Book Mark Smith leads home-owners through a step-by-step guide of planning, scheduling and financing a custom built house." Michelle Mahfouri, American Press

"The 16-chapter book takes [you] from putting a materials list together and putting out bids to subcontractors to shopping for bargains and close-outs on framing lumber, fixtures, concrete and appliances. It also discusses how to avoid first-time mistakes." Kansas City Star

From the Publisher: This book will help you through a challenging task, that of acting as contractor on a new home, house addition or remodel. There is a tremendous amount of money to waste when you build, and The Owner-Builder Book will help you to save a substantial amount while building a better house.

We have provided many other resources to help you build at OwnerBuilderBook.com, including a free Owner-Builder Resource CD-ROM with software for construction budgeting and scheduling.

From the Author: When we built our own home, a general contractor estimated the cost of construction at $90 a square foot. It was more than we could afford. We had two choices: shrink the house we had planned, or build it ourselves.

We decided to build it ourselves, and completed the house for $49 a square foot. The amazing thing was that we didn't sacrifice anything in the original plan. In fact, we included dozens and dozens of upgrades on which we found great bargains along the way.

We found very little published help on the key issue - saving money - when we were building. So we decided to make it easier for others by writing The Owner-Builder Book. We began by going to the Library of Congress and reading all the books out there on the subject. They were almost all written by general contractors. Believe me, they don't try to help you save money.

Next we conducted hundreds of interviews with subcontractors, generals, lenders, inspectors, and many other owner-builders. We found answers to all the sticking points like: "Where can I get a construction loan?"

We found that the average owner-builder saved 35% on the cost of construction against contractor estimate or appraised value.

I also drew on my experience as a former construction industry executive and consultant. We provided templates for the reader to the three key tools needed for success: Written Budget, Written Schedule, and Written List of Features. These tools were almost nonexistent in the literature.

We have been honored by reviews or mentions in 165 newspapers and 20 magazines and newsletters to date. People tell us that our book is enjoyable and gives them confidence to build.

Customer Reviews
Exactly what I was looking for!, January 6, 2003
Reviewer: Jeffrey Beaners from Gilroy, CA USA
When it came down to owner-building my house, I purchased a whole slew of books hoping that all of them together would help. I found the Owner-builder Book to be the only book that did. I carried it with me everywhere and it came through for me time and time again. I learned many valuable lessons that I've carried on into my everyday life as well- one of which is "Plan, Plan, Plan". I've found that what he says is true, that for "every hour you spend planning, saves 4 hours in execution". This book is everything I was looking for and more!

Pass on this one..., December 29, 2002
Reviewer: Douglas Huntley from Indianapolis, IN USA
The authors must certainly be experienced in building and the various trades but this book just didn't help me at all. A total flop for me, really. The book to get for the first time Owner-Builder is the Complete Guide to Contracting Your Home, by McGuerty & Lester. A wonderful step-by-step guide with TONS of useful information.

Wonderful book!!!, May 25, 2002
Reviewer: A reader from Boulder, CO United States
Love this book! I have other books on owner-building but this is the one I carry with me in case I have a few minutes to read. The authors recommend a year of planning, trying to do it in a few weeks or months is a crash course so it's truly nice to have found such a great study guide. (it would be less stressful to spend a year!) Financially very inspiring, tells how to save a fortune by doing a great job of managing the home building project, and also how to make a life's fortune owner-building. Tips for getting the Owner-builder construction loan. Also has an extensive list of similar books by other authors; the Smiths don't presume to be the end all/be all in DIY contracting, which I find very refreshing. Very useful book, a real gem.

One major problem...., May 7, 2002
Reviewer: A reader from Puyallup, WA
The main part of this book contains some useful information and some helpful hints for owner-builders. However, beware a major problem that nearly destroyed the reading experience for me. The writing goes until page 272. But the book contains 314 pages. So what do pages 272-314 contain? Look at the cover of the book, where it says "Valuable Coupons Inside! $100 Value". Most of the 42 pages contain full-page ads for the author's seminars, audiotapes, workshops and special reports. To see this for yourself, go to the "Look Inside" feature (click on book picture) and look at the last page of the table of contents. I found these ads irritating, because although this is supposedly a reference book in and of itself, it asks you to shell out $6.00-$99.00 each item for more information. Excuse me, but shouldn't information like "Staying on Schedule" be included in the "Owner-Builder" book? The author offers the explanation that he couldn't "fit" all of this info into the book. He sure didn't have a problem tacking on 42 extra pages of shameless bids for more money. Get a book that doesn't reach into your wallet, like the excellent "Complete Guide to Contracting Your Home".

Please stop repeating yourself, April 15, 2002
Reviewer: art hickman from Hartselle, AL United States
Okay, maybe I am the odd ball, but this author drove me crazy! He should have made a pamplet instead of a book. I felt as though it was written by a Amway sales person. To me, the book read like they were trying to motivate you to go ahead and build your house. I needed factual information, and I got 90% "You can do it" and 10% "This is the stuff you need". If you are two years away from building, you might like it, but I was two weeks away and already had most of the information provided. I am sending mine back.

SUBSTANCE, December 10, 2001
Reviewer: Ken Lowrance from Silver City, NM USA
Our home in New Mexico will be the first and last we build. I reviewed several books at the library before purchasing one as a guide to this project. The "Owner-Builder Book" and the accompanying CD I received after purchasing the book solidified our approach to organizing to build. Its step by step approach, the ideas presented by the author and the side bars from other owner-builders caused us to re-evaluate many of our preconceived concepts on how to build a home. Three items of significant importance were driven home when we followed the approach:

1)Its easy to design a home! However, to then build it for a reasonable price is a real challenge. The ideas for a cost down approach in the book are invaluable in focusing the owner-builder with a budget and big ideas. Of particular interest was the admonition to get multiple bids! We have found price differences of over 100% from the same bill of material. We would never have realized the importance of multiple bids without using "Owner-Builder" as a guide.

2) Our research and experience since purchasing the book last March are right on with the observations of the Smiths. General contractors spend little time at any individual project. The quality of work is up to the lead worker. The quality we have found is variable depending on which house we visited.

3) You cannot do too much planning and we needed a guide for the planning process. We plan to build next March and taking a year to plan the task is not too much time. We will easily spend more than 1000 hours before the first shovel hits the site. We will know what is in the home from top to bottom. The book drove this point home and its organizational steps were invaluable.

The Owner Builder Book, December 9, 2001
Reviewer: J.A. Martino from Ball Ground, GA USA
I found the book, and audio tapes to be very helpful in guiding me through the process of managing an Owner Builder project.

The information was well organized, and appropriate for someone who is a first time Owner Builder. I especially liked the examples and analogies that the author used, as well as the advice. The strength of the book was that it was prepared by someone who actually was an Owner Builder, with emphasis on how to contract and manage subcontractors. I also felt that the computerized spread sheet was an excellent tool for organizing the bids for materials on the project.

Buy this book!!, December 8, 2001
Reviewer: Rick B. from Maryland
If you are considering building a house, whether owner building or contemplating a general contractor, this book is a MUST HAVE. Mark and Elaine are the real deal; they are people who are not in the construction business who have done it, and in this book they share the intimate details of how they saved big $$ owner building. I can't imagine negative reviews for this book coming from anyone other than general contractors.

Contracting Related Book:
Be Your Own House Contractor: Save 25% without Lifting a Hammer
by Carl Heldmann
Paperback: 140 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.44 x 9.01 x 6.02
Publisher: Storey Books; 4th edition (June 1, 2001)
ISBN: 1580173748

Builder's Guide To Floors
by Peter Fleming (Preface)
Paperback: 304 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.94 x 9.04 x 6.05
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional; (September 1, 1997)
ISBN: 0070218986

Builder's Guide to New Materials and Techniquesby Paul Bianchina (Preface)
Paperback: 337 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.01 x 8.99 x 6.04
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional; (February 1, 1997)
ISBN: 0070060525

Central Ohio Home Book, First Edition
by Ashley Group (Editor), Ashley Group
Hardcover: 700 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.83 x 10.22 x 5.59
Publisher: Ashley Group; 1 edition (October 2002)
ISBN: 158862093X

How to Afford Your Own Log Home, 5th: Save 25 Percent without Lifting a Log
by Carl Heldmann
Paperback: 128 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.31 x 10.90 x 8.52
Publisher: Globe Pequot Pr; 5th edition (June 2002)
ISBN: 0762722495

How to Hire a Home Improvement Contractor Without Getting Chiseled
by Tom Philbin, Thomas Philbin
Paperback: 384 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.02 x 8.22 x 5.47
Publisher: St. Martin's Press; Revised edition (February 1997)
ISBN: 0312146205

How to Plan, Subcontract and Build Your Dream House
by Warren V. Jaeger
Paperback: 279 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.75 x 11.00 x 8.50
Publisher: Trojan Homes Pub Co; 2nd edition (January 1, 1998)
ISBN: 0964782405

Metropolitan Detroit Home Book, Second Edition
by Ashley Group (Editor), Ashley Group
Hardcover: 700 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.75 x 10.38 x 5.02
Publisher: Ashley Group; 2nd edition (November 29, 2002)
ISBN: 1588620573

New York Home Book, Second Edition
by Ashley Group (Editor), Ashley Group
Hardcover: 700 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.50 x 10.02 x 5.96
Publisher: Ashley Group; 2nd edition (January 1, 2003)
ISBN: 1588620646

Philadelphia Home Book, Second Edition
by Ashley Group (Editor), Ashley Group
Hardcover: 700 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.39 x 10.34 x 5.56
Publisher: Ashley Group; 2nd edition (March 2003)
ISBN: 1588620778

San Francisco Bay Area Home Book, First Edition
by Ashley Group (Editor), Ashley Group
Hardcover: 700 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.38 x 10.18 x 5.60
Publisher: Ashley Group; 1 edition (November 2002)
ISBN: 1588620336

Sunset Reinvent Your Kids' Rooms
by Christine E. Barnes (Editor), Sunset Books (Editor)
Paperback: 144 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.51 x 11.00 x 7.94
Publisher: Sunset Pub Co; (April 2002)
ISBN: 0376017937

Sunset Reinvent Your Kitchen
by Christine E. Barnes
Paperback: 144 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.47 x 10.78 x 8.20
Publisher: Sunset Pub Co; (April 2002)
ISBN: 0376017929

The Home Building Process: Everything You Need to Know to Work With Contractors and Subcontractors
by Rich Binsacca, Richard Binsacca
Paperback: 212 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.76 x 9.01 x 7.02
Publisher: Home Planners, LLC; (October 1, 1999)
ISBN: 188195563X

The Homeowners' Guide to Hiring Contractors
by Bertt P. Kennelly, Brett P. Kennelly, Eddy Hall (Contributor)
Paperback: 156 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.46 x 8.98 x 6.04
Publisher: Information Services Group; 1 edition (April 1, 1998)
ISBN: 0965197980

The Owner-Builder Book: How You Can Save More than $100,000 in the Construction of Your Custom Home
by Mark A. Smith, Elaine M. Smith (Contributor), Elaine M. Smith
Paperback: 288 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.65 x 10.92 x 8.34
Publisher: Consensus Group Inc; 3rd edition (September 24, 2002)
ISBN: 0966142888

Book Directory
Cleaning, Caretaking & Relocating
Decks & Patios
Hand Tools
Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning
Home Repair
Household Hints
Plumbing & Household Automation
Power Tools

Construction Calculator & Estimating Tool
Construction Calculator
Real Estate Calculator
Electrical Calculator
Estimating Tools
Scanners & Sensors

Related: AECNetwork | Baby Shopping | Shop 4 Calculator | Power Tools Buying Guides
Other Topic: Programming Network | Learning Language
in association with amazon.com, amazon.ca, amazon.co.uk
Copyright 2005 Living Mind. All Rights Reserved.