Top critical review
Good overview, but doesn’t live up to its claims
Reviewed in the United States on December 12, 2014
As another reviewer said, this book is a good hazy outline of how to build a house, but unless you have some experience or get lucky, it’s not really going to help you get the job done. I just finished having a house built and from that experience know I that I would have floundered had I relied on this book. I actually started out trying to use the book to build it. My first road block was that EVERY lumber company wanted to charge me for a take-off list. On top of that, they were unwilling to suggest any sub-contractors. I couldn’t find any. And this book leaves out a LOT of details. Various steps that have to be coordinated between the sub-contractors, the inspectors, and making sure certain things are done BEFORE inspectors show up, etc.
I ended up hiring a contractor to build the house for cost plus percentage. It was the good, the bad, and the ugly. And all the subs he hired were those he knew, or heard through the grapevine. There’s no way I could have found them on my own. And the book completely ignores what to do when things go wrong, like the less than talented drawer put something in the plans that couldn’t physically be done, so you have to bring in engineers to fix it. It doesn’t even cover the various hoops you have to jump through in just getting the plans approved, the paper work, etc. We even got nagged by the color of ink on a stamp on the plans!
Bottom line, good read for a general overview of how to build a house. But a how-to guide on actually building a house as your own contractor and saving money? Nope!