Building or remodeling a home can be one of the most rewarding experiences in a person’s life, but it can also be a stressful and daunting challenge. In his new book, The Homeowner’s Guide to Contracting, Building, and Remodeling: Save a Fortune Learning What Contractors Don’t Want You to Know, Joe Oswald shares his knowledge and experience general contracting his own addition on a 1929 Spanish Revival home in Chicago. Oswald details the entire project including how he was able to save several tens of thousands of dollars over estimates he received from general contractors simply by ordering his own materials and hiring his own sub-contractors.
With experience renovating a previous home and the knowledge he had from taking a general contracting class and working for a home developer years earlier, Oswald decided to tackle the project himself, including evaluating materials, planning the mechanical systems, meeting with home inspectors, even concealing a TV in a piece of furniture that pops up when the remote control is activated and designing a moving staircase that reveals a secret passage.
Whether working with a general contractor or acting as their own contractor, homeowners will learn more about the building and renovation process while learning industry secrets that could easily save tens of thousands of dollars on a major project. Written from the perspective of a homeowner, Oswald offers valuable, first-hand information designed to help homeowners save money while designing a home they want.
The book covers such things as learning how to control costs and builder markups, how to complete projects on time and within budget, financing your project, obtaining estimates on materials and labor, finding and hiring contractors, applying for permits and working with inspectors, and learning the practical uses and installation methods of many home improvement products.
Organized to cover the major phases of construction and renovation from the foundation to the roof; from mechanical systems to flooring; from basements to kitchens and baths, this book is complete with over a hundred photographs, checklists, builder insights, and citations for further reading.
“A valuable guide to contracting, building, and renovating, homeowners will surely benefit from Joe Oswald’s knowledge and experience.” Joe Carroll, Architect.
“Written from the perspective of a homeowner, Joe Oswald shares his knowledge and attention to detail in a straightforward and user-friendly style.” Alan Boerner, Electrical Contractor
ISBN-13: 978-0-9709734-4-3 Price: $24.95 Paperback: 263 pages