Cover image for What the "experts" may not tell you about--building or renovating your home
What the "experts" may not tell you about--building or renovating your home
Johnston, Amy.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Warner Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
xvi, 299 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Format :


Call Number
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TH4816 .J6256 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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A comprehensive guide to building or renovating a home provides everything homeowners need to know to get the best results, covering such topics as selecting and supervising an architect and contractor, cost estimates, budget, plan specifications, dealing with permits, and more and examining a wide

Author Notes

Amy Johnston has worked as an owner's representative and construction project manage for fifteen years. She has coordinated over one hundred new construction and renovation projects

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Library Journal Review

Building one's home or planning a major remodeling project can take a heavy financial and emotional toll. Johnston, who has 15 years' experience as an owner's representative and construction project manager, has coordinated over 100 new construction, renovation, and historic preservation projects. Here, she provides a wealth of advice that will ease the burden of those who are considering a major housing project. Much of the text is devoted to planning and organization so that the homeowners are protected and get the most value for their money. Readers learn about the many people involved in a construction project-architects, contractors, and subcontractors-as well as about the numerous legal requirements related to permits and contracts. Johnston succeeds in clearly explaining a complex process in lay reader's terms. A bargain that belongs in most public libraries. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Building from Smart to Finishp. xiii
Chapter 1 Ready, Set, Think: How the Savvy Owner Starts a Projectp. 1
The Mind-Set: How to Approach a Projectp. 1
The Players List: The People Who Will Be on Your Teamp. 5
A Gleam in Your Eye: Can You Build?p. 11
Don't Bank On It: Is Your Loan Officer Your Ally?p. 12
The Scary Money: Down Paymentsp. 17
Chapter 2 The Plan Is the Thing: Making a Successful Projectp. 18
Task-Oriented: Your To-Do Listp. 18
Getting What You Need: How to Approach Your Designp. 19
Sneaking Up On Your Design: Do's and Don'ts to Get You Startedp. 24
What's It Worth to You? Money and Designp. 27
Beyond Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Mo: A Formula for Balanced Choicesp. 29
A House United: Working Together as a Couplep. 30
Chapter 3 Design as a Noun: Refining and Conveying Your Visionp. 33
Decisions, Decisions: Your Designp. 33
Conveying Your Decisions: Construction Documentsp. 34
Building In Flexibility: Allowances, Unit Pricing and Alternate Pricingp. 38
Chapter 4 Help with Your Vision: When and How to Employ an Architectp. 41
Do You Need a Professional? Considering an Architectp. 41
The Yin to Your Yang: The Right Architect for Youp. 49
Everyone Pick Up Your #2 Pencils: Working with an Architectp. 59
Chapter 5 Bang for the Buck and the Sixteen Divisions: What Can You Have and What Should You Worry About?p. 63
Divide and Conquer: The Sweet Sixteen Divisionsp. 63
The Devil's in the Details: Where to Focus Your Attention and Moneyp. 65
And Another Thing: Considerations When Determining Materials and Scope of Workp. 95
Chapter 6 And the Grand Total Is ...: Cost Estimating and the Budgetp. 100
Follow the Money: How It Works on a Construction Projectp. 100
Where'd You Get That Number? Four Methods of Cost Estimatingp. 102
Crunching Their Numbers: Assessing a Cost Estimatep. 106
It's Alive! Your Budget as a Living Documentp. 109
Chapter 7 Setting Up Your Deal: Contract Structuresp. 117
Who Knew You Had a Choice? Options for Contract Structuresp. 117
Chapter 8 The Second Oldest Profession: Selecting and Working with a Contractorp. 127
He Was Such a Nice Guy: Choosing More Wiselyp. 127
Welcome to His World: Working with a Contractorp. 137
To Protect and Serve: Protecting Your Project and Serving Your Contractorp. 140
Chapter 9 How Low Can They Go? Bidding the Projectp. 149
You Talkin' to Me? Should You Bid Your Project?p. 149
Package Deal: Getting Your Bid Package Together--the Four Elementsp. 151
Going Out: What You and They Need to Do--the Four Stagesp. 156
Chapter 10 Cover Your Assets: Contracts, Insurance, Liens, and Other Commitmentsp. 168
If You Only Knew: Where Laypeople Go Wrongp. 168
Whose to Use? Construction Contractsp. 169
Don't Build Home Without It: Must-Havesp. 175
It Couldn't Hurt: Optional Additional Protectionp. 187
Chapter 11 Believe It! Time Really Is Money: Schedulesp. 192
Ticktock: How Time = Money on a Construction Projectp. 192
More Than One Way to Tell Time: Types of Schedulesp. 195
What Was That Other Thing? Additional Things to Trackp. 202
Chapter 12 Mother, May I? Getting Through the Permit Processp. 204
Nothing to Fear: Knowing the Process and Its Playersp. 204
People Pleasing: The Steps for Permit Approvalp. 209
Good to Go: Once You've Got the Permitp. 217
Step Lightly: Making Changes to the Neighborhoodp. 218
Chapter 13 Ready to Build? ... Not So Fast: Pulling It All Togetherp. 220
Just Like Santa: Make a List and Check It Twicep. 220
Long Time No See: The Preconstruction Meetingp. 221
Ensurance: Make Sure These Things Are Donep. 225
When Are They Leaving?! Renovation Tipsp. 226
Chapter 14 Let the Games Begin: Managing the Construction Phasep. 232
Who's on First: Establishing the Roles and Rules for Allp. 232
Watching the Store: Monitoring the Projectp. 240
For Richer or Poorer: Budget Managementp. 249
The Homestretch: Project Closeoutp. 265
Conclusionp. 269
Talk the Talk: A Glossary of Termsp. 271
Inspirations: Other Resourcesp. 284
Indexp. 288