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What Your Contractor Can't Tell You: The Essential Guide to Building and Renovating

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2008

    A Great How-to Book for the Lay Person

    The title perfectly describes the book. Not only is this book logically organized, but is written for the novice renovator in its easy to understand language with definitions of terms used by professionals. The author's 'tips' & humor sprinkled throughout the book make it enjoyable. Being a visual person, I especially appreciated the format: using bullet points, bold titles, gray boxes & examples of charts & forms. I checked this book out of the library, but decided I needed to own it & mark in it. So, I bought the book & have happily underlined & made notes in the margins 'ask Bob', 'tell Tom'. I was told by my contractor that he never had more questions or a client who's done as much research as I have. But I know he liked the fact that (because of this book) I understand & appreciate his goals. Thanks.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2008

    An Excellent, Informative Book

    Amy Johnson¿s book covers the broad swath of information that prospective home builders/owners should know. Salient points are highlighted in dialogue boxes throughout the book and real-world examples clarify things even further. The book provides thoughtful advice and practical information. It enables you to work more effectively with prospective builders and architects. This is just an excellent resource and reference for anyone thinking of building a home or doing a renovation.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2008

    Excellent Resource

    As a building professional (licensed general contractor since 1991), I think that this book by Amy Johnston is an excellent resource in preparing a person to undertake a building project. The book is chock full of practical, insightful information that gives consumers a 'peek behind the curtain' of building contractors, as well as the building process in general. Over the years, I have heard of many construction horror stories and am dismayed to see builders with great marketing but little integrity continue to do project after project. If more consumers would take the time and effort to educate themselves about the building process, there would be far less 'money pit' experiences on building projects. This book makes it easy to be an informed consumer.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2010

    great book for new homeowners

    This book is extremely informative. The author goes into details on how a contractor performs his job and why he does the things he does. This prepares you very well on how to work with a contractor.

    The book is more geared for major work on a home, such as new construction, so some of the areas it covers may not apply to you (such as the foundation and hiring an architect). If you are doing smaller jobs, such as renovating a room, this book is still useful, but some parts of the book may be overkill. I'm working on renovating a bathroom and working with a full service interior designer (who has her own contractor) and I tried negotiating some of the things recommended in the book (a deposit less than 50%, getting lien waivers, etc.) and was not as successful negotiating (probably because the job was smaller or interior designers do not operate like contractors?).

    After watching certain TV shows about how contractors can rip you off, I definitely recommend anyone who is thinking about hiring a contractor to read this book. The interesting and funny thing about the author, who is a construction manager, is she works with contractors all the time and thinks them as great people, but still doesn't trust them when it comes to many things. Contractors, by the nature of how they are hired, want to do things as cheaply as possible and reduce their risk as much as possible. Having read this book goes a long way to preparing a new homeowner on what to expect!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2008

    A MUST READ, A HOMEOWNERS ADVENTURE

    Over 45 years of customer relations i find this 'bible' to be the guide for a fun free adventure to pursue building a new home or renovation.. Read at a vacation retreat away from every day living distractions and it will prove to be the best investment of your time and understanding of the adventure ahead

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2008

    This book empowered me on how you to renovate with confidence!

    Amy gets it. I now feel educated. This book is well written, easy to read and packed with information. I am now looking forward to having a successful project (as opposed to being another horror / renovation victim). Thank you Amy!

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    Posted July 25, 2010

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