Building an Affordable House: Trade Secrets to High-Value, Low-Cost Construction

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Overview

The first comprehensive guide of its kind, Building an Affordable House is for homeowners and building contractors who want to incorporate proven cost-saving techniques into their projects. Written by a contractor who has been nationally recognized for his innovative approach to cost control, this book shows readers how to generate significant savings on major projects such as building a new home or adding on to an existing one. The first section provides an economical approach to planning projects, while the ...

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Overview

The first comprehensive guide of its kind, Building an Affordable House is for homeowners and building contractors who want to incorporate proven cost-saving techniques into their projects. Written by a contractor who has been nationally recognized for his innovative approach to cost control, this book shows readers how to generate significant savings on major projects such as building a new home or adding on to an existing one. The first section provides an economical approach to planning projects, while the second reveals the quality-conscious, cost-cutting strategies the author has uncovered through direct construction experience and extensive consultation with industry experts. The third section covers finish details from drywall to flooring, with emphasis on saving money without compromising quality or distinctive results. Handy features include floor plans, resource listings, and project management tools.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561585960
  • Publisher: Taunton Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/15/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 631,651
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 10.96 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Biography

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Fernando Pagés Ruiz immigrated to the United States in 1970 and became a US citizen in 1984. Over a 30-carear in construction, he has become a dedicated proponent of building innovation in low cost housing. Pagés Ruiz speaks, writes and consults internationally on how to build high-quality, affordable and energy-efficient homes. A builder with 30 years of experience and an expert on how to cut costs and keep quality when building or remodeling, Pagés is the author of two books published by the Taunton Press: Building an Affordable House: A high-value, low-cost approach to building (2005) and Affordable Remodel: How to get custom results on any budget (2007). As a builder, his projects have numerous award, including the 2008 "Green Building Single Family House of the Year" and the 2007 "Workforce Housing Award" from the National Association of Home Builders. In 2006, the Department of Housing and Urban Development's PATH project chose him to build America's first PATH Concept Home, a home that is affordable to purchase and to maintain and while meeting the criteria of LEED for Homes, ENERGY STAR, MASCO Environments for Living, and the NAHB's Green Building certifications.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2006

    Cutting corners affects homeowners

    I got this book to help remodel my own house. I found good information on insulation, but nothing else I was willing to use. The book focuses almost completely on cutting costs for builders. In many cases, the cost-cutting has a negative impact on the quality of the house. One suggestion, for example, is to juggle wall length and spacing inside the house to require the minimum legal number of outlets. With modern lifestyles, this will invariably result in a house full of unsafe extension cords. Likewise, the book suggests that windows are expensive, and a legitimate cost-cutting measure is to just use fewer of them - again a blunder in the terms of the USERS of the house, and one that is quite expensive to fix afterwards. On the other hand, the book suggests using larger brick tiles over smaller bricks for cost savings, then goes on to point out that the masons may charge extra for this in order to protect their 'square foot' price. The brick tiles are easier to put up, cover space faster, and the masons are done much sooner. Logically you would want to pay them less, as they did less work. The notion that there might be something WRONG with paying them extra for this is never broached in the book, let alone how to deal with them - which techniques could REALLY save you money. The focus is completely on how you can deliver less VALUE to the customer, on the assumption that the extra value is wasted. The expectation is that the customer will always perfectly maintain their house, they will not remodel or add on, they expect the house to disintegrate and fail rather than gradually deteriorate like older houses, they will be satisfied with lesser utilities (making the unjustified claim that most houses are overwired and overplumbed - if your house has extension cords in it, it is NOT overwired.) Some of the book does not correspond with current code, especially in urban & suburban growth areas (which is where the demand for inexpensive housing is the greatest). Check your local codes in every case before buying material

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2005

    Easy to Understand and Conveniently Organized

    As a builder, I have often looked at a set of drawings, or a budget versus job cost report, and thought to myself, ¿There has got to be a better way.¿ I could only wonder how much time and money the inevitable scheduling problems, subcontractor conflicts, and ever-growing trash pile was costing me. I knew that our practices were wasting time, money, materials, and resources, and that ultimately we would all pay for it. But understanding that there is a problem is a long way from knowing what to do about it. Earlier in my career, I would have paid dearly for the knowledge contained in this book. Come to think of it, I did. Architect, designer, builder, subcontractor, or prospective homeowner -- you owe it to yourself to read Building An Affordable House. The modest price of this book is the only way I know of in construction that you can easily get a 100 to 1 return on your investment. Although this book is easy to understand and conveniently organized, it is not just a collection of tips and tricks. It is a comprehensive examination of the residential construction process from foundation to roof, with practical techniques that you can take to work with you tomorrow, and philosophy you can consider for the rest of your career. It is the unusual builder who can simultaneously cut the price while improving quality, but Fernando Pages Ruiz shares decades of diligent study and hard-won professional experience to teach anyone how to do just that. I have used many of the ideas and techniques described in this book, and many more were new to me. Every one of them contributes to the process of building a comfortable, durable, and more enjoyable home at a lower cost. The importance of high-quality affordable housing for the health and happiness of families and communities cannot be overestimated, and this book makes a significant contribution toward that goal.

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