The Building Buddy was written to help people manage the building of their new home.
The author has spent most of his working life involved in some aspect of construction, and the biggest lesson he has learned is that every job is different. You'll never be fully prepared for everything, but you shouldn't let that stop you. The first home the author ever owned, back in the early '80s, was in such bad shape that it had been condemned by the city inspector. After some serious negotiations, he and his wife tore it down to the studs and faithfully restored it to its original 1883 style. As a professional cabinetmaker and carpenter, he thoroughly enjoyed seeing how things were done back then, just a few years after the Civil War. When you consider the limitations on both tools and materials, those original builders were truly remarkable craftsmen.

The first home he ever built from scratch was a ranch style house in the woods of eastern Wisconsin. Though little more than a two-story rectangular box, he dressed it up with a fireplace, cedar siding, a large deck and hardwood floors. By the time he was done, it was actually quite presentable. The latest home he built was for his own family, in the foothills of the Wyoming Rockies. This one was a little more ambitious: it's hinged in the middle to take advantage of a 40-mile view of the peaks, and its passive solar features make it almost completely energy self-sufficient. In the middle of winter, when it's zero outside, they often had to open windows because the indoor temperature was hovering in the 90s!

John has learned a lot over the past three decades, and he has tried to pass along as much as possible in these pages. Keep in mind as you read them that his experience has primarily been in the Midwest and the West. Apart from that first urban renovation, the homes he has built have all been in rural locations, where he has dealt with special considerations such as private wells and septic systems. So, you may get a little more information than you need - things that don't necessarily apply to your situation.

Addressing every stage of the construction process from budgets to surveys and blueprints to lenders, this third edition of The Building Buddy takes you through the whole homebuilding process. From excavating to final landscaping, bids to inspections, you can count on your Building Buddy.


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