Audio Books on Home Building

April 18, 2011

Whether you’re building from the ground up (starting with a land survey and ending with a finished home), putting an addition on an already existing structure, or simply renovating a room in your house, you’re probably going to need a little help along the way.  And while you could certainly hire a contractor and a crew of laborers, you’ll save a lot of money by doing some or all of it yourself.  You could also get a regular book that covers specific topics, but then you’ll just have to keep referring back to it (which will waste a lot of valuable time).  Instead, why not pick up a couple of audio books?  You can listen while you work so that you get step-by-step instructions as you go along.  Here are a few that you might want to check out.

1.       House by Tracy Kidder.  This audio book is unique in that it turns the non-fiction story of a couple building their first home into a prose-laden narrative that reads more like a fictional account than a how-to book.  From the opening lines where they survey the land, to the day they finally move in, this audio book will take you on a journey that cover the joys and sorrows of learning how to build a house.

2.       Home Renovation Agreement by Self Council Press.  If you’re having a little trouble getting things done on your own, you may eventually have to resort to hiring some help.  This handy guide will take you through finding a good contractor, creating a detailed contract and estimate, and trouble-shooting when necessary.  Protect yourself and your home by learning how to deal with the help effectively from the get-go.

3.       Home Rich by Gerri Willis.  Willis is best known for being an anchor and personal finance editor for CNN (you may have seen her “Five Tips” segment), and in this audio book she expounds upon the importance of seeing your home as an investment and an asset.  Whether you’re looking to buy a home, renovate the one you have, or ultimately sell, Willis can offer tips and tricks that will save you time and money and ensure that you see a return on your investment.

4.       The Owner-Builder Workshop by Mark A. Smith.  This seminar given by Mark and Elaine Smith includes six hours of dialogue about the tools required to build your own home (even if you’re not the one building it).  It covers topics such as budgeting, scheduling, and how to save money along every step of the way and still end up with your dream home.

5.       Landscape Design & Construction (Black & Decker How Things Get Done) by Cy Decosse Inc.  These days, your exterior space is almost as important as the interior, as growing families on a budget try to find ways to maximize the potential of their lot.  This book will help you add some curb appeal through planting, creating pathways, and adding decks, ponds, and retaining walls (just to name a few projects), all with detailed instructions and tips to save money.

Sarah Danielson writes for Arthur H. Howland, a civil engineer offering a wide selection of services to fit your land surveying needs.

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