These are two of my favorite reference books for building:
Before you buy, get at least three quotes: Follow the links below to get your first ones:
House Building Topics -- Follow the links below for a free
quote by professional contractors in your area. It’s best to get at least three estimates and compare to the cost of doing it yourself. You may be surprised!
General Contracting: You can save a lot of money by being your
own contractor but it is a lot of work. Please see the “Owner Builder Book (pictured at right) for more information. If you hire a contractor, try to get
three bids and be sure to check with previous customers, better business bureau and the local bank . . . . A good contractor makes a world of difference.
Windows: One of the most expensive sources of heat loss (and heat
gain) in the house. Also the best source of light. See the passive solar book to turn window energy drain into free heat storage. Spend some
time on window selection and get the best you can afford.
For a Free Insider's Guide to Replacement Windows and a free Quote Click Here.
Codes and Permits: Please check with your city or county planning
department before building. They may require a permit for something as simple as deck. Even if not required, it’s a good practice to follow codes
to insure your house survives the elements, pests and is safe. Here’s a code book that has pretty good reviews: Code Check: A Field Guide to
Building a Safe House (Code Check, 3rd Ed)
Electrical: Wiring is usually contracted because of safety and code
requirements but really isn’t too difficult. However, a mistake can have dire consequences. I’d recommend you get a good book and a helper
with experience if you’re going to do your own: Wiring a House
Plumbing: Next to Electrical, this can be one of the most dangerous
(gas piping) and damaging systems in a house. Venting rules can be tricky and, if not done properly, let sewer gases into the house. Pay
attention to freeze protection, shut off locations, outdoor spigots. Here’s a book: Plumbing a House.
Foundations: Lots of different and styles. See the Visual Handbook of Building and Remodeling for up-to-date layouts and codes for your area of the country. Special attention to termite protection, freeze and
seismic considerations can be found here.
Gutters: Protect your siding and crawl space with good gutters. It’s
amazing how quick and inexpensive they can be: For a free gutter quote click here .
Insurance: Don’t loose your families home due to sickness or injury.