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Consumer advocate, Tom Landis, guides the owner/builder through the maze of remodel and home construction decisions when doing residential architecture and home building projects. Here's what you'll find at the OBS web site:

ScamAlert Part of a consumer advocate's job is presenting the basics of better buying and selling. We look for information about products and services and the people who provide them to consumers. Our goal is to inform, enlighten and educate both consumers and the businesses they frequent about their mutual problems and concerns.

Guide Contents Here are the topics covered in the "Guide & Video" as well as a Foreword by Ray Dunn.

About Tom Tom is a knowledgeable construction industry insider, writer, educator, and radio show host . . . and he still believes it's a wonderful life.

Owner Builder Coach As "The Owner Builder Coach," Tom's job is to inspire healthy, team-style relationships within the building community so you can avoid the glitches and meet the challenges of the residential Design/Build process.

Radio Show Here's an "on demand" archive allowing consumers to choose a topic of interest rather than listen to an entire program. Listen to national authorities discuss what's useful to consumers when making decisions for new home construction, remodel and ownerbuilder projects.

Testimonials Read what others are saying about the "Home Building Consumer's Guide and Video".

Working With Professionals If you decide to work with your local General Contractor as a Construction Consultant, here is a sample Personal Service Agreement to provide a better sense of the conditions you may want to incorporate into your Agreement.

Owner Builder Green Home integrates product style and performance, combining the art and craft of home building. The Green Home is a place where you learn much about product design, construction, landscape, décor and maintenance.

Specifications Some valuable resources for decision making are the numerous trade, professional, and consumer organizations who establish construction standards and will provide product specifications or installation/maintenance information to the consumer as well as the professional.

HomeBudget Read an excerpt from the "Consumer's Guide" on the topic of establishing a preliminary budget estimate as well as a generic line item budget for a typical remodel or new construction project.

Projects Most important to the Design/Build process is identify a design solution leading to a home style which fits your family's life style. View six different residential construction projects where owners were closely involved in the Design/Build process from beginning to end.

Your Advantage As an owner/builder you've got the consumer's advantage. Here's why.

4 Our Kids Being a part of the cyber community means sharing resources which help us to grow and learn together. We've found these sites to be of great value to our children, Lauren, Will and Gia, so we share them with you.

ActiveLearner When you think about active learning for the residential Design/Build process, what language do you use to describe the education experience? Remember: A label may be a libel when it comes to an education. Keep an open mind to vocational, technical, and professional education sources representing all the arts and sciences.

Tom's Class Whether you intend to hire a General Contractor, Architect, or act as an Owner/Builder, our one-day course introduces you to an approach for planning and organizing the construction of your own home.

OBS Newsletter Subscribe to our free quarterly newsletter. The point is to help you create a homestyle to match your lifestyle. OBS News is short, sweet and to the point.

HomeDesign The most important thing about shopping for your home design is for consumers to do their homework prior to final selection of a residential designer, stock plan service, or architect. Here are tips on how to determine what best fits your situation.

HomePlans Browse here for the home style to match your life style. Whether it be colonial, country, farmhouse, ranch, recreational or vacation; French, English, or Spanish style, there's thousands of online blueprint choices.

HomeLibrary The books listed as Recommended Reading are what we consider "best of kind" for designing and building a residential construction project. Also, provided are links to a few of the major book suppliers on the internet.

HomeLoan Critical Thinking. It's the characteristic which defines us as human beings. It's the same characteristic which is vital to the ultimate creative challenge: the Design/Build process for residential construction. Anticipate how you intend to finance your project before you meet with designers and builders.

Links You'll find these links very useful for searching the construction industry on topics ranging from "architecture" to "zoning".

BuildableSite To some professionals, a "buildable site" means the city, county, or state in which the site is located will simply ALLOW you to build on it. Is it economically feasible to do so? Many times it may be allowable by government agencies but just too expensive to develop !!! Here are tips on what you might want to identify as the most critical issues.

Subs/Vendors And, when you're told by a contractor, "I'll be right over." Or, a supplier says, "It'll be there by Friday." What does this really mean? Here are tips on how to qualify a contractor or supplier for your project.

HomeForums Leave a message which will benefit the owner/builder community. Owner Builder Services does not sell mailing lists or clutter you mailbox with junk mail so any information or tips you provide will directly benefit others like yourself.

Legal Stuff The standard disclaimer saying, "We're sorry if we made a mistake or if something isn't working at the site." Please let us know if you experience technical difficulties.

Back Home The Design/Build process is an artistic endeavor as well as requiring technical know-how. Tom provides information in a simple, easy to understand, and sometimes humorous manner. Read an introduction by Tom Landis.

Lunch Box Right from Anna's kitchen into the lunch box. Here are a few recipes for baked goods as well as Herb's recipe for smoked salmon marinade.

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