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HOME BUILDING GUIDE

Your Planning Guide

Guide Contents

10 Ways to Collaborate

Decision Making Process

Design/Build Matrix

Building Green

Contract Documents

Drawings

Specifications

Permits

Budget Estimate

Cost Analysis

Purchasing

Trade Contractors

Suppliers

Scheduling

Safety

Quality Control

Punch List

OWNER BUILDER COACH | SEMINARS | DOWN HOME RADIO | HOME BUILDING GUIDE

Owner Builder Topics

Here are the topics covered in the
Home Building Guide
as well as a Foreword by Ray Dunn.


Get Adobe Reader Each of the topical headings below link to an Adobe PDF file for that particular topic. Click here to get your free copy of Adobe Reader.

The entire 200+ page "Home Building Guide" is contained within the following PDF files, and the topical headings below cover 19 important subject areas that are crucial to successful management of your project. Click on the NEWEST VERSION of each topic to read the most current edition of the Home Building Guide. You can also view Tom's free Home Building Video, which is a 45-minute documentary produced as a complement to the Guide.

Decision Making Process

NEWEST VERSION OF DECISION MAKING PROCESS

Home Construction The Decision Making Process is based on shared responsibilities of a variety of construction professionals including architects, trade contractors, suppliers, and building officials who contribute their expertise to the residential Design/Build process.

Who will be the principal players of your project team?

We provide the "Decision Making Model" to better visualize the key players and the information base from which they operate.

Design/Build Matrix

NEWEST VERSION OF DESIGN/BUILD MATRIX

The format we use to arrange the complexity of information is a residential Design/Build Matrix. We use this format to organize project details so decisions can be made sensibly and sequentially for both architecture and construction.

How do you differentiate between design and build events?

Let our "Design/Build Matrix" be a map to guide you.

We identify over 35 important issues for creating a "Design/Build" Action Plan!

Building Green

NEWEST VERSION OF BUILDING GREEN

Building and Living Green requires a dedication to residential Design/Build practices which promote personal health and environmental protection for both architecture and home building methods.

What are the economic advantages to this approach to building construction?

Here are helpful hints for creating an economically feasible yet environment friendly site.

Contract Documents

NEWEST VERSION OF CONTRACT DOCUMENTS

Your Contract Documents are a combination of four sets of information: Drawings, Specifications, Conditions, and Agreements. Each set of information references the other sets, and together form the basis of a good working relationship with the Trade Contractors and Suppliers.

Each set of information references the other sets, and together form the basis of a good working relationship with Architects, Trade Contractors, Suppliers, and Building Officials.

Have you created these documents before construction begins?

Review the 31 issues you'll want to include in this documentation.

Drawings

NEWEST VERSION OF DRAWINGS

Home Design Drawings provide dimensions and layout for your residential, architectural design. Drawings depict a homestyle which will meet the needs of your family's lifestyle.

Can you define how you want to live on a day-by-day basis?

Here are the 32 universal elements common to all architectural Drawings.

Specifications

NEWEST VERSION OF SPECIFICATIONS

Specifications are the written instructions of how residential construction will be performed and the type of materials to be used in your home.

How will you describe what products or methods will be used for your home building project?

Read 20 pages of "Sample Specifications" in order to construct a typical residential construction project. Program planning is central to the success of your home building project.

Permits

NEWEST VERSION OF PERMITS

Permits are a legal consent for construction work to proceed according to approved drawings and specifications. Inspections are a shared responsibility by the local building department, owner, trade contractors, and often times your architect.

What public agencies have jurisdiction over your site?

We identify the critical inspection points to observe as construction work progresses, and give some useful hints for conflict resolution in the Design/Build process.

Budget Estimate

NEWEST VERSION OF BUDGET ESTIMATE

A Budget Estimate is a preliminary appraisal of all Design and Build costs.

Is your budget based on both hard and soft costs?

But, there's more... we also show a breakdown of "Builder's Overhead and Profit" as well as "Architect/Designer's Fee".

Get more info for your project

Cost Analysis

NEWEST VERSION OF COST ANALYSIS

A Cost Analysis is a complete examination of all costs based on bid proposals from architects, trade contractors, and suppliers.

Are you certain all products and services required for your project are included in the analysis?

The 60 categories we cover in the Cost Analysis are very comprehensive.

Purchasing

NEWEST VERSION OF PURCHASING

What we need is a fiscal method to record the specific conditions of agreement between buyer and seller. This is what a purchase order system accomplishes.

Are your conditions of agreement accurately presented as terms of purchase?

Here are 21 issues you'll need to consider when making a purchase.

Trade Contractors

NEWEST VERSION OF TRADE CONTRACTORS

Each Trade Contractor takes responsibility for products and services related to their craft.

How will you qualify contractors for your project?

Review a list of 30 items for qualifying trade contractors.

Suppliers

NEWEST VERSION OF SUPPLIERS

Suppliers are in business to buy direct from manufacturers then distribute goods to trade contractors and the general public.

What are your criteria for supplier selection?

Here are procedures for purchase, delivery, inspection, and payment of goods required for residential construction.

Scheduling

NEWEST VERSION OF SCHEDULING

Home Build You need to assign a fixed date and time for architecture and construction activities.

Do you understand the difference between your expectations and the way things really happen?

Our "bar chart" model helps you visualize project sequence and the flow of work activities.

Benefit from 37 key questions for creating a "Schedule" Action Plan!

Safety

NEWEST VERSION OF SAFETY

Safety is protection from personal injury or loss of property. You are liable for accidents and theft.

Are you aware of hazardous conditions or actions on your site?

Here's a list of 38 items which cause 95% of all accidents.

Quality Control

NEWEST VERSION OF QUALITY CONTROL

Quality Control is the act of maintaining a high degree of excellence whether it concerns a person's behavior or product installation.

How do you get in control of quality?

Review 30 pages of checklists from "Sitework" to "Trim Package".

Punch List

NEWEST VERSION OF PUNCH LIST

A Punch List is an inventory of those items which are incomplete or in need of repair.

Is it reasonable to expect a standard of zero defects?

Learn 5 essential "tricks of the trade" to control lengthy and bothersome Punch Lists.

Information Resources

Another valuable resource for decision making are the numerous architecture, trade, professional, and consumer associations who establish construction standards and will provide product information.

Who are these associations and where can you contact them?

Here's an alphabetical listing of over 150 national trade, professional and consumer associations waiting to be of assistance for your home building project.

Recommended Reading

Of the numerous books available, what are the "best of kind" for managing residential architecture and construction?

Are you an Active Learner?

Project Planner

The Project Planner will help to set priorities. For the first-time home builder, there's often a lack of sufficient planning.

How will you adapt the complexity of information to fit your situation?

We tell you how to take action and make decisions...

...During your design development;
...1 year prior to building permit application;
...As you create specifications and request bid proposals;
...On submission of the building permit application;
...When the building permit is issued and during construction;
...When the project is near completion;
...When you're ready for final inspection.

FOREWORD by Ray Dunn

There is a great deal of satisfaction to be gained from designing and building a home that addresses our needs and turns OBS Newsletter Signup out as we visualize it. Tom Landis' "Consumer's Guide" is a collection of tools.... models, checklists, illustrations, and forms....which will assist you, the home builder, to create and execute a workable plan to make the Design/Build process an enriching experience. This "Guide" will help you to form your vision, to focus on the details that are attainable within your budget and prepare you for the inevitable challenges which will be presented during the design/build process.

Each building project is a learning encounter for the seasoned Trade Contractor as well as the Owner/Builder who may be undertaking a first construction experience. Armed with the attitude that the architecture and construction process is an artistic adventure of ideas, this "Guide" explains the process so you become a creative participant who will direct the decision making process when your home building project is in need of leadership and clarity of vision.

Home building is a collaborative, rational effort where the Owner/Builder can be in control of the Design/Build process with a proper understanding of the dynamics which will be faced during the project. While a portion of the actual building work will be performed by professionals (Construction Manager, Architect, Trade Contractors, Suppliers, Lawyer, Accountant), the Owner ultimately lives with the consequences of all decisions.

With an understanding of what to expect during the project, the Owner/Builder is empowered to be a manager in problem solving situations, and therefore must be prepared to take ownership of all quality control decisions. As the employer of architectural and construction professionals, it is the responsibility of the Owner to provide a consistent focus on quality throughout the entire design/build process, but particularly at the beginning of the home building project when making quality determinations is the most cost effective.

Cost savings is an obvious reason to be actively involved in the residential construction project, but, as Tom points out, there are decision points where the Owner can choose either to save money or spend additional money to upgrade the plan because of opportunity or material availability. Working on a project plan that encompasses alternative choices will reduce the number of anxiety producing situations. The "Consumer's Guide" is not a book of answers, but a collection of pointers, drawn from years of experience and a willingness to prepare you, the consumer, for these inevitable decision points.

Contractor Supplier It is a pleasure for me to have the opportunity to introduce this "Guide" because using it will help make the experience of building a home a creative process for the reader who chooses to participate. As a former home builder and now an educator, I am pleased to recommend this practical insight to folks who would like to participate in the Design/Build process.

As each of us likes to visualize our own dream home, only a few of us are lucky enough to actually reach out and make that dream come true. To be successful we need to communicate our vision to our community and the architecture and construction professionals on the project team, but the experience reaches beyond this. The building process creates a new community of companion roles working to achieve our ideas; a community that will live on long after the last nail is driven.

Email comments or send questions to:
Owner Builder Services -- Tom Landis

Visit the Owner Builder Coach for more free information:
http://www.OwnerBuilderCoach.com

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