10 Best Estimating How-to & Home Improvement

List Updated July 2020

Bestselling Estimating How-to & Home Improvement in 2020


Remodel: Without Going Bonkers or Broke

Remodel: Without Going Bonkers or Broke
BESTSELLER NO. 1 in 2020

Markup & Profit: A Contractor's Guide, Revisited

Markup & Profit: A Contractor's Guide, Revisited
BESTSELLER NO. 2 in 2020
  • Used Book in Good Condition

Estimating in Building Construction

Estimating in Building Construction
BESTSELLER NO. 3 in 2020

DEWALT Construction Estimating Complete Handbook: Excel Estimating Included (DEWALT Series)

DEWALT Construction Estimating Complete Handbook: Excel Estimating Included (DEWALT Series)
BESTSELLER NO. 4 in 2020
  • Dewalt

Roofing Construction & Estimating

Roofing Construction & Estimating
BESTSELLER NO. 5 in 2020
  • Product Details: Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Craftsman Book Co (April 9, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572180072, ISBN-13: 978-1572180079
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.3 x 1 inches, Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds

RSMeans Cost Data, + Website

RSMeans Cost Data, + Website
BESTSELLER NO. 6 in 2020
  • Used Book in Good Condition

Construction Project Management (4th Edition)

Construction Project Management (4th Edition)
BESTSELLER NO. 7 in 2020
  • Used Book in Good Condition

Building Construction Costs with RSMeans Data 2018 (Means Building Construction Cost Data)

Building Construction Costs with RSMeans Data 2018 (Means Building Construction Cost Data)
BESTSELLER NO. 8 in 2020

Estimating Construction Costs

Estimating Construction Costs
BESTSELLER NO. 9 in 2020

Building Construction Costs With RSMeans Data 2017 (Means Building Construction Cost Data)

Building Construction Costs With RSMeans Data 2017 (Means Building Construction Cost Data)
BESTSELLER NO. 10 in 2020
  • Gordian

Home Remodeling: How to Get the Most and Choose the Best

Hear first hand from a remodeler about the entire home project process. Learn about appointment ettiquette, project differences, and what too look for in a residential remodeler.

Your home is the biggest investment that you will ever make in your lifetime. Taking care of that home to suit your needs and the needs of your family can be expensive and sometimes, it doesn't turn out like it should. Finding the right path to make your house a home can be complicated and confusing. Here we will break it all down to set your family up for years of enjoyment in a comfortable and safe environment.

How to start your home maintenance and renewal process:

Let's talk about your home;better yet, sit down with the people directly involved and discuss your concerns together. Make it a priority to review and maintain your home at the start of every season. Here are a few simple questions you can ask yourself to start:

1: Are there any emergencies: leaking roof,crumbling foundation, missing or broken windows.
2: How up-to-date are my products and appliances: 40 year old windows, ancient furnace and ductwork.
3: Do we need an evaluation and by whom: Contractor, Remodeler, or Handyman

Which professional that is right for you:

Contractors: Normally contractors handle large jobs, often using subcontractors for specialty work such as plumbing, electrical, and painting. Use them when your job needs to cover a lot of space and has many different components.
Remodeler: Remodeling is different from tearing down and building something new. They are trying to bring new products into your existing home.Use them for a specific project like replacing your siding.
Handyman: The handyman is coming back if you haven't already heard. Perfect for lots of small things like a broken faucet, screen repairs, and many times general outside clean up jobs like gutters.

Where to find professionals and what to look for:

Go to your local Home Builders Association (nahb.org), National Association of Remodelers (nari.org), or your local Chamber of Commerce website. Anyone that works on your home should belong to any or all of these and their contact information will be listed on the site.

Contractors and remodelers are licensed and can be checked out on your states commerce website (most of the time under the Safety amp; Building Department). Many times there is a list of up-to-date credentials that you can search by the company name. In most states, it is now a requirement to have credentials to pull a building permit - check your laws and always be aware if someone asks you, the homeowner, to get one. Permits should be included in your project.

Everyone should have insurance and carry a certificate for you to see at the time of your appointment.

Good appointment etiquette on the customer side:

Everyone involved must be there! Sometimes people think that the person handling the home maintenance is the only one who should be there. This is the biggest misconception we face as an industry. We need everyone on the same page at the same time. Playing the "telephone" game with information later is not the same as having 2 or more sets of eyes and ears at an appointment.

A sit down appointment at your home is necessary. Many companies will not give you a ballpark figure over the phone -- if they do, be very wary. We need to see what you see and what you don't. You might think your roof is leaking when it is actually coming from the flashing around your chimney.

Make sure all your questions are answered. Most professionals love to see a notebook or list with 20 questions. This tells us you are serious, that everyone will be asked the same questions, and we will answer them until you understand, leaving no room for miscommunication.

Please take note: Many firms practice the "hard-sell" -- not leaving until you have signed a contract. A responsible contractor or remodeler will make sure all your questions are answered before they end the appointment -- not until you sign the check. The flip side of this is you can usually get the best discount if you sign at the time of your appointment. If someone has to come out 2 or 3 times, they can become frustrated and will focus their attention somewhere else. Always remember, if you are not comfortable, there is a reason.

How we make an appointment:

We will ask you specific questions: when was your home built, describe your project, and who the homeowners are. This are important questions we use to answer our own internal questions about Lead-Safe remodeling (epa.gov/lead), which salesman to assign, and who's input into the design of the project should be considered.

Most professionals have late evening, early morning, and even weekend appointments available. We will work with you to find a time that works for everyone. Don't be afraid to say I'm home at 5 and my spouse/partner etc. is home by 6 pm, Do you have anything for us? We do, and will be happy to accommodate your schedule.

We will call to confirm your appointment! Especially during our busy season, we are trying to fit everyone in. If we can't make sure your appointment is going to happen, we will put someone else in your place. If we didn't, we could see a cascading effect on our business. A missed appointment means no revenue and most companies do not charge for an evaluation.

How to select the best proposal for your project:

Decide what product is best suited to your needs and wants, is energy efficient, and includes everything you need done including the finishing work.

Ask yourself who you were most comfortable with: Who answered your questions until you understood and who tried to go over your head with big construction terms.

Make sure all the credentials are in order and that you will have a key person assigned to your project.

You should also come away with a good idea of what happens next: someone should review your project and material order, and then your schedule will be tentatively scheduled. A time and day will be set for the actual start of the project; this is usually closer to your actual installation.After your project is finished, your head installer should walk the job with you showing you any tips or tricks for your product like how to open the windows for cleaning, what, if any, maintenance you need to do, and what your warranty covers.

Always keep in mind that your home needs TLC. Many people wouldn't think twice to spend $5000 on their car or hobby,but will neglec tthe largest and most important asset, your home.Regular maintenance and energy efficient upgrades your home can save on energy costs and consumption. Don't forget: there are tons of tax credits right now! Check out energystar.gov for the entire list, you might be surprised with what you find.

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