This book should be required reading for anyone who is thinking about building or renovating a house. The savings involved can make the difference between just dreaming about that dream house and actually building it.<br><br> The primary message behind <i>Be Your Own House Contractor</i> is You can do it! According to construction expert and author Carl Heldmann, anyone can oversee the building of a house and save up to 25 percent by acting as the main contractor. This popular book has sold over 268,000 copies since it was first published in 1982.<br><br> Written for those with little or no experience in the building trades, <i>Be Your Own House Contractor</i> clearly and simply lays out the steps involved in home construction and answers the many questions that arise. Concise chapters deal with:<br> Locating and purchasing land<br> Procuring financing<br> Estimating costs and staying within a budget<br> Hiring subcontractors and finding suppliers<br> Building the house<br> Restoring an existing structure<br><br> An extensive appendix contains examples of the forms, certificates, and permits that are required, as well as sample contracts and plans.<br><br> The 5th edition has been fully updated and includes Carl Heldmanns new Web site, where readers can get loan information, daily updates on interest rates, and cost estimate worksheets for planning and tracking building expenses. Other new features include new chapters on renovating and restoring an older house and a Spanish glossary of common building terms.