Authors: David E. MacLellan, George E. Wolfson, and Douglas Hansen
Publisher: The Building Standard Institute
ISBN: 978-0-9894899-0-4

When disputes arise regarding construction quality and workmanship, both homeowners and builders are often frustrated by the absence of a written, unbiased reference to deal with these issues. The intent of this Manual is to provide that written reference,” David E. MacLellan, George E.Wolfson, and Douglas Hansen write in the preface of their book, The Home Book: A Complete Guide to Homeowner and Homebuilder Responsibilities.

At two hundred and eighty pages, this over-sized paperback targets the home builder and owner searching for clarification of who is responsible for what regarding maintenance. With thirty years of the authors’ experiences, it is a compilation of three hundred and eighty residential workmanship guidelines. Meant to be used nationally in the United States, it is not a “how to” book, but a “who handles what” manual.

With a cute smiling hammer icon depicted in scenes throughout the glossy pages, highlighted yellow boxes list topics while lighter yellow ones focus on “Performance Guidelines.” Bullet-points, underlined sections, and darker font stand out, organizing the subjects discussed.

After twenty pages of introduction, definitions, state regulation agencies, authors’ biographies, measuring tips, and common mistakes made by new homeowners, there are nine chapters involving the upkeep of a residence, ending with a homeowner’s maintenance summary, glossary, index, and references.

Chapters involve foundations, floors and ceilings, walls, roofs, exterior and interior components, utility systems, grounds, and miscellaneous. These may be tips from two pages regarding floor squeaks, subfloors, beams and posts to over fifty pages dedicated to inside issues such as fireplaces, insulation, doors, closets, finished floors, drywall, countertops, appliances, stairs, trim, mirrors, and shower enclosures.

Next time homeowners are unsure of the responsibility of mold and mildew accumulating around windows, doors, and inserts in bathrooms, they can read that, unless due to poor construction, they need to clean routinely, air out, and disinfect the area using a mildewcide. Exhaust fans should be working, heat supply grills uncovered, and windows opened during showering.

One complaint about the book may its simplistic approach to appliances, stating to check warranties. With no way to look up topics such as a central vacuum or home theatre system that is installed prior to inspection, the vague topical index should be more extensive.

Although the book appears to be geared toward the maintenance of a new house, many of the examples can apply to older homes. It would make an ideal book for builders or homeowner associations to offer to every involved homeowner or be available at the local hardware store as a reference book.

Thanks to Bookpleasures and KSB Promotions for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinions.

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