Reviews and Comments

“…a no-frills, no-nonsense book about what tasks you need to accomplish, and on what schedule, to maintain your home. A comprehensive glossary explains and clarifies unfamiliar terms, and, most helpfully, a recommended maintenance schedule helps you keep your tasks on track with timely completion, before little problems become huge.” - San Francisco Book Review

“Coauthors MacLellan and Wolfson, both construction specialists, outline home maintenance in a way that is detailed and understandable. Chapters are arranged by different sections of the home… knowledgeable advice and fantastic tips….on diagnosing issues, why maintenance is necessary, and when to hire a professional.” - Library Journal

“Whether you own a home, are thinking about buying a home, or are considering remodeling your home, this is the book for you." – Michael Cortney, Former President, Standard Pacific Homes

"Don't walk on your roof! That's just one tip in this guide developed by the Building Standards Institute, a nonprofit that provides consumer education in the field of residential construction. This reference provides the 'performance guidelines that contractors work with when dealing with homeowners, such as what to look for in that 'walk-through' before closing and how you'll null various warranties (walking on the roof voids the one for roof replacement). Nine chapters delve into the nitty-gritty of foundations, floors, and more."  – Library Journal

"Not sure who to call when there's a problem with your new home? The Home Book provides more than 380 performance guidelines for owners of new and remodeled homes. If the floorboards are uneven, is that the homeowner's responsibility or the builder's? What about a window that sticks or a cupboard that sags? This book replaces personal opinions related to construction quality and workmanship in residential homebuilding with clear written guidelines. Intended to be used as a reference manual, The Home Book is divided into nine chapters each with related conditions (problems), the industry-accepted performance guidelines, and the responsibilities of both the builder and the homeowner.

The contents were vetted by national building organizations and reviewed by law firms that represent homebuilders and homeowners. The Home Book is a thorough guide for a narrow audience. It will be most useful to those seeking to evaluate the workmanship in their new or newly remodeled homes." – Karen Ackland, Foreword Review

"Broken into nine chapters, you get a good feel for the maintenance tasks necessary to keep a home in good running order... Each chapter is further broken down into individual household components and what you can do with them to keep them in good running order. Lots of little tips, and some not so little, are spread throughout the book. There is also a maintenance checklist in case you're stuck in the middle of nowhere with just your Swiss Army knife.

If you're looking to grab a copy of the book to help you understand all the different things that could go round in your home, you can then use the book's contents to make sure nothing goes wrong and the home doesn't collapse from lack of attention."

-John Zukowski, Java John Z's Reviews

"Home ownership is a big step in your life and, whether you already have a home or plan to buy one, The Home Book is a great resource to have. You'll learn important tips on getting the most for your money. If you plan to remodel or upgrade your house, this guide provides valuable information and opinions to help you make informed decisions on both contractors and materials. The authors have done the homework for you—all you need to do is read the book!" - Super Handy Mom Kelly Carrell, "The Super Handyman," – King Features syndicated newspaper columnist

Foreword Review – Read Foreword Review's review of The Home Book.
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Bottom Line Personal – Read Bottom Line Personal's article of The Home Book.
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"The Home Book is a complete and comprehensive instruction manual designed for helping the non-specialist home buyer and/or home owner on how to assess and evaluate a home with specific chapters on Foundations; Floors and Ceilings; Walls; Roofs; Exterior Components; Interior Components; Utility Systems; and Grounds. Of special note is the Preface covering everything from contractor regulation and oversight agencies, to builder and homeowner responsibilities, to the ten most common mistakes made by homeowners. Another additional value is homeowner oriented information and commentary on ice and snow, noise transmission, mold and mildew, septic tanks, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, wood destroying insects, and radon. Enhanced with a Homeowner Maintenance Summary; Glossary; Bibliography, and Index, The Home Book is very strongly recommended and rewarding reading for all perspective homeowners and will prove an enduringly useful manual for even the more experienced homeowner." – James A. Cox, Midwest Book Review, Small Press Bookwatch, Homeowner's Shelf

 "The Home Book: The Complete Guide to Homeowner and Homebuilder Responsibilities is intended to show homeowners what to expect with any new or remodeled home. It covers every possible condition referencing homeowner and homebuilder maintenance, providing 380 residential workmanship guidelines that are presented in are easy-to-read. Most homeowners don't know where to find answers when they discover a defect in their new or remodeled home and this is particularly true if they aren't detected right away. What, for example, are homeowners to do when the roof of their new home springs a leak? Or kitchen cabinets sag? Or they smell mold in the bathroom? The book was vetted by more than 70 industry professionals as well as government building officials, trade organizations, and consumer interests groups. It is the real deal and will no doubt save homeowners a lot of grief if they read it and keep it handy." – Alan Caruba, Bookviews, February 2014  

 "...Even though it is the expectation of most men to be handy, I am not the best at this. This book however makes fixing things in your home easy! The books takes you through normal maintenance and helps you to plan for things that you will need to be planning for in the future. The book takes you from regular day-to-day fixes to more intensive changes (that I know I would not have the skill to complete myself). The book was easy to understand (for the most part--as there were some areas that were more technical), and with the full color, you are taken on a journey through your home that you will soon not forget! This is a great book for any home owner." – Christopher Lewis, Dad of Diva's Reviews

 Book Review: A Guide to Maintaining your house, from A to Z
By Tinah Saunders
The Atlanta Journal – Constitution

Whether buying a first home or your fifth, The National Home Maintenance Manual, published by MacLellan Wolfson Associates, is a book every homeowner should have in their home library. Written by and architect and a  home builder/engineer, the book is a guide to how homes are built and to maintain and repair them, beginning with the foundation, topping out at the roof and finishing with landscaping and grading of the grounds. It unravels the mysteries of owning a home: what can go wrong: what to worry about: how to fix it: and when to call in experts. At the back of the manual is a schedule of maintenance for everything from the air conditioner to stucco and trim. One column gives the purpose for checking the item, another the number of times per year to check, and a third the level of difficulty. A glossary of terms such as “lathe,” “fascia” and “efflorescence” helps you communicate with contractors and repairmen. The National Home Maintenance Manual is available online at

Two good guides to buying, maintaining homes
By Richard Paoli

…I have another book to recommend. The National Home Maintenance Manual is another how-to book, the result of the construction defect lawsuits that have plagued California builders. The authors, David MacLellan and George Wolfson, are principals in Walnut Creek construction industry consulting firm that bears their names.

“The book came about as a result of a Senate Bill 800, which went into effect Jan.1”, said MacLellan. SB 800, which did not end the lawsuits, but did, however, define whether builders have a liability to repair damage to a home that has not been properly maintained. “We felt that creating this book would help those homeowners looking for information on maintenance,” MacLellan said.

Whether you’re buying a brand new house or taking possession of a 50-year-old fixer upper, this book belongs in the garage next to the tools.