The Home Book FAQ
What is The Home Book?
The Home Book is a set of construction performance guidelines that the owner of a new or remodeled home can expect to receive. The book contains chapters covering more than 380 conditions relating to workmanship that have been historic sources of disputes between homeowners and builders. The Home Book comprehensively covers all components and areas of a home. Each chapter of the book describes specific conditions common to new homes, the recommended guideline of performance, the Homeowner's Responsibility, and the Builder's Responsibility.
What is the purpose of The Home Book?
The purpose of The Home Book is to level the playing field between a homeowner's expectations and the ability of the builder to perform to a standard. It is intended to become a nationally recognized universal "Reference Book" that the homeowner will turn to in the event of a problem. The Home Book is a consumer oriented publication written in simple language for the homeowner to understand.
Isn't all this covered in the various Codes that homes are built to?
No, Codes deal with health and safety issues, and The Home Book deals with issues relating to workmanship. Building Inspectors cannot and do not rule on workmanship standards.
How do I know if the builder of the house I'm considering buying supports the Performance Guidelines?
Ask him. If he says he doesn't know about the Performance Guidelines, have him contact the Homeowners Education Association at (855) 380-2340 or visit www.buildingstandardsinstitute.org
The Building Standards Institute posts the names on their website www.buildingstandardsinstitute.org of homebuilders who support The Home Book.
The Building Inspector inspected my new home and signed off. Isn't that enough?
No. The Building Inspector doesn't check for things like cabinet finish, door alignment, drywall texture, and 250 other workmanship checks. Why not? Because it's not the Building Inspector's job to check on how well your home was built. It is his job to see that it was built to Code. Workmanship standards and Code issues are two vastly different areas.
Who should buy The Home Book?
Any person who owns a home that was built or remodeled in the past 10 years. Any person interested in practical maintenance tips to preserve the value of their homes. This includes persons who own townhouses and condominiums, because The Home Book is written for homeowner associations as well.
Does The Home Book apply to condominiums and for-sale apartments?
Yes, The Home Book applies to anyone who purchases a condominiums or an apartment, because the book deals with issues related to workmanship and lists 380 conditions that could apply to the home.
Besides workmanship issues, what else does The Home Book cover?
The Home Book also includes sections on home maintenance and "10 Most Common Mistakes made by New Homeowners". It contains a Glossary of terms that are keyed in blue referencing material in the chapters. Also featured are Maintenance Alerts! for the Homeowner and illustrations of Handy Hammer to guide the Homeowner through essential maintenance.
Believe it or not, the nation's most populous state that builds more than 140,000 new houses a year, has never had written standards for workmanship. This literary void has been fertile ground for numerous lawsuits - very few of which benefit the homeowner or the builder. With the publication of The Home Book, homebuyers know what to expect in the quality of a new home, and builders know what is expected of them.
- A "how to do it" book describing the way a home should be built. The builder is free to pursue his own building methods;
- A "how to repair it" book setting forth a prescribed method of fixing a problem;
- A lawbook on construction law or a textbook on homebuilding practices.
Who developed the Performance Guidelines?
The Performance Guidelines are a compilation of existing standards and performance guidelines established by the National Association of Home Builders, private warranty companies, the State of New Jersey (which has a mandatory warranty program), more than 70 peer reviewers, and trade organizations, and the authors' experiences as building contractors, architects and industry experts.
Will use of The Home Book reduce construction defect disputes?
Yes, it should. In states where published standards are used, construction defect litigation is almost non-existent. The authors have conducted research in New Jersey, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Colorado, and Washington on the subject of construction defect litigation. In the State of New Jersey, which has a state mandated long term warranty for new homes and where the home buyer retains the right to sue, less than 1% of all claimants choose that route.
Will The Home Book have an overall effect on the way homes are built?
Absolutely. Shoddy construction can now be measured against industry recognized standards of performance. The Home Book provides an opportunity for builders who care about the quality of their work to separate themselves from those builders who are trying to make a "quick buck".
CA sales tax (if applicable) + S/H
Discounts are available for non-profit organizations, governmental agencies, and volume purchasers. You may order online or by contacting (855) 380-2340.