New Home Improvement Book Shows Homeowners How to Save Money When Building or Remodeling Without Sacrificing Quality

CHICAGO, Oct. 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — As if the COVID-related supply chain disruption making it hard to find many consumer items hasn’t been bad enough, many homeowners suffered sticker shock when the price of lumber hit an all-time high this spring, blowing construction budgets and forcing people to delay their home improvement projects. The cost of gasoline, food products, and other commodities have also increased over the last year, and some areas of the country are expecting a rise in natural gas and electricity prices. Inflation like this can put a serious dent in household budgets, leaving many homeowners to reconsider their plans to build a new home or remodel an existing home.

A new book by home renovation enthusiast Joe Oswald aims at showing homeowners how to save money when building or remodeling without sacrificing quality by learning to control their costs.  The Homeowner’s Guide to Contracting, Building, and Remodeling: Save a Fortune Learning What Contractors Don’t Want You to Know (ISBN-13: 978-0-9709734-4-3) was Amazon’s number one new release in April in their Home Design and Construction category. The book follows Oswald’s renovation and subsequent building of a three-level addition onto his 1929 Spanish Revival home in Chicago in which he acted as the general contractor. The home received rave reviews after it was recently featured on the annual Beverly/Morgan Park Home Tour.  

According to Oswald, "The builder markup is the biggest secret in general contracting, and it’s possibly the most important factor in controlling costs…Getting multiple estimates, ordering direct from suppliers, and learning the true cost of materials and labor saved me a fortune."

Oswald details the entire project including how he was able to save tens of thousands of dollars over estimates he received from general contractors by avoiding builder markups, ordering his own materials, and hiring his own subcontractors. With experience renovating a previous home and the knowledge he had from taking a general contracting class and working for a home developer years earlier, Oswald decided to tackle the project himself, including planning the mechanical systems, obtaining permits, and meeting with home inspectors.

Organized to cover the major phases of construction and renovation, including construction financing, the book is complete with over a hundred photographs, checklists, builder insights, and inspirational quotations.

Midwest Book Review states: "Exceptionally well written organized and presented…a comprehensive and thoroughly ‘user friendly’ instructional guide." 

Architect Joe Carrol states: "A valuable guide to contracting, building, and renovating, homeowners will surely benefit from Joe Oswald’s knowledge and experience." 

In addition to renovating homes, Oswald has taught history for over twenty years and has written two other books including Chicago’s Beverly/Morgan Park Neighborhood and a vocabulary improvement book titled Vocabulary for Champions.

Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, local bookstores, and other retailers. For more information visit

Media Contact:
Joe Oswald

SOURCE Joe Oswald