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Interior/Exterior Home Improvement Costs

by RS Means a CMD Group company

How Much Should You Pay?

A book review

Your house needs some work, or you are planning on updating or adding on, but you don't know what it will cost you to have it done. Should you do it yourself? Or should you hire someone to do it. Just how long should it take anyway? If you have had these questions and weren't sure where to turn for the answers, well, look no further.

The RS Means Company has the book or books for you. I have just reviewed two of their books, "Exterior Home Improvement Costs" and "Interior Home Improvement Costs". These two books do a great job of covering most of the projects you could want to do on your home. What sort of information is in them? Well, each home improvement project has the following sections:

  • Materials
  • Level of Difficulty
  • What to Watch out for
  • And it includes a detailed breakdown of labor costs and hours.
    From this information, you should have a pretty good idea of what it would take to do the project yourself in terms of time and materials or the cost of having a professional do the work. Now when you get your estimates, you will know what ballpark you should be looking at, plus have an idea about things to discuss with the contractor.

    I found the books to be extremely well written and easy to use. They include a price adjuster for different areas of the USA and Canada, so you can get a good idea of costs depending on where you live. They also include sections on choosing a contractor and questions for your Building Department. Excellent books and definitely worth the $20 each costs.

    The RS Means company has a whole library of books for contractors and homeowners alike. Give them a call at 800-334-3509 or check them out at their web site:

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