FAIRMONT — Building your dream house should not be a nightmare.
Fairmont native Dave Rudy has written a book — inspired by his own experiences — on how to have your house built. from deciding what style and where to build to what to build with to financing to even legal recourse.
He will have a book signing of “So You Want to Be Your Own General Contractor: Do-It-Yourself Overseer’s Guide” from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, April 18, at the Waterfall Cafe and Grill, 1601 Locust Ave.
“I will have a limited availability of copies I can sign,” he said. “But you can go to my Web site (soyouwanttobeyourowngeneralcontractor.com) to purchase copies.”
“My wife and I had no prior experience to prepare us for this monumental task,” he writes in the preface. “We are just your ordinary hardworking couple who had our dream house built while maintaining everyday careers. We did not perform the actual construction. Instead, we acted as the liaison between construction workers ... , salespeople, and of course, the bank. In essence, we cut out the middleman, taking on the overseeing and administrative duties of a general contractor. The information we obtained will help anyone contemplating being their own general contractor.”
He said he got burned a few times by contractors while he and his wife Linda were having their house of a lifetime built in Monongalia County.
“I told them I would write a book after all the money and time they cheated me out of.”
And he did.
“By being our own general contractors, we saved over $250,000,” he added.
That meant being the grown-up in the relationship ... organizing the workers, making sure things got done on time, applying for loans and permits.
“You are the big daddy money man, where all the bucks start and stop. And you are the overseer, the foreman, the superintendent.
“You are the person who is in charge of pulling it all together. I wanted to let people know that yeah, you can do this. This is a true story of a true build so you can understand what you’re getting yourself into.
“Educating and encouraging the reader to take on something of this nature is the main goal of the book,” Rudy said.
Whether acting as your own general contractor or hiring one, “This book is good for both,” he said. “It gives the readers an understanding from start to finish on how the construction process takes hold, things to look for, the mishaps and the good things that can come out of this.”
One very good thing is “you’ll save money. And you’ll be able to customize the house to your wants and needs, taking a design that is magnificent and tweaking it here and there. And there’s the overall sense of accomplishment that you pulled it off.”
Their dream house took about two years to build, 18 months of major construction and another six of finishing touches. They broke ground in July 2004 and had a “yay, the house is built” party in September 2006.
The house sits five minutes outside Morgantown off Route 73 in the South Hills community. It is 3,500 square feet with a finished basement totalling close to 5,000 square feet of actual living space with a 956 square-foot garage.
He’s already working on his second book, on motivational thinking, with Authorhouse, a self-publishing company.
“I tried the traditional route of sending my idea to literary agents.
“But they want you to send a query letter, explaining what work you’ve done. Doing this four, five times and getting Dear John letters made me realize I was going to pursue this and self-publish.
“Hopefully this will give me the avenue to motivational speak with it. After I built the house, the accomplishment I felt made me realize I could do things like this. And once you start accomplishing things, you realize it’s not hard to accomplish the next task.
“I’m not the first person to have a house built by general contractors, but I may be the first one to write about it in a humorous fashion.”
He’d also like to start a “So You Want to Be Your Own ...” series, he said, such as being your own publisher.
“I self-published with Authorhouse. This would give people an idea what to look for in self publisher.”
“I’ve trademarked ‘So You Want to Be Your Own ...’ to protect that idea,” he said.
“I don’t know where this might go. It might possibly take some legs and turn into something.
“I wanted to have something set up, to have something to fall back onto, to approach it that way.”
The son of the late Ernie and Bernice Rudy, he grew up on Jo Harry Drive, and is a 1982 Fairmont Senior High graduate and 1991 grad of Fairmont State. “I took a sabbatical through life,” he said about the nine-year-gap.
Sprinkled in with the advice is humor: “How can there be 200 shades of white?”
“Building your dream house is one of the most important projects you’ll do in your lifetime,” he said. “I want to let people know the issues they’ll be dealing with.
“You have to be there at least an hour a day to see what’s being done with the project.
“ If something’s not done right, you can address the problem then.
“You also have to educate your spouse as well, in case you can’t be there to deal with the contractors on issues,” he said.
Rudy works for the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Morgantown and his wife works for Mon Health Systems.
The book contains illustrations by Don Stevens.
E-mail Debra Minor Wilson at email@example.com.
Fairmont native gives ins and outs of building your dream house
FAIRMONT — Building your dream house should not be a nightmare.
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