Remodel! Without Going Bonkers or Broke

Remodel! Without Going Bonkers or Broke

Eliminate 3 Critical Mistakes and Save Thousands Using This Proven Step-by-Step Method

Non-Fiction - Home/Crafts
224 Pages
Reviewed on 02/04/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Jim Molinelli is the quintessential remodeling expert. He has earned three different architecture degrees and holds a Maryland architectural license. He has also taught on the architecture faculty at Texas A&M University.

After leaving Texas, Jim entered the design-build remodeling field, where he spent the past twenty-four years helping Maryland families remodel. His unique designs have garnered more than fifty remodeling awards. He also received the Maryland Governor’s Citation for Meritorious Service two times, once in 2006 and again in 2016.

Since 2002, he created and taught many ‘Prepare to Remodel’ classes for homeowners through Howard Community College. That led to both his this book, and a brand new online Remodeling Masterclass that launches in the Spring of 2017.

He and his family live in the suburban Washington, DC area. He enjoys travel and golf, and is an avid baseball fan.

Jim also speaks at events on remodeling topics, and offers Workshops and Bootcamps for homeowners in addition to blogging and curating remodeling themed information on his website www.JimMolinelli.com

Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Remodel! Without Going Bonkers or Broke: Eliminate 3 Critical Mistakes and Save Thousands Using This Proven Step-by-Step Method is a non-fiction Home Improvement book written by Jim Molinelli. Molinelli is a residential architect who has spent the last twenty-four years in the remodeling industry. As an architect, he was often frustrated by the failure of contractors to provide his clients with results based upon the designs he created at costs within their budgets. He began to work directly with a remodeling contractor in a cooperative venture that gave him new insights into the estimation process. Remodeling is an exciting process that can give your home a new feel, help prepare it to be sold on the market, or expand it to fit your changing needs, but it can also be a nightmare and a money trap if you aren't careful. Just about everyone knows someone who's in the contracting business. It could be a relative, a coworker, a friend of a friend or a neighbor. Molinelli cautions readers to avoid those personal recommendations like the plague. Instead, he sets out step-by-step instructions for preparing your Project Packet, figuring out which type of design professional fits your needs, finding the best remodelers for the job, and being the boss of your project. He includes a list of horror story avoidance tips, action items, and a chart of Remodeling Licensing and Registration by State in his appendices.

Jim Molinelli demystifies the often-confusing home improvement process. When I started reading this book, I knew absolutely nothing about home improvement. As I read, I was excited to find I was actually learning quite a bit about the process. Molinelli gives the reader total control over what goes into the project packet and helps hone a fine sense for what to look for when it comes down to hiring the right professionals for the tasks at hand. I was amazed by the amount of preparation work that the homeowner can do beforehand, and loved how Molinelli changes the tenor of the process from the homeowner feeling at the mercy of the professionals to assuming the role of the boss who is in control of the project. He injects a bit of reality into the often complicated and time-consuming process that many home improvement shows make seem easy and fast, while he demonstrates how knowledge and preparation can help avoid the nightmare scenarios seen in movies such as The Money Pit. Molinelli's enthusiasm for the subject shines through on every page of this invaluable guide, and it's quite infectious.

Remodel! Without Going Bonkers or Broke shows how you can have fun planning your remodel, while maintaining some control over costs and time frames. Readers of this entertaining and informative guide will feel empowered to politely decline the offers made by friends and relatives “in the business” as they interview and eventually select the professionals they’ll hire. They’ll know they've gotten the best bang for the buck without sacrificing the quality of their remodeling project. This is a must-buy for anyone thinking of a home improvement project, no matter how big or small. Remodel! Without Going Bonkers or Broke: Eliminate 3 Critical Mistakes and Save Thousands Using This Proven Step-by-Step Method is most highly recommended.

Katelyn Hensel

Remodel! Without Going Bonkers or Broke by Jim Molinelli is not just another guide to home remodeling. It's an educational book that not only provides tips and tricks to getting your home up to snuff at a great price, but also provides the education necessary to understand the remodeling and construction industry. Jim not only provides the how, but the what, who, and why of construction and remodeling.

Jim Molinelli provides logical, quick, and ready to apply advice to home repair. As someone that just moved into my first home, I've already mined tons of advice from this book that I will most definitely be applying to some of my own home improvement lists. As a recent graduate, I'm especially concerned about the costs of home repairs as I've got a lot of bills and anything extra could really throw me out financially. Luckily, Molinelli's tips are smart, business savvy, and financially responsible so you know you're going to save money or recoup your costs with the tips he provides.

The formatting of the book was very straight forward, providing sensible, smart chapters that immediately dove into the heart of each issue. If you are a first time home buyer or have let your house just sit and now it needs major repairs and remodeling, Remodel! Without Going Bonkers or Broke is a great solution. The Do It Yourself-ers out there can rejoice while their sensible and money savvy partners can relax about the money they will be saving and recouping with the smart remodels.

Kayti Nika Raet

Remodel! Without Going Bonkers or Broke by Jim Molinelli helps homeowners learn the dos-and-don'ts of the remodeling process, and how to avoid mistakes that lead to horrible results. In an easy to read, step-by-step guide, Molinelli details the process in a logical manner with the goal of saving readers time and money.

A veteran in the field, author Jim Molinelli, a licensed architect and business insider, reveals many hidden tips that demystify the remodeling process. Creating things such as Action Items and Project Planners, Molinelli helps guide homeowners into knowing what they want in a project and how to achieve the most out of their goals, no matter the size of their budget or the scope of the project. Reading Remodel! Without Going Bonkers or Broke will open the eyes of any homeowner and help bring them that much closer to the remodel of their dreams.

This guide manages to strike the right balance of encouraging and empowering the reader to make informed decisions. It breaks down their options and how to best go about achieving them. Any homeowner should walk away from Molinelli's book with a full appreciation of the work architects and home designers put in, along with money saving tips that will make the project much easier. Remodel! Without Going Bonkers or Broke is definitely the kind of book you want to have by your side. It's informative and enlightening. I would recommend it to any homeowner.

Mark Clausen

"Remodel!" is like having an experienced, expert, and (most of all) trusted specialist as your personal remodeling mentor.


In "Remodel! Without Going Bonkers or Broke: Eliminate 3 Critical Mistakes and Save Thousands Using This Proven Step-by-Step Method," Jim Molinelli succinctly and concisely boils down a lifetime’s worth of experience in the remodeling business in this well-written guide. He provides the expert guidance needed to take you from developing realistic plans and budgets through selecting your project professionals and entering into contracts -- all while keeping your sanity.

The material is arranged in a very logical order. Jim starts out with a section about remodeling, in general -- comparing perceptions, myths, and realities. This information offers us a first peek into a what it takes to enter into a remodeling project, providing the motivation to make sure we do it right.

What follows next are two sections that contain probably the most important guidance you could receive -- what to at the very beginning of any remodeling project. These are steps that if not taken, will almost certainly doom any effort to failure. To be sure, very few people undertake such a project without a plan, but all too often, the plans are insufficiently-crafted to ensure success. Jim guides you through the planning process from your first inklings of a desire to remodel, to the final, detailed specifications needed to accurately and completely define your project. The end result of this effort is a complete project packet that is ready for you to take to your project professional.

In the next two sections, Jim describes and details the kinds of professionals that operate in this business, weighing the pros and cons of each. This allows you to identify the type(s) of professionals that can and should do the work you've planned out in your project packet.

The final two sections contain information on how to interview and select your remodeling professionals, including how to guidance on evaluating proposals, managing costs, and negotiating. With Jim's decades of experience in the remodeling business, these insights are invaluable to those of us who have never had any exposure to the subject outside of HGTV shows.

Thus, your journey from first ideas to the start of construction is complete. If you follow Jim's guidance in "Remodel!", you're certain to have the rest of the effort go smoothly and according to plan.

I would be remiss if I didn't address the quality of the writing in this book. I read a good deal of material by independent authors... much of it is very good, but very few offerings (especially first efforts) are exceptional. Jim Molinelli's "Remodel!" is a rarity in this world. It's not just a great first effort, it's an exceptionally well-written book, in general. In addition to the content being complete and helpful, the writing is clear, crisp, and concise -- a real pleasure to read. Formatting is also very well done -- the eBook version is nicely laid out and easy to read. Early looks at the print version show that the same care was taken to make sure that it is equally well-crafted.

If you have even the slightest thought of wanting to undertake a remodeling project, Jim Molinelli's "Remodel!" is a must-have resource to help guide you through it with a minimum of pain.