Build Your Dreamhouse for a Song






Press Room
Quotes and Comments by Readers
Quotes and Comments by Seminar Participants
Author Bio

Radio interview clip

Newspaper article excerpts
Media Interview Questions
More Marin Article

Video overview
Video: Build your dream house

Quotes and Comments by Readers

"Cook's book is the best advice we have seen."
—Mark Smith author of The Owner Builder Book

"Terrific! David Cook is a genius at resourcefulness. His humble, do-it-yourself attitude is inspiring!"
—Marva A.

"Inspiring and Practical. It gives one a new lease on life."
—Sylvia M. Berkeley, CA

"Full of fascinating money-saving ideas, To assert that a house can be built "for a song" may be slightly hyperbolic, but David Cook's book is so laden with intriguing money-saving ideas that any owner-builder who uses just a handful of Cook's ideas is bound to save thousands of dollars on the construction of a house.

To do so, however, takes time, planning, plenty of energy, and a place to stockpile the lumber, ducts, plywood, salvaged windows, drainpipe, even the land, that Cook says can be picked up virtually for "a song" and/or barter at auctions, salvage yards, fire sales, construction sites, and so forth. In the house that he built himself, Cook installed kitchen cabinets that he had bought for a fraction of their worth years before he had a kitchen. (A German manufacturer displaying the cabinets at a trade show sold them cheap to avoid the cost of shipping them home.)

To find an architect to do the required drawings of his house, Cook dropped in at the school of architecture of a nearby university in order to find grad student to do the work. Cook's methods are fascinating. While reading the book I kept wishing that I had thought of that in years past while building the equivalent of two and a half houses of my own.

To think of all the money I could have saved if I only had had David Cook's luck, insight, fortitude, ability to take advantage of a bargain, and, of course, his book."
—George Ehrenhaft, author of The Builders Secret

"Thanks for showing us our dream can be real, once again. With charming starter fixer-uppers selling for $800,000 the dream of home ownership had turned to a nightmare for my husband and I. Then, we heard about David's book and bought it. Thanks for showing us our dream can be real, once again."
—JoAnne and Art S. San Francisco, CA

"Thanks to David Cook we saved $30,000 remodeling our kitchen! That's just by following one of his suggestions. My wife and I can't wait to get started building our second home using all of the book's suggestions."
—Sumant & Meddini P. Los Altos Hills

"I am very grateful for this book and the seminars the author teaches. I live in California where the price of owning my own home seemed to prevent me from ever realizing my dream. With the information in this book, I learned how to acquire land inexpensively, acquire materials inexpensively, and have my home designed around available materials. And, I found out that you don't have to know a lot about building to build your own home. I am very grateful for this book and the seminars the author teaches."
—A reader

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Quotes and Comments by Seminar Participants

"The seminar is really fantastic; so glad I came. I learned so much on buying property, building materials, permits, expenses, I would never have known of. Before, I only knew of the conventional way, ie: go to real estate agent."
—Louise (Fingerprint Technician), Menifee, CA

"A very good and helpful experience."
—Robert, Temecula, CA

"Very thought provoking, interesting, and energizing!"
—Sherry (Flight Attendant), Murrieta, CA

"One of the most practical seminars I've taken."
—Shana, Mountain View, CA

"Very honest on how to do the house project and buying land. Incredibly interesting information."
—Lucy (Acct-Tech/OT), CA

"Great class, great information, lots of resources, well worth the cost of seminar."
—Tracy (Electrician) Santa Rosa, CA

"Loved it! Great info. Good resources!"
—Danny (Engineer), CA

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Author Bio
David Cook has been a ship's hand, a television salesman, a nightclub owner, a restauranteur, and the owner builder of his own half-million-dollar dream house. He was born in London and raised by his mother, grandmother, and two aunts, and lived there until the age of thirteen when he moved to Australia. At eighteen, with five borrowed dollars in his pocket, he left Brisbane to work aboard a Swedish ship headed for San Francisco. Since building his house in Northern California, David Cook has started teaching would-be homebuilders his secrets to home ownership--truly believing that everyone should be able to live in a dream home he or she owns free and clear.

If you want David to speak at your organization or function, he can be reached by phone at: 1-415-454-1617, or by email at:

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Newspaper article excerpts

Please phone or email for copy of complete article.

San Francisco Chronicle.pdf
by Bradley Inman. The Adventurous build-it-yourselfers

Marin County Independent Journal.pdf
by PJ Bremier Do-it-yourself experts demystify home building.

Marin County Independent Journal.pdf
from staff and wire reports. Read up before you build, buy or remodel.

Building Education Center Newsletter.pdf
by Chuck Kim. An Owner Builder does it full time

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Media Interview Questions

Interview Questions for Author David Cook.

  • Why would anyone want to build their own house?
  • How much can they save?
  • What is your background?
  • Why did you build your own house?
  • What would you do differently next time?
  • Will this strategy work anywhere? For anyone?
  • Who should and who shouldn't do this?
  • How much does a person need to get involved?
  • How can our listeners obtain a copy of your book?

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