1870 book gives Advice

There is something agreeable to our better nature in having a home that we can call our own.

October 01, 1999

There is something agreeable to our better nature in having a home that we can call our own. It is a form of property that is more than a mere temporal possession," wrote Sereno Edwards Todd, author of Todd’s Country Homes and How to Save Money: A Practical Book by a Practical Man, originally published in 1870. Now reprinted in its entirety by Asdal Books, llc, the book not only serves as a desk reference for those in the building and restoration trades, but it also illustrates the value of integrating one’s home and one’s life.

The book, although originally published in 1870, offers a practical look at contracting, estimating and construction. Todd’s Country Homes details the design, construction and management of post-Civil War homes.

"The book celebrates the building and renovation industry’s history of learned skills, hard work and risk management," says Bill Asdal, CGR, owner of an award-winning remodeling company and one of the founders of Asdal Books, llc.

Sections describing technical aspects of home building such as framing, location, siding and roofing, provide information applicable to today’s building and remodeling processes. Todd’s Country Homes may be especially useful for remodelers and homeowners working on historic renovations. "The book gives insight into the home building process and the methods used in years past," says Asdal.
But the book offers more to the trade than the technical aspects of building, according to Asdal.
"Todd’s Country Homes" illustrates an enthusiasm about the process that is rarely seen in text books and seminars today," Asdal says. "It brings back the perspective of healthy optimism for all of us in the industry to keep on the front burner."

Although written in earlier times, the underlying values and ideas the author writes of are still appealing in today’s hectic world. Housing is more than just formulas, Asdal says.

Asdal Books, llc is a family-owned company. William Asdal, is a professional remodeler who owns Asdal Builders, llc, an award-winning business, and avidly collects antique books. Asdal wrote the preface to the 1999 edition of Todd’s Country Homes. To order the book, go to

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