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Just suppose your new home wasn’t quite what the contractor ordered and promised. If you’re lucky, you’ll discover this sad fact before he’s done working on the house. If not, you’ll have to chase him to his next job site. I once went through that many years ago, and it can be fun.

Anyway, here’s what you do. Erect a huge sign on your lot that says something like, BUY THIS UNDER-CONSTRUCTED, POORLY DONE HOME–CHEAP. Display the contractor’s name and telephone number prominently. When Contractors complains, tell him you wouldn’t think of subjecting your family to the horrors of living in such a poorly constructed dump, and if he buys it you’ll take down the sign. Have a list of things you think are wrong with the house. You have already shown him your list if you had to eventually resort to the big sign. Show him again. The heading of the list should state his name, address, and telephone number along with your general beef about the poor quality of his work, followed by the specific complaints. Mimeograph this list so your contractor will think you’re handing them out faster than a politician’s calling card. It’s worked well in the past. You should get your grievances satisfied with the Contractors.

A man calling himself Hank suggests one for the construction trade. He says that if your mark is building anything from concrete and you or your allies have access to that concrete before it is poured, add concentrated hydrochloric acid to it. Hank claims, “I’ve seen it work–it causes slow but continual deterioration of the structure from corrosion.”

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