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When conflicts between builders and their customers occur, the source of the problem usually turns out to be poor communication. Builders must make sure that good information is available and bring it to their customer's attention. The best way to handle a large volume of complex information is to provide it in written form. A wellorganized "homeowner manual" guides the customer through contract negotiations and construction, helps to orient them when they move in, and clarifies the warranty. And a homeowner manual serves as a resource while the customer lives in the home, providing a convenient record of important information that can be passed along easily to subsequent owners. Setting The Stage The overall objective of a homeowner manual is to make clear