Remodeling neophytes have a lot to learn about the trade —and, it seems, a diminishing number of organized outlets for learning it all. The National Center for Construction Education and Research offers several possible solutions.

For independent training, Core Curriculum: Introductory Craft Skills gives anybody a basic knowledge of the construction industry and allows them to speak the language, says Ed Prevatt, NCCER's workforce development manager. Although not specific to remodeling, the book covers basic safety, basic math, hand tools, power tools, blueprints, and “soft skills” such as communication. To order, call 800.922.0579 or visit Other construction-related titles are also available.

Besides self-guided learning, NCCER offers classroom training through its accredited training sponsors. One way to take advantage is by joining Associated Builders and Contractors (, non-union) or Associated General Contractors of America (, union).