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What homeowner,after a few yearsof struggling with the ups and downsof finding sourcesfor home mainte- nance or repairservices, doesn'tvow to live in a yurt atthefirstopportunity that presents itself? Why should one feela sense of dread at going outto buy a new clothesdryer or any other appliance ?
A variety ofnew books have arrived thatanswer the need for guidance in select- ing home service profession- alsaswellasappliancesand other consumer goods. Following is asampling. The Franklin Report,The Insider'sGuideto Home Services, Allgood Press, $22.50
Thisisthe first edition of "The Franklin Report,
Chicago," ballyhooed as a comprehensive survey based on clientreviews of the city's top homeservice providers. Chicago is the second in a national series of such publi- cations. The first

was "The Franklin Report, New Yo r k City 2001." Thissoft-cover guide ismuch morewide- ranging in subjectmatter than the "Chicago Home Book" and willbe usefulto a broad- er range of homeowners.T h e editors distilled information fromundisclosed private sources to writea summary that reflects the consensus view in profiling each service p r o v i d e r.
Apart from factual infor- mation (what setsa company apart, whatprice range a con- tractor works in, etc.), anony- mous clientopinions are list- ed for service providersrang- ing from architects, contrac- tors and interior designers to electricians, rug cleanersand pest control specialists. Each firmisrated from 1 to 5 for q u a l i t y, cost, value andr e c- o m m e n d a b i l i t y. But there are very few negative ratings. In some cases, under the rating columns, there are drawings

of open folders, indicating the authors did not feelthey had enough information to issue a rating, which raises the ques- tion, why list them at all?
Some editorial material is interspersed with the listings of providers. In many cases, as in the article on "Hiring A Computer Installation & Maintenance Service
Provider?," the information is helpful to a novice.

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