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The Housebuilder's Bible Eighth Edition (8th Edition) [Illustrated] [Paperback]

Mark Brinkley
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 April 2009 8th Edition
The Housebuilder's Bible is unique - the first book in its field to mix information and advice with detailed yardstick costings for residential building projects. This new edition has been completely redesigned with new tables and improved illustrations - all in colour for the first time. The author is an experienced house builder and renovator and much of the detail in the book is drawn from trade experience. It's very much an insider's guide and experienced construction professionals have expressed amazement at the amount of detailed information in the book. Yet it's accessible - many readers who have never been involved with building before have used this book to successfully build their own homes. The eighth edition has been fully revised and updated to reflect recent changes in prices, Building Regulations and other legislation. It also includes an expanded green building section, more information on extensions and a snagging list. It's an ideal companion for anybody, self builder or professional, who wants to know more about building well and on a budget. The Eighth edition is fully updated to include the latest building regulations and an improved and expanded section on green building. An ideal companion for housebuilders and selfbuilders as well as anyone looking to extend or renovate a home.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Ovolo Books Ltd; Eighth Edition edition (2 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190595915X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905959150
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 17.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 178,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mark Brinkley, b 1953, is best-known as the author of the Housebuilder's Bible, a project he has been working on since 1993. Prior to that he worked as a builder and developer, and the book is based around his experiences and observations. He also writes regular columns in Homebuilding & Renovating magazine, and maintains a blog -- House 2.0 -- on housing matters. Or you can follow his sporadic Twitter feed @slopingsite

He went to Trinity College, Cambridge in the 1970s and then worked in a variety of alternative jobs and activities. He began building in 1980 when he carried out an eco-renovation on his first house, and went on to work on a number of projects, including building his own home in 1992. The project gave him the impetus to start analysing and writing about the building process and he has spent the past twenty years studying the way we build homes in Britain.

He lives in Cambridge and, when he is not writing or researching, he spends time pottering about, walking the country tracks, playing a little golf from time to time, and worrying about climate change, to very little effect. He plays guitar rather badly and has a soft spot for checked shirts and country music, suspecting he may have been a hillbilly in a former life. "That's quite enough gratuitous detail. If you want to know more about me and my work, visit my website at"

Product Description

About the Author

Mark Brinkley is an experienced housebuilder and renovator and much of the detail in the book is drawn from trade experience. He is famous for his best-selling book The Housebuilder's Bible and is in demand as a speaker and author. He writes regularly in Homebuilding & Renovating magazine as well as in building trade tiles.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
238 of 238 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easily the best self-build book I have read 30 Jan 2007
I have been interested in building my own house for at least 20 years and in that time I have read many books and countless magazine articles on the subject. Initially, most of the stuff I could find was american - often inspiring and very much geared to hands on do-it-yorself types but so far removed from the reality of building in bureaucratic Britain as to be almost useless. I have read books recently, written in this country, of a much more sober sort. They are often written by architects and, although many contain excellent advice on planning and contracts and garantees, there is often surprisingly little about the actual building process.

Mark Brinkley's book is different. It is immediately clear that this is written by a man who really knows about house building, both as a professional and a self-builder. He explains simply how houses are built, what choices there are to be made and what follows from them. Even better he explains why bulders, developers and the various subcontractors behave the way they do.

Building is not rocket science but there are many things that need to come together for it to work. Even if you don't intend to lift so much as a shovel in the process of your house build, you need to know the information in this book. It is clearly presented and easy to follow and cuts through the spin that various intrest groups put 'facts' and figures leaving you in a good position to make informed decisions.

For a book that contains so much information and insight, it is very easy to read and even entertaining in places and on top of that it really gives you a feel for what it is like to build your own house. I am 60% through the process of building my own house and still refer to this book often - if you only buy one book on self-build this should be it.
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116 of 117 people found the following review helpful
This is probably the first book purchase that any SelfBuilder should make. I speak form experience - I bought the last 2 versions of it.
This title may mislead you to think this is a practical book, it isn't. However it is an excellent book, it has tables which allow you to work out the material and labour costs for just about every individual task involved with building a house. Rates are given in PC sums or as square or cubic metre rates.

I have prepared the detailed costings for my build using Marks tables, and it brings out many things which might have slipped by in my calculations. The cost per lightfitting to the charge per linear metre for scaffolding.

There is a fair amount of background detail to various stages of the build and to who does what and how to organise things. With plenty of examples of the various methods of achieving the results i.e. drylining costs and plastering costs are detailed.

It does take some getting used to, you need to look at the front example build find the relevant chapter and look at the breakdown and then find the relevant table to see the full breakdown of material & labour costs.

A very good book and a must if you want to know what you should expect to pay.

I now have the 98/99 version and the book although not greatly changed remains an indispensable item for those who are Selfbuilding rather than just taking a turnkey package from a company.

Still a little lean on timber frame details, but at least some new data in this version.

I can honestly recommend this book for anyone interested in carrying out a Selfbuild.
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122 of 124 people found the following review helpful
By SimonL
If you're attempting a full house build or just extending or renovating, read this book.
It provides practical and objective information about all aspects of house building; it is easily understood by the lay person, without any 'dumbing down', and a useful reference for beginners and professionals alike.
It clearly lays out all the options and costs for each stage of building, allowing you to make informed decisions on how to proceed.
Whether self-building or employing builders, don't consider embarking on any building project without reading it first.
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126 of 129 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
It's very simple - do not attempt to start planning the self-build or major renovation of anything more than a broom cupboard under the stairs (and it's probably worth the cover price for even that!) until you have bought this book and read it from cover to cover at least twice. I have half a dozen other "home building" books and this is the one I always go back to. Not for nothing is it called the Housebuliders "Bible".
It doesn't set out to tell you how to project manage building a house. HOWEVER, it's written in such a way that I learnt enough from an earlier edition of this book to do exactly that. It DOES tell you how much it might all end up costing and how to keep control over the costs when you are project managing - or more importantly - someone else is project managing the work.
By dissecting each part of the build process from planning all the way through to putting up curtains it gives you an excellent idea of what's involved when you build a house and as I've said controlling the single most important issue which is cost - and trust me on this - controlling costs IS the number one issue you will face.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Me, me, me .....
Seems t have been written t show how smart the author thinks he is with lots of anecdotal stories to show how good he is. Vastly over rated.
Published 16 days ago by Mr. G. P. Parker
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read
Brilliant comprehensive book well worth buying looking forward to getting the next edition in my collection bang on information great
Published 25 days ago by Jamie Golding
5.0 out of 5 stars very nice book and good value
very nice book and good value - very detailed lots of good info and images, plenty of advise on most things.
Published 28 days ago by Emma Mollison
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
A great book which was bought as a gift and was very well received by the intended audience. To say "over the moon" is an understatement.
Published 1 month ago by David Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars Cost reduced version of a classic
This book is an invaluable reference for anyone embarking (or even contemplating) and self build or renovation project, demystifying every stage of building a house, and enabling... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Tim Markham
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative book
Thinking of adding an extension to my house and considering self project managing it myself I wanted to know how to go about it, what to expect and avoid costly pitfalls. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amanda Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Fast service, great book bought for gift for friend who is planning to build their own house and they love it covers everything they need.
Published 2 months ago by Ella Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
Bought this as a christmas pressie for my sister and she loves it. Reading it all the time as it has lots of detailed information but it is set out in a way which is easy to read/
Published 2 months ago by V. Sherriff
3.0 out of 5 stars Films and metal signs
the metal signs were very good and would not hesitate to order more in the near future, the one from Germany was excellent quality
Published 2 months ago by Freddie Rogers
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
All other reviews of this book said 'briliant' or a versio of that, I'd agree. Doing house alterations or building? get this book.
Published 2 months ago by Tim Britton
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