Top critical review
12 people found this helpful
Good Book, Poor binding
on 20 April 2008
This book has been by written by Duncan Marshall (main author I think) who also seems to have been the main author in The Construction of Houses and Understanding Housing Defects. I read this book after I had read the Construction of Houses and I found it good. In writing this book I think the author has attempted to make his explanations as concise and clear as possible. Maybe too concise as to really understand the concept I sometimes had to refer to the Construction of Houses. This is a pocket book, albeit a detailed one, and sometimes you got the feeling that the size of the book was on the author's mind.
Nonetheless some of the conciser explanations are clearer and better expressed than in the Construction of Houses. One of the reasons for this is because of the excellent presentation of photographs and diagrams. Even when a lot of photos and diagrams are on one page they are well laid out, well explained and do not clutter each other. All the photos and diagrams are in colour which really helps understanding. Especially compared to The Construction of Houses where they are all in black and white. When presenting the checklists the author does his best to make them as clear as possible and keeps as much relevant information together and within eyeshot. Also the sequence of the chapters is right for logical learning.
I think the Construction of Houses would probably be a better starting book for the novice in that it gives fuller explanations, something this book is not always able to do because of lack of space. However the House Inspector has better photos and diagrams and sometimes better expressed explanations. I would have given this book 4 stars plus only for the fact that having read the book from cover to cover once it has fallen apart. If you fully open the book in the middle it will break the binding. Otherwise a well thought out, well explained, well presented book.