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Customer reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars

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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.
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on 1 July 2007
This is a great source for any building industry student. Full of useful photographs, sketches, diagrams etc. Unfortunately, because of its small standard paperback format most of the graphical images are thumbnail size which makes them difficult to study. Otherwise 10 out of 10.
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on 1 September 2013
I came by this book after having to back out of a house purchase only after we'd paid for the surveyor to examine the property. This book will not and cannot replace a surveyor, but it will give you a good idea of what it is that you see before you when you go to look at a property.

It is a very dense book, written for people who have an idea already of how houses are constructed and will give the reader sufficient detail to understand how house construction has changed over the past few hundred years, how the materials have changed, how they are used and how they will degrade over time. That makes this book excellent for informing you on what you are getting yourself into or, if you already own a property, the likely cause of the problem that you are experiencing.

I found the historical references particularly useful when looking over houses that had been 'modernised' or 'renovated' as, with a bit of practice, it became possible to tell when something had been done that was not in keeping with the original house and to gain an idea as to whether or not it would cause trouble down the line.

Overall, it's a must if you're buying a house, but it cannot take the place of a qualified surveyor.
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on 29 March 2015
The book was described as in good condition and priced accordingly but when I opened the book the spine cracked and pages started to fall out very quickly as I began to read it. Not my idea of good condition and so over priced. Not a bargain.
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on 6 July 2014
One of the best books you could own
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on 12 August 2015
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