Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
Excellent tool for the self builder too
on 16 August 2012
This title was suggested to me by the main contractor working on our period property refurbishment as an excellent primer on building design and materials.
I would suggest there are actually two main uses for this book. Firstly as a reference and easy access data book - checking weights, loadings, sizes etc - which as listed in other reviews is ideal for a professional engaged in construction. The data is of course not exhaustive as it is constrained to pocket book size, but it hits an excellent balance between summary and detail. This is an excellent reflection on the author's ability to precis information.
Secondly - and where it is most useful for me as a self builder rather than building pro, especially when engaged on a project not supported by an architect - it gives a basic understanding of a wide range of issues. For example, there is a straightforward summary of foundation types, generic benefits of different insulation materials etc which have all helped me either to refine specifications or to judge that I need to go and research further elsewhere. There is also a great deal here to save you trial and error - the spacing needed around cars when designing a garage block, circulation space within bathrooms etc etc. Even if, as a self builder, you are using the services of an architect I would still recommend this as background reading.
From the self build perspective I would suggest this goes on to your shelf alongside a copy of Mark Brinkley's book Housebuilder's Bible (ninth edition) (9th Edition) which complements this nicely, adding detail to some of the pocket book's introduction to subjects and also invaluable advice on controlling costs.