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Customer Review

on 23 August 2009
As an owner of a large building plot I have often entertained the idea of building a nice house on it and over the years whenever I feel the 'urge' coming on I get myself a copy of the latest edition of this book. It truly is a wonderful read with detail which will fascinate anyone who has ever tried diy or anything more ambitious (or just even to hold conversations with builder mates down the pub!). The book is nicely structured with lovely detail on new developments in building and gives a good contrast between traditional skills and the new products to make life easier. One word of caution...the index is rubbish which does force you to read every word and add your own bookmarks and highlights (no bad thing I suppose). I was a bit disappointed in his choice of benchmark houses as they seemed a bit removed from reality but an entertaining read nonetheless. The real chilling chapters are the ones on pitfalls and design which really do show you why the building industry is in such a mess. With so much quality planning legislation from zealous councils, the UK must surely have the best builders and houses in the world ;)

What is really excellent are the costings, figures and estimates which give a good indication about whether it's really worth bothering. On recieving this latest copy I spent a day with calculator, tape measure, Council planning application forms, and estate agent's guestimates. I reckon the costs as shown are spot on and I concluded that it would be ridiculous for me to even entertain the notion of a self build. (My day job is as a Project Manager!). So once again the book has done its job and paid its way. I'll be doing some nice diy projects from out of the book but as for self build...not until house prices make a big jump. Equally I am sure some people will be inspired to go ahead and try it. Final word, the typos are hilarious but then again it was written by a builder ;)
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