Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Books, books, books...

I recently picked up "Building Construction Illustrated, 3rd Edition" by Francis D. K. Ching, Cassandra Adams from I'd seen it at a regular bookstore to the tune of the list price, but Amazon had it new for just over half price. The book contains a lot of information about buildings, not just residential. It covers everything in brief with lots of illustrations and descriptions; items such as: footings, wall types, foundations, roofs, steel, concrete, wood, stone, grading, etc... The book covers a LOT of material. If you want to get a better understanding of how buildings are put together, this is a great book to get your hands on. I picked it up to get a better idea of how a building goes together so as to be more informed when planning a build and speaking with sub-contractors. The one complaint I have about the book is that it doesn't cover ICF or SIP techniques! That's really bizarre, considering the book covers rammed earth and adobe construction, which are very uncommon techniques in the construction field.

I also picked up "
The Owner-Builder Book: How You Can Save More than $100,000 in the Construction of your new Home." by Mark A. Smith, Elaine M. Smith. This book I have mixed feelings about. While it contains lots of worthwhile information, it also spends a large amount of page space with little side bars and quotes from previous readers telling you how great the book is and how much money they saved. I don't want to hear how great the book is, I've already bought it. Fill that space with practical how-to information and get rid of the fluff. The book also assumes fortunate turns of events (things that fall into your lap) such as cheap, discontinued products, access to multiple vendors for products to get the best deal, and just generally fortuitous events that happen to help you save money. This overabundance of "can-do" happy go lucky smacks of those "get rich quick" books. The book also makes contractors look like unscrupulous and greedy people. I'm not defending them (nor am I a contractor), but they aren't all bad. In a nutshell for this book: The real information is good, but the book could've contained more of it or been fewer in pages once the junk had been thrown out.

I've also picked up "Build Your Own Stone House: Using the Easy Slipform Method" by Karl and Sue Schwenke. Will post a little more info when I get into it.

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