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Old 11-05-2012, 01:25 PM   #1
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Looking for some good books


Hello all! I was wondering if anyone had some insight on a set of books or something that would help me learn......well, pretty much everything. Not sure where to start. I'm looking to start from scratch, and just build a house from the ground up. On the plus side, I do have time. I'm not even looking to start this crazy project for another couple years, but I figure I have a lot to learn, so why not start now? I've done some work in framing, roofing, and AC, but that's about where my knowledge ends. :/ Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

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Old 11-05-2012, 04:57 PM   #2
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Looking for some good books


I would start but checking out books at your library. From that exploration you can decide on what books you might want to buy as permanent references. You can look for books about different types of projects but also look into books by real people who have built their homes from scratch. I would look into prefab books just for fun too.

Books about how things work in the home will come in handy and will give you some idea of how systems should be developed to work well. It will be dry reading but anything current about building codes and permits would be helpful.

If you can pick up some books on architectural graphics they will help you learn what plans look like. And seeing how trim, framing details, plumbing systems, etc. are put on paper gives you an idea of how they come together for real.

If you can spare some time, think about volunteering with some folks like those that do Habitat for Humanity projects to gain more experience, fill in some gaps, and to see how much of a home you want to take on building on your own.

You can use the time waiting to line up and talk with subcontractors you will need. Depending on where you are, some may be quite busy. Talk with your building department to see what permits and inspections are in your future. And give serious thought to working with a building designer or architect (they are not just for the rich) to help you place you house on the lot for maximum energy efficiency and so forth.

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Old 11-05-2012, 05:24 PM   #3
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Looking for some good books


I started out with the Reader's Digest Do-it-Yourself manual. It was, and has been, a great "go-to" source for just about any type of home improvement/home building project. Lots of helpful tricks of the trade. It's a great book to start with and then you could build your library off of that.
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:50 PM   #4
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Looking for some good books


Building your own house "from the ground up" is a serious undertaking. I know; my wife and I built our log home virtually by ourselves about four years ago. I say "virtually" because there are some things you really need to subcontract out if you have no construction experience. We subbed out the foundation, HVAC, and metal roof. These are specialized things that require special skills and equipment. The other thing to consider is the rules where you live about what things a homeowner can do. For example, in many locations only a licensed electrician can do wiring, and only a licensed plumber can do plumbing. Fortunately, that's not the case where we live.

Something else to consider is financing. Unless you are a licensed general contractor, I can almost guarantee you won't be able to get a loan.
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:22 AM   #5
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Audel's Builders and Carpenters Guides. http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-407629.html
I've got my Dad's 1940's 4 volume edition, its still a go to source, especially volumes 1 and 2. It was last updated in 2004. Just about any moderate sized library should have a set that you could look at and see how they suit you.
Vol 1; Tools, Steel square, ... wood, nails, screws bolts etc. the instructions on using the framing square are the best anywhere, from rafters to using it as a slide rule.
Vol 2; Math, specs, ...figuring spans and loads , simple surveying, laying out foundations etc etc
Vol 3; framing, roofing, foundations..now we're getting into it. From the basement to a cupola on the roof.
Vol 4; doors, windows, stairs, painting...making the house livable, including cabinets, tables chairs, even a doll house. ( The instructions in my old volumes for mixing your own paint from linseed oil and white lead are off set in newer editions by instructions for removing lead paint.)

Those 4 have some basics on plumbing, HVAC, and electrical from carpenter's point of view. But there are guides with more details on those subjects.
The series has been used in writers classes for years as examples of clear, concise, understandable instructions.
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