Australian House Building Manual - 8th Edition
Published by Pinedale Press, Caloundra, QLD
new in this 8th edition:
As reviewed in House & HOME Issue 21
Allan Staines - author of several Australian home improvement, building and renovation manuals - has released a new title, The Australian House Building Manual.
The book is aimed at a wide audience, but will be of particular interest to those involved in building education and apprentice training, or owner-builders, architects, designers and contractors seeking to re-familiarise themselves with the essential details of building construction will also find this comprehensive book helpful.
The Australian House Building Manual divides residential construction into four main types - brick veneer, timber or steel frame, cavity brick and concrete block. Each method is described in step-by-step detail, with illustrations.
The focus is not simply on the general aspects of wall construction, but follows through with explanations and illustrations of the building process, from the bottom up. It covers concrete footings/slab floors, timber floors and sub floors, wall framing, roof construction, finishing and miscellaneous issues.
The book relies heavily on cross-sectional drawings; in fact, every page has more than one. The text serves mainly to highlight particular details in the drawings.
Tables are employed to display information such as spacing of piers, bracing, stair tread spans and other construction requirements where the types or dimensions of materials employed are interdependant on other elements.
Tongue and groove flooring, door, window and cladding installation, wall frame assembly, levelling and bracing, several forms of roof construction, and most aspects of interior detailing - including building staircases - are just some of the specific issues detailed with step-by-step instructions.
Every effort seems to have been made at the time of publication to reflect current BCA and Australian Standards. To his credit, the author does point out that regulations do change, and the latest releases from relevant departments should be consulted for up-to-date specifications, if any doubt exists.
Miscellaneous subjects covered include termite control, arches in brickwork, suspended concrete patios, waterproof retaining walls, estimating quantities, waterproofing and installing shower recesses and bathtubs, as well as drawing and detailing a typical house plan.
All round it's quite a hefty package. The Australian House Building Manual is packed with information, and makes every effort to present a decent range of variations possible for many of the subjects covered.
The book relies heavily on the instructive value of drawings, and is an excellent visual reference. If readers expect to digest all the information in the book from cover to cover, they might feel a bit overwhelmed, but thankfully the table of contents provides a comprehensive and handy guide to the wide range of subjects covered.
Illustrations: Black & White
Units of Measurement: Metric
Typical Construction Methods
Floors & Sub Floors