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447Debbie

Need A Recommendation For A Construction Book

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I just purchased Home Designer Pro 2016.  I'm going to be designing my retirement home so I have five years to knock this out.  I'm starting from ground zero.  I don't know the difference between 'bear on beams - lap', 'bear on beams - butt over support', 'blocking - in line', 'blocking - stagger', etc.  And this is just but ONE default screen I'd like to complete correctly.  Is there any ONE construction book that I could buy that would explain differences and that would maybe explain the advantages of one construction/framing technique over another technique?  I'm going to need a book that addresses everything, floors, ceilings, roofs, foundations, etc.   I'm sure that once I get this complete I'll still need an engineer to finalize everything, but I'd like to have the fun of knowing what is specified and then if the engineer changes something we'll be able to talk the same language.  

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Debbie:

 

try this one: http://www.amazon.com/Building-Construction-Illustrated-Third-Edition/dp/B004T6RS2Y

 

Amazon sells used books with standard shipping of $3.99

 

I bought a whole library of construction and architecture books for under $10

 

I would buy the older editions and if I really liked the book

then I would buy the current one - if I needed the newer info

 

Lew

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Do yourself a favor.  Hire someone that knows what they are doing.  What you don't know CAN hurt you.

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D.K. Chings books are the perfect place to start. The design books are excellent also.

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I recently purchased a copy of "The Visual Handbook of Building and Remodeling" 3rd edition, by Charlie Wing.  My father was a building contractor, and I grew up building houses and drawing plans.  So, it is a little difficult for me to step back and see things from your perspective.

 

The book provides a lot of information on a wide range of construction components and practices.  But, from my point of view, it is rather basic.  Which might just be what you are looking for.  Any more might be a bit overwhelming for you at this point. 

 

Also, realize that the terminology that you are seeing in the dialog boxes has been provided to you by computer programmers, not construction workers or designers.  So, don't worry so much about understanding the dialog box terminology.  Try to look at it from the stand point of the possible construction practices that may be used.  Then I would think that the dialog boxes may make a bit more sense, at least maybe they will  :).

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Understanding building terms and principals is good, but I'll suggest not being too concerned with the details.

 

Use the program to design -- something it's good at. It takes minutes to draw a plan when you are just trying ideas, and every plan drawn is practice for the next. The more you draw the better you will become.

 

Once you are close, then do a ground up plan. Do you expect to do construction drawings ready for a builder, or will you work with a builder who will generate his own drawings?

 

Do you have a building site? A good design starts there. Where will the house sit, which direction will it face etc. Restrictions of various kinds can also have an impact on what you build.

 

And, the Home Designer products, including Pro, have their own forum. HomeTalk. Once you get going and have questions, it's the best place to post for product specific help.

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HD PRO users can benefit from following Chieftlak

especially when using the manual tools

 

but following Hometalk is also good 

 

Lew

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I've worked with quite a few home owners that designed their own plans. My suggestion is to work with an experienced designer. The money you spend on the designer will be nothing compared to construction costs. By all means draw it up in chief but let your designer help you dial it in. This will not only result in a better floor plan but also will likely save construction costs. The hard part is finding the right designer. Best luck.

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If you do decide to have someone else help you...get some solid references not just on their ability to do the work, but also their  character. Nothing worse than collaborating with someone who may be a great designer but have an attitude that just doesn't work or click with you.

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Look up ' A Pattern Language ' by Christopher Alexander.

"A wise old owl of a book, one to curl up with in an inglenook on a rainy day.... Alexander may be the closest thing home design has to a Zen master."--The New York Times

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Wondering if are any books out there to become an astronaut (same thing)

While I agree with the idea you are trying to get across...I think you may have went a little far with your comparison. Qualified astronauts may be one of the single most exclusive groups on the planet (the best of the best and the most elite of the most elite don't even make the cut most of the time). Contractors and designers...not so much.

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I have a friend that hung wall paper once.  Does that count?

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I have a friend that hung wall paper once.  Does that count?

 

Of course it does silly. 

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Debbie:

 

don't listen to the nay-sayers

 

educate yourself and go for it

 

Lew

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