DIY architecture books for home extensions and renovations

DIY architecture books for home extensions and renovations

These DIY architecture books are generally meant for the inexperienced but we believe it’s safe to say that even those who do have some degree of experience with architectural drawings or construction works would greatly benefit from these, at least for building up closer to reality expectations if not more. And there’s plenty more indeed.

The DIY architecture is not a new thing, not in the UK and certainly not in Europe. More people than ever are now considering living lifestyles that have substantially less environmental impact and saves them money, among other benefits. The educational standards and the open economy mentality have greatly contributed to this trend and it’s very likely that it’s going to gain more traction from now on.

Now before going further with listing these materials, allow us to stress out a few important things.

1. Undertaking a project that’s time and funds consuming, like planning a house or even a thought-through building extension, is serious work with real life consequences.
2. While it can be a very satisfactory to create and manage a project from design to delivery, don’t sink money without at least consulting with a specialist beforehand.

3. Unless you did your homework really good, understood these DIY architecture books well enough and armed yourself with tons of patience, you should appreciate that such an enterprise can be quite painful and energy draining, it requires commitment and more things that you’ll care to consider could and will go wrong in the process, dramatically changing the actual financial and emotional costs involved.

Yet again, whilst is not an easy feat, many people manage to do it. It’s not rocket science and those who fancy the DIY culture and the ideals of the sharing economy will certainly gain skills and valuable knowledge that later can be put to work for other projects or people. That’s useful on many levels. Add to that the fact that you have now earned the right to brag about your house and you could experience a well deserved sentiment of achievement.

Let’s get to it then.

House Self Build books that could save you lots of money

How to Design and Plan a House or Extension: Be Your Own Architect

How to Design and Plan a House or Extension: Be Your Own Architect

How to Design and Plan a House or Extension: Be Your Own Architect

How to Design and Plan Your Own Home, house extension or building alteration takes you on an interesting and fact filled journey from the inception of an idea and through the wider issues of the design process, like how to enhance the value of your site, getting statutory approvals etc. and right through to completion of your own project.

AMAZON Waterstones

 

Description

How to Design and Plan a House or Extension: Be Your Own Architect has useful suggestions on how to assess your requirements, how to analyse your site, the practicalities of design taking into account various design styles / details. It also guides you through the practical aspects of obtaining the necessary planning, listed building consent and building regulation approvals and where to go for advice / help. A fact filled journey taking you from analysing your home requirements through to understanding the statutory approvals required.

Book excerpt

An extension either has to fit in with the building with a seamless join between existing and new or has to make a clear statement: “I’m new but I respect what has gone before”. I most cases, my measure of a successful extension is that it fits in so well with the original building that after a few years it’s almost impossible to identify the extension.

George Baxter

Home Extension Manual: The Step-by-step Guide to Planning, Building and Managing a Project, 2nd Ed (2011) by Ian Rock

home extension manual

home extension manual

To sum it up: don’t start building a home extension without reading this book first. Home Extension Manual: The Step-by-step Guide to Planning, Building and Managing a Project is the one book you wan to have in your library to refer back to whenever you have questions and wish to check again where you are with your prokect. The conditions, steps and considerations are explained simply and clearly, from the beginning of your decision to extend and to the completion of the project and even beyond.

AMAZON Waterstones

 

Description

For a book that contains so much information and insight, it is very easy to read and even entertaining in places and, on top of that, it really gives you a feel of what it is like to build your house. You are led through it step by step while possible pitfalls are brought to your attention with (what we’d like to call calm) explanations about how to avoid or overcome them if possible. Technical terms are kept to a minimum and the use and purpose of materials are nicely explained with the help of countless photos and intelligent illustrations.

Book excerpt

Although there’s a fairly good chance that your plot will turn out to be perfectly sound for development, it’s just too expensive a risk to assume all is fine down below. The official figures make alarming reading, 440.000 UK homes are on ground that’s liable for subsidence and around 100.000 on sites at risk from landslip. That’s not counting the ones potentially at risk from flooding, radon gas and wind damage.

Ian Rock

The Home Renovation Bible: The Ultimate Guide to Buying Renovating and Selling Houses (2015)

the home renovation bible

The Home Renovation Bible: The Ultimate Guide to Buying Renovating and Selling Houses

The Home Renovation Bible: The Ultimate Guide to Buying Renovating and Selling Houses covers everything that one could think of, and just as importantly overlook about buying houses. We recommend it both for first-time buyers of their residential home, to would-be property developers, and everyone in between. It’s packed with useful information, the stuff you easily miss when you haven’t done this before.

AMAZON

 

Description

Basically, it’s a beginner’s guide (and you’ll have to excuse the few but easy to spot spelling mistakes) that’s aimed at an international English speaking audience and it does a fairly good job; the price is alright too. We’ve spoken with others in the industry and this material comes into discussions every now and then as a worthy reference for those who wish to renovate and sell their houses.

Also, to quote one online commenter, you need to make sure you’re not following all advice in the book blindly without consulting with a specialist, as you could get into some hot water with your Conservation Officer if your house is a listed building in the UK. Don’t just start renovating old buildings without speaking with a your local council or a private specialist first.

Architect Your Home: The Complete Design and Planning Reference for Home Renovation and Building Projects (2009)

Architect Your Home: The Complete Design and Planning Reference for Home Renovation and Building Projects

Architect Your Home: The Complete Design and Planning Reference for Home Renovation and Building Projects

Architect Your Home: The Complete Design and Planning Reference for Home Renovation and Building Projects provides a comprehensive illustrated directory of building and interior materials and products. With plenty of photographs and case studies, plans and illustrations, this material constitutes a complete and practical guide to achieving your dream home.

AMAZON Waterstones

 

Description

Whether you’re looking to simply rearrange your existing rooms or have ambitions towards a kitchen or loft conversion, Architect Your Home says it has every piece of information that you need to run a successful project. The book provides home owners with the expertise, creativity, experience and professionalism of an architect and clearly explains the architectural process for them to use as they wish from a position of knowledge and control.

 

Understanding the process of working with building trade is often half the battle – not to mention getting to grips with the full range of legal issues, planning permissions and building regulations involved – and the material aims to take you systematically through all the stages involved, regardless of the scale of your project.

 

Notable mentions

This article was updated on: 29.04.2016

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  1 comment for “DIY architecture books for home extensions and renovations

  1. Jane
    October 10, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    Great tips, thanks for sharing! These books look like a great read. It’s definitely important to be well-versed on all the ins and outs of DIY house projects before starting. They certainly can be immensely rewarding to have undertaken on your own, however, as you’ve said, it’s often a good idea to consult a specialist first. For some aspects of your renovation, a professional may be best.

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