The Best Self-Build & Home Building Books

residential construction books

A selection of the best self-build books and guides offering advice and instruction on all types of self build project. A further and full summary of what we consider to be the best all-round architecture books can here.

  1. Passive House Details
  2. Passive House Details

    Passive House Details introduces the concepts, principles, and design processes of building ultralow-energy buildings. The objective of this book is to provide design goals, research, analysis, systems, details, and inspiring images of some of the most energy-efficient, carbon-neutral, healthy, and satisfying buildings currently built in the region.

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  3. The Housebuilder's Bible 13
  4. The Housebuilder's Bible 13

    Originally self-published in 1994, Mark Brinkley’s handbook combines up-to-date trade prices, planning guidelines and building regulations with deep insights into how and why we chose to build the way we do and how we might do it better.

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  5. The Complete Guide to Contracting Your Home
  6. The Complete Guide to Contracting Your Home

    Whether you want to take on all the responsibility of contracting your home or simply want to intelligently communicate with your homebuilder, The Complete Guide to Contracting Your Home can help you save 30% or more on the cost of home construction by teaching you the ins and outs of managing your construction project.

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  7. Housebuilding: A Do-It-Yourself Guide, Revised & Expanded
  8. Housebuilding: A Do-It-Yourself Guide, Revised & Expanded

    Housebuilding has always been the book of choice for prospective home builders—and with this extensive, thoughtful revision, it becomes a resource readers will continue to depend on for years to come.

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  9. How Your House Works
  10. How Your House Works

    How Your House Works is a hands-on guide that gives you the low-down on why your faucet is leaking, your dishwasher is overflowing, or your furnace is on the fritz. This comprehensive book is your reference to virtually everything in your house with richly illustrated explanations of electrical systems, heating and air conditioning, plumbing, major household appliances, foundation, framing, doors, and windows.

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  11. What Your Contractor Can't Tell You
  12. What Your Contractor Can't Tell You

    This book equips owners with the information and strategies needed to turn their vision into a home or renovation project that can be executed on time and within budget. Chapters give detailed coverage of critical topics: design options, selecting and supervising the architect and contractor, cost estimates, budgets, plan specifications, contracts, dealing with town officials and keeping track of everything along the way. 

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  13. The Complete Visual Guide to Building a House
  14. The Complete Visual Guide to Building a House

    Today’s most comprehensive course in residential construction. The Complete Visual Guide to Building a House not only lives up to its name, but the detailed illustrations put this reference in a league of its own.

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  15. The Complete Guide to Building Your Own Home
  16. The Complete Guide to Building Your Own Home

    Buying a new home can be an expensive endeavor. Many people dream of building their own home but mistakenly believe that doing so is not cost effective. However, you can save 20 to 40 percent or more by building your own home.

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  17. How To Build Your Dream Home Without Getting Nailed!
  18. How To Build Your Dream Home Without Getting Nailed!

    Everything you need to know to make building the home of your dreams the pleasant and profitable adventure it should be. Every day, somewhere, someone starts the process of building their dream home. 

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  19. The Very Efficient Carpenter
  20. The Very Efficient Carpenter

    Here's your chance to become a more efficient carpenter. Larry Haun has been a production framer for more than 35 years and a teacher of apprentices for more than 20. In this book, Haun shows you, step by step, all the techniques he uses to frame a basic house, from laying down the sills to cutting the rafters.

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  21. Foundations & Concrete Work
  22. Foundations & Concrete Work

    Written by seasoned builders from across the country, this revised edition of Foundations & Concrete Work features 17 new articles from Fine Homebuilding magazine, all focused on helping builders form and pour the absolute highest-quality foundations.

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  23. Be Your Own House Contractor
  24. Be Your Own House Contractor

    You don’t need to depend on (or pay) a general contractor to manage your construction project. Whether you’re building a new home or renovating an existing one, you can manage the job yourself. 

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  25. Ultimate Guide to Plumbing
  26. Ultimate Guide to Plumbing

    Save money by making minor and major plumbing repairs and improvements yourself, with help from this complete home plumbing guide!

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  27. Building a Sustainable Home
  28. Building a Sustainable Home

    Learn the logistics of choosing windows, insulation, appliances, and lighting. Find out about FSC certified wood and about using reclaimed materials. Here is everything you need to make your home sustainable.

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  29. The New Net Zero
  30. The New Net Zero

    The new threshold for green building is not just low energy, it’s net-zero energy. In The New Net Zero, sustainable architect Bill Maclay charts the path for designers and builders interested in exploring green design’s new frontier net-zero-energy structures that produce as much energy as they consume and are carbon neutral.

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  31. Essential Sustainable Home Design
  32. Essential Sustainable Home Design

    Many people dream of building a beautiful, environmentally friendly home. But until now there has been no systematic guide to help potential builders work through the complete process of imagining, planning, designing, and building their ideal, sustainable home.

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  33. Green from the Ground Up
  34. Green from the Ground Up

    Green construction is the building trend of the decade. In direct response to the growing demand for sustainable, healthy, and energy-efficient homes, David Johnston and Scott Gibson present the most forward-thinking theories and the best proven methods of new and remodeled green construction.

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