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Consumer Affairs
Sunday, February 1, 2004
Making a plan

I have come across a very useful reference book for home builders and DIY enthusiasts. Called Building Construction & Graphic Standards this 308-page soft cover in A4 format provides a wealth of facts and specifications about building construction, materials, and components.

Just how much space do you need for a bath, say, or a staircase? Or what sizes are available for doors and windows? Or what height should your bar surface be? In this book you can find the answer to these and a thousand other questions.
Written, illustrated and designed by well-known architect André Grobbelaar, the book starts with types of bricks, woods and glazing; a planning and construction schedule; detailed descriptions of contours, sloping ground, perspective, light and sun. There are designs for bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens to show position and size of components; together with typical dimensions of household furniture and home appliances, so that any plans you consider will be workable from the word go.
This book will tell you so much about the nature, detail and terminology of construction that no builder or artisan will be able to fool you again. Instead of being told, ‘It can’t be done,’ you’ll be able to say how it should be done. And you will be able to describe everything unambiguously. Just look up in the book for the technical term, for example, for types of arches, columns, niches or decorative concrete products; or types of chimney stacks and fireplaces; or the codes for windows and doors.
Indeed there is a code, correct name, size and drawing for just about anything you’ll ever find in a home: from locks, handles and hooks; nails, screws, pins and bolts; wood mouldings and ceilings; electrical cables, light fittings and lamps; to kitchen sinks; shower doors; water taps and valves.
There are pages on dimensions and types of security gates, even garden trees and shrubs; boundary walls and fencing. 
The book also has sections on building construction; structural engineering; site works (such as driveways and swimming pools); and, sports and games. Any idea how much space you will need for a billiard table, or say, darts? Just look it up.
Whether planning a new home, an extension, or alterations, this reference work is indispensable. Indeed it is a prescribed book for university students of architecture, and is also used by engineers and builders in the field.
But don’t let that put you off. It is just as useful to the layman, and will give you all the information you will ever need to cope with a large building project, or just the incidental hardware needs in your home.
The latest edition (2002) is a third reprint (ISBN 0620 07787 5), and is available through major book stores and newsagents; or you can order it direct from Anglo-Rand Publications, telephone (042) 292 0669 at a cost of R275 including VAT, postage and packing. By Nigel Benetton

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:17.1 1st February, 2004
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