The Australian House Building Manual - 8th Edition
by Allan Staines

(Australian Publication)

210 x 295mm

Published by Pinedale Press, Caloundra, QLD


ISBN 9781875217076


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What's new in this 8th edition:
New NCC updates, new stair stringer & stair tread tables. New tables for handrail cross sectional sizes, connections, loads on handrails & fastenings for balusters. New Hebel details for Hebel panel fixing. Additional information on 'Designing for Bushfire Prone Areas."

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
The four Main Building Systems
The Timber or Steel Frame House
Some Common Timber Framing Details
Timber Wall Framing 2-Storey Construction
Brick Veneer Construction
Brick Veneer Footing & Slab Edge Details
Brick Veneer Ties
Brick Veneer Soffits & Joinery
Brick Veneer with Brick Gables
Brick Veneer with Timber Floor
Cavity Brick (Double Brick) Construction
Cavity Brick Footings & Slab Edge Details
Joining Partitions into Cavity Walls
Roof Tie Down
Cavity Brick & Timber Floor
Installing Joinery into Cavity Brick
Cavity Brick with Dissimilar Internal Leaves
Concrete Block Construction
Blocklaying, Grouting & Footings
Block Masonry Wall Heights & Lintels

Concrete Footings/SIab Floors
Siting the House
Cut & Fill Sites & Slab Floors
Setting out Profile Hurdles
Footing Preparation
Column or Stump Sub-Floors
Pier & Beam Footings
Concrete Slab Floors

Timber Floors & Sub Floors
Single Leaf Brick Bases
Laying Bearers
Nominal Joints and Fastening for Bearers
Beams & Installation
Notches and Holes in Members
Floor Joist Construction
Platform Floor Construction
Fitted (Cut-in) Floors
Using hyJOISTS ('I' Joists)
Stairwell Trimmer Joists/Cantilevered Joists
Antcapping & Marking Out Joists
Laying Floor Joists
Solid Blocking & Herringbone Strutting
Sheet Flooring
T & G Flooring
Scyon Sheet Wet Sheet Flooring

Wall Framing
Wall Framing
Wall Plates
Stud & Jack Stud Lengths
Stud Positioning
Corner & Double Studs
Cutting Studs & Lintels
Wall Frame Assembly & Noggings
Bracing & Squaring Frames
Erecting Frames
Plumbing Frames
Straightening Top Plates
Typical Tie Down Methods
Notching Trenching & Drilling Studs

Roof Construction
Prefabricated Roof Trusses/Truss Types
Erecting Roof Trusses
Gable Construction
Dutch Gables
Hip Roofs
Roofs with Valleys
Cathedral Ceilings
Near Flat Roofs
Diagonal Roof Bracing
Roof Truss Fixing & Battens
Preparing Roofs for Tiles
Flashings for Tile Roofs
Other Flashings

Weatherboard & Sheet Claddings
Hebel PowerPanel Installation
Installing Aluminium Windows
Installing Aluminium Sliding Patio Doors
Interior & Exterior Door Installation
Door Handles, Latchsets & Locksets
Garage Doors
Ceiling Framing
Plasterboard Lining
Staircase Construction
Constructing Exterior Timber Stairs
Concrete Stair Construction
Architraves & Skirting
Wet Areas
Bath & Shower Recess Installation

Termite Control
Arches in Brickwork
Suspended Concrete Patios
How to Build & Waterproof Retaining Walls
Thin Section Rendered Coatings
Adhesives & Sealants
Safety on the Job
Building in Bushfire Prone areas
Energy Efficiency
Estimating Quantities
Details Plans should Contain
Typical House Plan Example