Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Building Construction Illustrated
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on February 10, 1999
I am a professor at Pratt Institute's School of Architecture. I teach a construction documents class for wood frame. This book is an invaluable resource and my students use it exclusively for a reference guide for their project. It is one of the best books I have come across for its value.
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VINE VOICEon August 4, 2011
When I was hired as a technical writer for a major construction company I faced one potentially devastating obstacle. Without a background in construction I was often befuddled by a lot of the techno-lingo that engineers use when describing methods employed on the projects they were working on. I needed to understand these processes so I could write them up in easy to understand terms for chasing other work, but it would not be possible to quiz every engineer to explain these methods to me. I needed some desk reference that laid it out for me.

After consulting a colleague of mine they recommended picking up a copy of Ching's "Building Construction Illustrated" and it is probably the most valuable purchase I could have made. Ching describes almost every commercial construction technique you could conceive off, but it's the "Illustrated" part that is the real value in this work.

The description of each procedure is wonderfully illustrated with over 1,000 diagrams and graphical representations. These are easy to follow illustrations that really help explain what Ching is attempting to describe in the text. As such I am constantly referring to this book when I come across a term I am not familiar with and it has not let me down since. I am then able to translate the process into layman's language for all the people who sit on selection committee's who may or may not have an engineering background.

I've even had estimators stop by my desk at work and when surveying the line of books on the shelf relating to construction and marketing - this is the book they invariably praise.

This book comes highly recommended.
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on May 6, 2012
Don't buy a kindle version of this book.
Image resolution is very low that you can't even read illustration.
They should scan it with high resolution and kindle should have zoom-in tool!
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on September 4, 2000
I was first given this book by the architect of a home I was building over 20 years ago. The home involved curves and radiuses was built on a very steep slope. Integration of dis-similar materials and proper flashing was critical to it's performance. This book provided me with an understanding of how to tie many varied components together. Once completed, the home received international recognition (my first project to do so!).
I have purchased and given at least 5 copies of this book to key employees since then. Recently I gave a copy to a law firm I frequently act as expert witness for in commercial and residential construction litigation. The illustrations are very understandable and compelling. This book (and others by Ching) easily compliments any construction or design professional's library.
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on February 18, 1998
The first edition was entirely hand-drawn (the 2nd ed. may be as well) and covers the difference between a hip and a gable roof, slabs, grade beams and other details of modern construction. If you want to know the difference between western platform and balloon framing, this is a fine book. It's primarily a reference book, but it could be read cover to cover.
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on September 10, 1998
I am a carpenter and I have had this book for ten years. It has answered many practical questions encountered when a vague plan is the basis for the structure. This would be a good book for every person in the world to own.
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on October 24, 2008
I purchased this manual while preparing for my NCIDQ examination. While it is not an in depth manual for architects, or someone studying architecture, it has the perfect amount of information for Interior designers.

There are many many illustrations, and the verbiage pertaining to the illustration is written next to it with an arrow pointing. For example: the header over a door is explained in detail, and then an arrow points to it in the door assembly illustration.

I found the information in this book very helpful when preparing for the examination, and many of the questions pertained to the information in this book.

A great addition to the library of any interior designer.
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on July 13, 2000
This is a wonderful resource book for those builders who find themselves moving back and forth between residential and light commerical work. I found I was sometimes lost as I ventured deeper and deeper into commercial work, but this book showed me the practial applications for materials and construction methods that were new to me.
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on February 16, 2007
This book By Francis Ching is short on text and long on illustrations. The large pages help show a clear picture in most instances. The illustrations are both the saving grace and bane of this work. When they are good they are really good, no better way to identify and pass along, various building techniques than to portray each in a sketch. The bad illustrations will cause you to twist and turn the book trying to make some sense of the picture. Illustrations like these need titles, such as "top view" , "side view " etc. Sometimes to save space I suppose, the author juxtaposed various views in irrational positions so a common viewpoint can not be figured upon. The lack of text makes these mystery illustrations all the more confusing. Aside from a few confusing pictures, the majority of the book is very informative. This book will be valued as a reference. It thoughly covers most subjects in a "Pros" and "Cons" type style, quickly cutting to the chase.
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on January 9, 2014
It's a great book, but please avoid the Kindle edition (like others have said) until they re-scan the book. The images (which are 80% of this book) are very very pixelated and on top of the low resolution scan, they are super compressed with tons of JPEG artifacts making the text difficult to read and sometimes impossible.
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