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Our Favourite Books to Give Friends Planning a Project

This month, as we approach Christmas, we thought we’d pull together a list of books we each feel are great gifts for family and friends who are about to embark on a project or who are just interested in architecture. Beginning a project as well informed as possible gives you a great start and we hope that these give a few of you ideas for the perfect gift.

We start with something a little leftfield from Liam:

The Fountainhead – Ayn Rand

If subverted, ‘The Fountainhead’, Ayn Rand’s statement on her self-developed philosophy of ‘Objectivism’, could actually become a brilliant and beautifully illustrated manual in which to equip yourself with when approaching your project. Considered on these terms, at its core it carries an important piece of advice for all those wanting to build for the first time; avoid a Howard Roark at all costs! [Liam]

The Housebuilder’s Bible – Mark Brinkely

If you really want to understand construction costs before engaging a contractor or a quantity surveyor, there really is no other resource like this book. Our cost calculator tool is a hugely useful starting point but this gives you real insight into the impact of material and specification choices. [Paul]

Grand Designs Handbook – Kevin McCloud

Our clients at Stamford Road found this book to be really informative and easy to read. It guides you through each step of the self-build process from dreaming to doing, giving you plenty of knowledge without being overwhelming. [Alan]

Small Homes, Grand Living – Gestalten

I chose this book because it gives you great tips on how to make the most of small spaces with super clever storage. We often work with clients to give them more without building more space and this shows that approach brilliantly. [Julie]

The Passivhaus Handbook – Janet Cotterell & Adam Dadeby

We can’t leave a list of books for prospective self-builders without this essential handbook for those thinking of building a Passivhaus. Written by people who’ve done it and who continue to work with others who are on that journey. [Paul]