Book Worm: The Best Books for Standard Building Procedures
on August 21, 2015
Q: Can you recommend any books or trade publications that deal with standard building procedures? I know that codes vary from area to area, but are there any books that cover from A to Z, general building guidelines?
Also, my fiancé‚ and I soon will be moving into a house that was rebuilt after a fire. The contractor used 1/2 inch drywall on the walls and the ceiling. The ceiling joists are 24 inches on center and the drywall is sagging. Could this have been avoided? Is there a rule that stipulates the use of a certain thickness depending upon support-member size and spacing? – Peter
There is certainly no shortage of excellent, easy-to-understand and well-illustrated books relating to building and home improvement. If you’re looking for an excellent book about general building, we suggest that you invest in a cop of Construction Principles, Materials and Methods, 5th ed., Olin, Caroline House, $59.95. This is considered to be one of the best books available on the subject. Divided into sections by trade, Olin’s book provides the reader with a complete reference to industry standards, specifications and techniques, and it even directs the reader to more information if needed. It’s over 1,000 pages long, and it included extensive illustrations and charts.
As far as your drywalled ceiling is concerned, it sounds like you have sagging drywall resulting from faulty anchoring to the ceiling joists, or drywall that has been damaged by water or humidity and can no longer maintain its original profile. Another more possible cause may be ceiling joists that are sagging with age. The book we suggested above contains information that will help you determine what condition exists in your home. In any event, provided the ceiling joists are straight, there is nothing wrong with 1/2 inch drywall attached at 24 inches on center as long as the long dimensions of the drywall is installed perpendicular to the framing.