You can buy small booklets or ‘pocket guides’ from building supply centers that show the main steps of construction. Besides being compact and low cost, the nice thing about these pocket guides is they only show want you really need. Many homeowners don’t need a full length book on these subjects. They just need to know the basics. Pocket guides (the lowest cost versions) have simple black and white line drawings of each main step. For instance, pocket guides illustrate how to wire an outlet or a switch.

Most pocket guides that pop up in search engine results are $11 and up. However, you can find pocket guides that cost just a few dollars each. Of course you could also get books from the library if you need more details. But full-length plumbing and electrical books can intimidate first time DIY builders. If you’re building a small, simple home as we discuss on our websites then pocket guides are all you’ll likely need. Try out a pocket guide and let us know what you think. You could gather free online instructions with a bit of time, although it’s really handy having everything you need in one convenient guide.

(No photos and no links are shown because I haven’t been able to find the lowest cost versions lately. Let me know if you find the $5 ones. The ones I’ve seen in the past will fit in a shirt pocket.)


Comments

Plumbing and Electrical Pocket Guides — 7 Comments

  1. hi guys, is there any new information/pocket guides on plumbing & electrical?

    maybe link to web or youtube?

    i’m still very blur regarding these two

    not much info in Donald Kiffmeyer and Kaki Hunter book tho

    how about your pdf book Dr? thanks

    • I discuss plumbing and electrical basics in earthbag houses. But only the basics — how they differ from stick frame building. Pocket guides are typically available from large building supply centers and libraries.

      Tip: Offer an electrician some bonus money to oversee your project. You do 99% of the work and he helps on the critical 1-2%. Ask around because may not want to do this.

  2. Every year homeowners tend to forget about the importance of general plumbing maintenance in preparation for the winter season. This is also a time that is characterized by festivities for those celebrating the holidays and therefore implementing the necessary procedures can prevent from inconvenience occurring during this time. The cold and frost of winter can bring a host of problems when it comes to maintaining the home.

    • That’s true. Our septic line froze on Christmas day one year. At first we thought no one would come fix it. Oh yes they will — at double the price.

  3. For electrical, Ugly’s and Wiring Simplified are the two that come to mind. But as with everything else, they are no longer 5 bucks. I believe Ugly’s is more then 15 dollars and Wiring Simplified is around 10 bucks.

    • Thanks. I’ve seen them. They don’t look like the one’s I’m talking about. It’s quite possible the inexpensive ones were not profitable enough for building supply centers and so maybe they’ve been discontinued.

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