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The Visual Handbook of Building and Remodeling, 3rd Edition

The Visual Handbook of Building and Remodeling, 3rd Edition

Author: Charlie Wing

Publisher: Taunton Press


Publish Date: December 8, 2009

ISBN-10: 1600852467

Pages: 640

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

As the dedication indicates, without the experience, insight, and doggedness of my agent, Ray Wolf, this book would have remained but a personal dream.

As soon as I had committed to leading a Bowdoin College seminar titled “The Art of the House,” I started gathering information, not only on how houses were constructed, but how they worked. The seminar, in reality, should have been called, “The Physics of the House.” In addition to nearly 100 books, I soon had filing cabinets full of useful scraps of information gleaned from every element of the building industry: architect and builder friends, lumberyards, hardware stores, contractors, manufacturers, and associations. When the usefulness of all of this seemingly disparate information became apparent, I began dreaming of gathering it all into a single book. Architects have their Architectural

Graphic Standards; my book would be Graphic Standards for Builders. For many years the dream remained just that. I could get no publisher to share my vision and enthusiasm. Simply put, they didn’t get it. Then I met Ray Wolf. He had worked for many years at Rodale Press, publisher of Organic Gardening and New Shelter Magazine. He knew how publishers worked, how they thought. He knew how to present the project in terms they would understand. Better yet, he ran a set of numbers that promised profitability.

After signing the contract, the most trying task fell upon the shoulders of legendary editor, Maggie Balitas, who patiently tempered my vision with the realities of publishing. To her young associate, David Schiff, Maggie assigned the duty of assuring accuracy. I am sure that I am responsible for several years of his accelerated aging. These are the three individuals who helped me turn my dream into reality. I cannot thank them enough. Of course there would never have been a dream were it not for the legions of manufacturers and building trades associations, listed on pp. 621–624, who first produced the information in my files. I thank them for their efforts and their generosity in sharing their information. Not least, thank you, Wid, for understanding that sitting in front of a computer eight hours a day, seven days a week, for a whole year is how I make a living.

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