Here are a few of our TOP SELLING books.

All you have to do is click on a cover below to read more.

our books - Owner Building in SA

The cover of the latest edition
published 2012

Owner Building

South Africa’s definitive guide on all aspects of home building

If you are planning to build or renovate your own home, Owner Building in South Africa is an indispensable guide. Whether you are a hands-on builder or simply want to monitor the subcontractors, this practical reference book will enable you to tackle the project with confidence. Written for the 21st century owner builder whose idea of a ‘notebook’ does not mean a pencil and paper!, it provides all the information you need for every aspect of the project, including:
• purchasing the land
• costing and financing
• planning and scheduling
• selecting and purchasing building materials
• working with subcontractors
• site preparation
• construction, from the foundations to the roof
• adding the basic and decorative finishes
• landscaping
• securing the property against intrusion

First published in 1992, this edition has been completely revised and updated to take account of the latest changes to building legislation, regulations and standards. With easy-to-read text, clear drawings, and photographs that reflect contemporary trends in building, architecture and design, Owner Building in South Africa provides all you need to know to build your own home, in one volume.

Writer Penny Swift and photographer Janek Szymanowski have a special interest in domestic architecture and the do-it-yourself approach to home improvement. Based on their Swimming Pools and Spas for South African Homes, The Complete South African House Book, Outdoor Style, Brickwork Made Easy: A Step-by-step Guide (and similar titles dealing with woodwork and metalwork), and several illustrated college textbooks dealing with construction topics and welding.


METALWORK MADE EASY: a step-by-step guide

eBook is available here:

This is a clear, concise and essential book for all metalworking (welding) enthusiasts.

METALWORK MADE EASY: a step-by-step guide provides a simple and easy-to-follow introduction to the full range of techniques used when working with metal of various kinds. Detailed information about metalworking tools, materials and equipment, together with photographs and step-by-step instructions, will enable you to successfully cut, bend and join metal using the most popular techniques and processes. These include soldering, brazing, brazewelding, gas welding, arc welding and MIG welding. The most common finishing techniques are also covered. These include painting and special effects you can do yourself, as well as specialist coatings and finishes such as galvanising and powder or epoxy coating.
Whether you want to make practical items like burglar bars or garden gates, produce your own metal furniture or simply repair existing metalwork, this book will show you how to plan and execute projects with ease. Along with a host of good ideas, there are more than 10 items of varying complexity you can make by following step-by-step photographic instructions. A list of materials is given for each project, and essential tools and equipment are listed. These projects are quite varied, with several which are suitable for complete amateurs, and others requiring more advanced skills.
You can start working on the simpler designs with no prior experience; perhaps make a handy hanger or braai tongs, and then move on to the drinks stand or candle stick. Once you are feeling more confident, you will be able to tackle burglar bars, gates and furniture with ease, and can then move onto more complicated projects such as fireplaces and built-in braais.


eBook is available here:

This is a clear, concise and essential book for all metalworking (welding) enthusiasts.

METALWORK PROJECTS MADE EASY is a bright inspirational guide for making metal items and furniture. It has easy to follow step-by-step instructions that will help you tackle welding techniques, even if you have never welded before. Profusely illustrated with more than 350 colour photographs, the book introduces you to different types of metalworking techniques and the best tools and equipment that you can use. There are also helpful hints for cutting and bending metal, and you will see exactly how to make a variety of jigs.

The most common finishing techniques and paint finishes that you can use on metal are well illustrated. These include popular contemporary techniques like faux verdigris and fake rust finishes. There are more than 17 different items of varying complexity that you can make just by following the step-by-step projects that are illustrated. All materials and the tools required for each project are listed and explained. Suitable finishes are suggested. If you enjoy making your own designs, you can adapt the different projects to create your very own furniture and stylish accessories. The range of projects includes a table and a chair, candlesticks, lamps, a garden bench, burglar bars and security gates, as well as a handy wine rack, a mirror and an attractive plant stand. The items range from very simple, ideal for the beginner, to relatively difficult.



  14 Responses to “Our Books”

Comments (14)
  1. Good Day

    I purchased the e-book Fix it Quick, how to for the home handyman, and i want to print the book for my husband and i see that there is no option on pdf to print. I also cant mail it as the file is too big even if i zip the file. I have purchased the book surely i need to be able to print a copy for my home.

    • Hi Jeanette, Thanks for bringing this up. All publishers have restrictions on their copyrighted works internationally (©) so that the authors work is protected. Surely with the special offer of 50% off = R47.50 is not too much to ask for a second copy for your husband? Kind regards, Janek

    • Hi Jeanette, Thanks for bringing this up. All publishers have restrictions on their copyrighted works internationally (©) so that the authors work is protected. Surely with the special offer of 50% off = R47.50 is not too much to ask for a second copy for your husband? Kind regards, Janek

  2. Hi Penny and Janek

    I ordered your book Energy Efficient Building in SA last year via the internet. As I was away from Cape Town for a number of months, I suspect that the book was delivered but returned.
    My details are as follows:
    Maite Regina Mohlomi
    Cell 0794659402
    P O Box 1286
    Cape Town

    I hope you can assist.

    Thank you

  3. Good day,

    I am looking for a book called: Build your own braai by Penny Swift & Janek Szymanowski.

    • Lindy you may be able to pick up a secondhand copy somewhere. There are a couple of really good secondhand shops near us – I’ll see if either of them has a copy. I have two copies, one in good conditions and the other worn. I see that a copy sold on Bid or Buy in June for R35 (+ R20 postage and packaging).
      I found some for outrageous prices HERE! SHOCKING!AND HERE! I can’t believe it. Hardly Afrikaner just yet… I’ll see if I can find a copy; please let me know if you find one first.

      • Thank you so much Penny, I will also see if I can find one.
        This is for my father, his got stolen.

        • Lindy I have posted on my FB page – and both building regs and owner building FB pages that someone wants a copy. I’ll let you know if anyone responds. Someone stole our only copy of Decorating on a Shoestring some years ago, and a few months ago I found a pristine copy on Bid or Buy… or it may have been Gumtree. I found a pristine copy of Motoring Atlas in our local 2nd hand shop a few weeks ago (Janek illustrated it a million years ago – well 26) … our original copy is sticky-taped together. Very well used 😉

  4. I am in Klerksdorp and would like to have that whole information regarding registration,booklets.fees and the venue to gather the info.Pls assist on this matter.

    • Ndaba – what? You need to do a bit of work yourself. We are here to help guide you, not to be told to supply. Apart from which you do’t make sense. Good luck in your endeavours.

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