What is a good reference for learning to build a house? I need to get a basic grasp of things like building codes and best practices for electrical wiring, plumbing, roofing, etc.
So I'm planning my own rammed earth passive solar home to build in northeast Georgia, United States. I have a basic understanding of what goes into a home and how to design a sensible floorplan.
What I don't know are the particular specifications to comply with the building code and/or just standard ("best") practices in general. I feel like there is a lot I could do on my own (since I have the time) if I just knew HOW to do it. I understand it is prudent to have a licensed electrician (for example) to inspect the electrical work and do all of the final "live" connections, but I think I can run the conduit, wire, and connect outlets and switches myself... I just need a good guide.
Is there a good resource (preferably a book(s) that are illustrated) that can answer the following types of questions?
Electrical: How do I wire an electrical panel (fuse box)? How do I run wire from the panel to an outlet or light switch? What type of conduit is required? How do I wire all the outlets in a room to a single on/off switch on the wall? How frequently (in number of feet between outlets) do you have to place outlets on a wall? When do you need a GFCI outlet? What type of wire do I need for standard 120v AC? What about 240v (such as an oven)? What is a junction box and what does it do? Etc.
Plumbing: What type of drain pipe do I use for a sink? a toilet? How is this drain pipe installed into a concrete floor (before pouring)? What type of drop does such a drain need to have? In what situations do I need a clean-out, and how is it installed? How do you install plumbing for a shower or bathbub? How do you connect pipes so they won't leak? Etc.
Roofing (metal roofs in particular): How do I attach roof beams (joists?) to a sill plate (beams similar to this
)? How do I "fill in" the gaps between the sill plate and the roof (assuming I want the joists to overhang on the outside and be exposed from below)? How do I attach the metal roof to the underlayment so that it doesn't leak? How do I install rigid insulation on a roof? Is some sort of rubber membrane required for moisture control? How do I frame around clerestory windows and prevent possible leaks (a roof similar to this
Building code: What is required (assume Federal building code or just what is common, unless you are familiar with Georgia code in particular)? What will the inspector look for?