You can find various interesting texts about building for no charge online. Here are just some examples of (at times ancient) texts.
"The Principles of Gothic Ecclesiastical Architecture, Elucidated by Question and Answer, 4th ed."
From CHAPTER II:
"Q. How is the obtuse-angled arch formed and described?
A. Like the foregoing, it is formed from two segments of a circle, and the
centres of it have a radius shorter than the breadth of the arch; it is
described from an obtuse-angled triangle. (fig. 7.)
Q. During what period were these pointed arches in use?
A. They were all gradually introduced in the twelfth century, and
continued during the thirteenth century; after which the lancet arch
appears to have been generally discarded, though the other two prevailed
till a much later period.
Q. What are the different kinds of complex pointed arches?
A. Those commonly called the OGEE, or contrasted arch; and the TUDOR arch.
Q. How is the ogee, or contrasted arch, formed and described?
A. It is formed of four segments of a circle, and is described from four
centres, two placed within the arch on a level with the spring, and two
placed on the exterior of the arch, and level with the apex or point (fig.
8); each side is composed of a double curve, the lowermost convex and the
Rural Architecture, Being a Complete Description of Farm Houses, Cottages, and Out Buildings. Also written in the 1800s.
"These remarks may seem too refined, and as out of place here, and
trenching upon the subject of Landscape Gardening, which is not designed
to be a part, or but an incidental one of the present work, yet they are
important in connection with the subject under discussion. The proper
disposition of trees and shrubbery around, or in the vicinity of
buildings is far too little understood, although tree planting about our
dwellings is a practice pretty general throughout our country. Nothing
is more common than to see a man build a house, perhaps in most
elaborate and expensive style, and then plant a row of trees close upon
the front, which when grown will shut it almost entirely out of view;
while he leaves the rear as bald and unprotected as if it were a barn or
a horse-shed--as if in utter ignorance, as he probably is, that his
house is more effectively set off by a _flanking_ and _background_ of
tree and shrubbery, than in front. And this is called good taste! Let us
examine it. Trees near a dwelling are desirable for shade; _shelter_
they do not afford except in masses, which last is always better given
to the house itself by a veranda. Immediately adjoining, or within
touching distance of a house, trees create dampness, more or less
litter, and frequently vermin. They injure the walls and roofs by their
continual shade and dampness. They exclude the rays of the sun, and
prevent a free circulation of air. Therefore, _close_ to the house,
trees are absolutely pernicious, to say nothing of excluding all its
architectural effect from observation; when, if planted at proper
distances, they compose its finest ornaments."
You can get more texts at Project Gutenberg.
Syndicated through Renovations Melbourne
Other extracts: Architecture Correlated Texts