Frequently Asked Questions

If you are having difficulties using any part of our website or any of our products, we are here to help.

Firstly, we have put together some of the most frequently asked questions we have received from our readers. Please check them out and see if your question is covered.

Our support hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm GMT. Thank you for supporting First in Architecture!

Are the books available in hard copy?

Unfortunately, the hardcopy books don’t include any digital files. We always recommend that our customers purchase the digital bundles as they are better value for money. However, we do understand that it is nice to have a physical copy to flip through. The books are available in paperback editions from Amazon and other well known online booksellers. You can find the books in digital format on our store.

Are the books suitable for US or Australia?

All of the Understanding Architectural Details books are based on UK construction. Residential Construction Details is based on US construction methods. Understanding Passivhaus is based on UK construction methods.

What is the difference between the FIA books and the Detail Library?

The books are predominantly aimed at students and new graduates (although people from all across the architectural field do purchase them) – they contain explanatory information along with a selection of details that can also be purchased alongside the book. The details are in CAD and SketchUp.

The Detail Library consists of many of the residential details from the books, but many other details that we have added. We add new details every month along with useful resources and technical guides. You can purchase one off details, or subscribe for a year to have unlimited access to all of the details, and the new ones we publish.

The Detail Library contains details from:

  • Understanding Architectural Details Residential (4th Edition)
  • Understanding Passivhaus
  • Understanding Loft Conversions
  • And some details from Understanding Architectural Details Basements

The Pro membership provides the details in CAD, SketchUp, and Revit (2D).

Can universities purchase the books?

We have a number of options available for universities and institutions. Please visit our dedicated page for more information.

What version of CAD and SketchUp are the files?

The CAD files are saved in AutoCAD 2010, and the Sketchup files are saved in SKP 2015.

Can I pay by BACS?

Unfortunately, we are only able to accept PayPal and Credit/Debit card payments on our site for the time being. We apologise for the inconvenience. For exceptional circumstances, we may be able to organise a BACS payment, please get in touch with our team if this is your case.

Download Link Not Received

If you have not received the email with the download link, rest assured that our team will be in touch shortly to assist with this. Meanwhile, please kindly check your spam folder to make sure that the order confirmation hasn’t been picked up by the junk filter.

Download Link Not Working

If you are having problems with downloading the files, rest assured that our team will be in touch shortly to assist with this. Meanwhile, please could you ensure the following prior to download:

  • Make sure you have a good internet connection as some of the files are large and take a while to download. 
  • Download onto a desktop or laptop computer and not a tablet or mobile device.


Chrome Download Issues

Chrome has increased security in their browsers and are marking some downloads as dangerous. This is happening everywhere and not just for our files. It appears to be only Google Chrome that are blocking downloads and not other browsers such as Safari or Firefox. There are numerous articles online explaining how to disable this feature in order to access your downloads. Here are a couple:

Sorry for the inconvenience, unfortunately this situation is out of our control but please rest assured that our team will do everything possible to help with the problem.

Digital Files and Softwares

If you are purchasing a book or digital download such as cad block or template, please check what the download will include and confirm compatibility with your own software.

CAD (dwg)

The cad blocks are in .dwg format which is a file format for AutoCAD by AutoDesk. We cannot guarantee compatibility with any other software apart from AutoCAD.

Photoshop (.psd)

The photoshop files are in .psd format. We cannot guarantee compatibility with any other software apart from Adobe Photoshop.

Revit

The Revit files are in .rfa format. We cannot guarantee compatibility with any other software apart from AutoDesk Revit.

ArchiCAD

The ArchiCAD files are in .gsm format. We cannot guarantee compatibility with any other software apart from ArchiCAD.

Other FAQs

If you are purchasing a book or digital download such as cad block or template, please check what the download will include and confirm compatibility with your own software.

How will I receive the book?

Upon payment you will be sent an email which contains a download link for the book. You can then download the book (and associated files if you have purchased bundle 2 or 3) onto your computer. Please be sure to keep an eye on your spam or junk folder.

What happens if I lose the PDF or digital files after purchase?

After you have downloaded your purchase, it is your responsibility to carry out any backups to ensure that your book is safe. If you lose the pdf, buy a new computer, or your computer crashes, we are not always able to replace your copy.

What is your return policy?

You can see our returns policy here, and full terms and conditions here.