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Picks of the Month

RED MOBOO MOLDED BAMBOO COMPOST BIN

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We Found 6 items, sorted in Bestselling order.

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1.

TIMBER FRAMING FOR THE REST OF US

ROB ROY
Paperback

Price: $24.95

This is the first book to describe in depth the timber framing methods used by most contractors, framers and owner-builders — methods that use modern metal fasteners, special screws, and common-sense …

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This is the first book to describe in depth the timber framing methods used by most contractors, framers and owner-builders — methods that use modern metal fasteners, special screws, and common-sense building principles to create post and beam structures in much less time. The book includes everything an owner-builder needs to know about building strong and beautiful structural frames from heavy timbers.

Recommended Product for Wiser Living: Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, Mother Earth News is recommending books to readers. For 40 years, Mother Earth News has been North America’s “Original Guide to Living Wisely,” creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.

2.

EARTHBAG BUILDING

Kaki Hunter & Donald Kiffmeyer
Paperback

Price: $29.95

More than 70% of Americans cannot afford to own a code-enforced, contractor-built home. This has led to widespread interest in using natural materials — straw, cob and earth — for building homes and o…

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More than 70% of Americans cannot afford to own a code-enforced, contractor-built home. This has led to widespread interest in using natural materials — straw, cob and earth — for building homes and other buildings that are inexpensive, and that rely largely on labor rather than expensive and often environmentally-damaging outsourced materials.

Earthbag Building, a Mother Earth News Book for Wiser Living, is the first comprehensive guide to all the tools, tricks and techniques for building with bags filled with earth — or earthbags. Having been introduced to sandbag construction by the renowned Nader Khalili in 1993, the authors developed this "Flexible Form Rammed Earth Technique" over the last decade. A reliable method for constructing homes, outbuildings, garden walls and much more, this enduring, tree-free architecture can also be used to create arched and domed structures of great beauty — in any region, at home, in developing countries or in emergency relief work.

This fully-illustrated guide first discusses the many merits of earthbag construction, and then leads the reader through the key elements of an earthbag building:

  • Special design considerations
  • Foundations, walls and floors
  • Electrical, plumbing and shelving
  • Lintels, windows and door installations
  • Roofs, arches and domes
  • Exterior and interior plasters


With dedicated sections on costs, making your own specialized tools, and building code considerations, as well as a complete resources guide, Earthbag Building is the long-awaited, definitive guide to this uniquely pleasing construction style.

About the contributors:

Kaki Hunter and Donald Kiffmeyer have been involved in the construction industry for the last 20 years, specializing in affordable, low-tech, low-impact building methods that are as natural as possible. Together, over the last nine years they developed the "Flexible Form Rammed Earth Technique" of building affordably with earthbags. They have taught the subject and contributed their expertise to several books on natural building.

3.

DIY BOOK OF BACKYARD SHEDS & TINY HOUSES

Jay Shafer
Paperback

Price: $19.99

Buildings from internationally recognized small living expert Jay Shafer have attracted the attention of CNN, Oprah, Fine Homebuilding and This Old House. Ranging in size from 100 to 120 square feet, …

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Buildings from internationally recognized small living expert Jay Shafer have attracted the attention of CNN, Oprah, Fine Homebuilding and This Old House. Ranging in size from 100 to 120 square feet, these tiny backyard buildings can be used as guest cottages, art or writing studios, home offices, craft workshops, vacation retreats, or full-time residences. This revised edition of Tumbleweed DIY Book of Backyard Sheds and Tiny Houses is filled with photos (including many that weren’t in the original publication) and elevation drawings, as well as door and window schedules for constructing six of the handsome little buildings. You’ll also find an extensive how-to set of instructions that can be applied to any backyard building project.

4.

BUILD YOUR OWN BIRDHOUSES & FEEDERS

John Perkins
Paperback

Price: $10.96

CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $19.95. AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

Local songbird populations are rapidly declining, and food, shelter and safe nesting areas are urgently needed. Thi…

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CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $19.95. AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

Local songbird populations are rapidly declining, and food, shelter and safe nesting areas are urgently needed. This remarkable book is packed with great ideas plus all the woodworking drawings and howto information needed for hobbyists and birders who want to build attractive birdhouses, feeders and nesting boxes that will attract birds.

Build Your Own Birdhouses and Feeders features a wide range of designs suitable for all skill levels and space limitations, from a very easy box feeder for a small balcony to the challenge of a magnificent bird mansion for a large garden. The 25 projects appeal to a variety of tastes, ranging from a traditional Victorian townhouse, to a tonguein-cheek Wild West saloon, to a medieval tournament tent.

Each project includes:

  • Detailed designs with acolor photo of the finished item
  • Easy-to-follow instructions and step-by-step illustrations
  • Enlarged and technical diagrams in color
  • List of recommended materials
  • Advice on choosing a location for best results

About the Author:
John Perkins is an architectural design technician with a background in model-making as well as furniture and product design. A contributor to leading woodworking magazines and the author of several books, he is a technical and advertising consultant for leading tool companies.

5.

TINY HOMES: SIMPLE SHELTER

Lloyd Kahn
Paperback

Price: $28.95

There's a grassroots movement in tiny homes these days. The real estate collapse, the economic downturn, burning out on 12-hour workdays – many people are rethinking their ideas about shelter – seek…

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There's a grassroots movement in tiny homes these days. The real estate collapse, the economic downturn, burning out on 12-hour workdays – many people are rethinking their ideas about shelter – seeking an alternative to high rents, or a lifelong mortgage debt to a bank on an overpriced home.

In this book are some 150 builders who have taken things into their own hands, creating tiny homes (under 500 sq. ft.). Homes on land, homes on wheels, homes on the road, homes on water, even homes in the trees. There are also studios, saunas, garden sheds, and greenhouses.

There are 1,300 photos, showing a rich variety of small homemade shelters, and there are stories (and thoughts and inspirations) of the owner-builders who are on the forefront of this new trend in downsizing and self-sufficiency.

At the heart of our 1973 book Shelter were drawings of five small buildings, which we recommended as a starting point in providing one's own home. Now, almost 40 years later, there's a growing tiny house movement all over the world – which we've been tracking over the past two years.

Many people have decided to scale back, to get by with less stuff, to live in smaller homes. You can buy a ready-made tiny home, build your own, get a kit or pre-fab, or live in a bus, houseboat, or other movable shelter. Some cities have special ordinances for building "inlaw" or "granny flats" in the back yard. There are innovative solutions in cities, such as the "capsules" in Tokyo. There are numerous blogs and websites with news, photos, and/or plans for tiny homes, documented here.

If you're thinking of scaling back, you'll find plenty of inspiration here. Here's a different approach, a 180º turn from increasing consumption. Here are builders, designers, architects (no less), dreamers, artists, road gypsies, and water dwellers who've achieved a measure of freedom and independence by taking shelter into their own hands.

About the Author
In 1968 Lloyd Kahn worked as Shelter editor for the Whole Earth Catalog. In 1971 he published Domebook 2. His shake-covered geodesic dome was featured in Life magazine. Ultimately disillusioned with domes, he took Domebook 2 out of print and in 1973 published the oversized book Shelter, which went on to sell more than 250,000 copies. In 2004, Kahn published HomeWork: Handbuilt Shelter – in many ways the sequel to Shelter – and Builders of the Pacific Coast in 2008. Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter is the fourth book in this series. Kahn and his wife, Lesley live and work in a small coastal town in Northern California.

6.

NORTHWEST GREEN HOME PRIMER

K. O'Brien/K. Smith
Paperback

Price: $24.95

Everyone can make green home decisions on a budget with this inspiring, information-packed guide. Whether you are building, remodeling, buying, or just curious, here are real-world strategies for gett…

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Everyone can make green home decisions on a budget with this inspiring, information-packed guide. Whether you are building, remodeling, buying, or just curious, here are real-world strategies for getting the greenest results from your budget, with hundreds of ideas for a home that is built to last, comfortable and healthy, money- and time-saving in the long term, and kind to the planet.

What shade of green is right for you, your resources, schedule, and setting, and how can you achieve it? What questions should you ask? What approaches and resources are best for the Northwest? From your home's exterior to its operating systems within, from siting to interior design, this is the basic training that has given many the confidence to proceed.

Award-winning sustainable design and building consultant and teacher Kathleen O'Brien and architectural designer and sustainability consultant Kathleen Smith offer their "top picks" for each phase. Their perspective is both down-to-earth and cutting edge. They've also each faced their own green home challenges in a single family house and a duplex, and other case studies show affordable energy-efficient green homes both old and new.

Brimming with ideas, clear and logical, with tips, checklists, and resources for green home planning, construction, remodeling, and maintenance, extensively illustrated with photos and diagrams, this is the essential green home manual for novice and professional alike.

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