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21.

GUIDE TO BUILDING A MONOLITHIC CONCRETE SLAB FOUNDATION

Andrew Morrison
DVD

Price: $39.99

The How-to Guide to Building a Monolithic Concrete Slab Foundation DVD contains the latest information you need to know to build your own foundation. Walking through each stage of the building process…

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The How-to Guide to Building a Monolithic Concrete Slab Foundation DVD contains the latest information you need to know to build your own foundation. Walking through each stage of the building process, the DVD provides simple how-to techniques that will have you building your own concrete foundation with no prior foundation or concrete experience.


22.

A MODERN LOOK AT STRAW BALE CONSTRUCTION

Andrew Morrison
Paperback

Price: $39.99

In A Modern Look at Straw Bale Construction, Andrew Morrison presents what he believes are the best details for the highest quality construction available.

The idea behind the book was bo…

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In A Modern Look at Straw Bale Construction, Andrew Morrison presents what he believes are the best details for the highest quality construction available.

The idea behind the book was born of his comprehensive straw bale workshops. Each year, Morrison teaches hundreds of people how to build with straw bales, hands-on - and each year, he sketched out the same details and sections over and over again. Asked on several occasions to draw them up on a computer and then bundle them as hand-outs, he did just that.

Then Morrison contacted an excellent straw bale designer, Chris Keefe of Organicforms Design, and asked him to help with the drawings. Having designed more than 40 straw bale homes, Keefe had a ton of experience. Together, they have created a book that, as one reader raves, "fills an enormous gap in what information is available."

Morrison's focus is always on designing and building a structure that is beautiful, durable, safe, efficient, healthy, natural and inspiring, and this book brings that vision to life. It contains a thoroughgoing discussion of topics as well as 22 construction details provided by Keefe.


23.

THE SUN-INSPIRED HOUSE

Debra Rucker Coleman
Paperback

Price: $29.95

The Sun-Inspired House evolved from the questions about passive solar, passive cooling, energy efficiency and green building that home owners, builders, engineers and architects asked author Debra Ruc…

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The Sun-Inspired House evolved from the questions about passive solar, passive cooling, energy efficiency and green building that home owners, builders, engineers and architects asked author Debra Rucker Coleman over the last 25 years. Although the book includes more than 50 house plans, its primary benefit comes from its in-depth coverage of passive solar home design, green building, energy-efficient construction, working with architects and many other resources.


24.

RESIDENTIAL FRAMING: A HOMEBUILDER'S CONSTRUCTION GUIDE

William P. Spence
Paperback

Price: $21.95

Here's everything you need to construct the home of your dreams!

Use Residential Framing: A Homebuilder's Construction Guide as your guide to becoming your own general contractor, or use …

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Here's everything you need to construct the home of your dreams!

Use Residential Framing: A Homebuilder's Construction Guide as your guide to becoming your own general contractor, or use this massive source to keep up with what's going on if you hire workmen to do the job. Every stage of construction receives careful, clear instructions. Whether it's the foundation, walls, floors, windows, doors or roof, author William Spence fully explains everything - even interior and exterior finishing. Hundreds of photos, diagrams and illustrations cover every step:

  • framing materials
  • framing systems
  • floor framing
  • wall and partition framing
  • ceiling and roof
  • post, plank and beam construction
This thorough work also includes complete details for common rafters, hip and valley rafters, and dormers, as well as shed, flat, gambrel and mansard roofs. A variety of door and window styles is offered, as is your choice of exteriors, including solid wood, hardboard, plywood, wood shingles, aluminum siding, vinyl and masonry.

You also get special tips on interior trims, stairs, porches and decks. There's even a detailed section on the power tools you'll need, how to set up your own on-site shop, and how to be your own full-time safety supervisor.


25.

PREFABULOUS + ALMOST OFF THE GRID

Sheri Koones
Hardcover

Price: $22.95

Prefabrication offers a simple path to the green home of your dreams, and in her latest book, Prefabulous author Sheri Koones highlights the many ways of using prefabrication to create almost-off-the-…

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Prefabrication offers a simple path to the green home of your dreams, and in her latest book, Prefabulous author Sheri Koones highlights the many ways of using prefabrication to create almost-off-the-grid homes: houses that are not only environmentally friendly but often operate at nearly zero annual energy cost.

Taking energy from the grid when necessary and returning any excess energy produced, almost-off-the-grid homes function on a fraction of the energy required by most houses, and additionally are more comfortable, healthier, quieter inside, and far cheaper to operate. As energy costs continue to rise, the almost-off-the-grid house proves its worth.

Prefabulous + Almost Off the Grid profiles more than 30 of the most energy-efficient homes in the United States, and this hardworking guide reveals how homeowners can achieve similar results with floor plans, the latest, most efficient technologies, and multiple images of the exterior and interior of each home.


26.

SHELTER II

Lloyd Kahn & Bob Easton
Paperback

Price: $19.95

Shelter II was published in 1978, five years after the book Shelter. It was a sequel in a sense, but a more sober and practical book (in black and white, not color) for any owner-builder interested in…

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Shelter II was published in 1978, five years after the book Shelter. It was a sequel in a sense, but a more sober and practical book (in black and white, not color) for any owner-builder interested in building a simple stud-frame house. The heart of the book consists of an introduction to the principles of house design, followed by a condensed 24-page instruction manual for the novice builder for building a stud-frame home: foundation, floor, wall and roof framing; roofing, windows, doors, interior finish, as well as plumbing and electrical work.

Featured is a section of complete, to-scale drawings by Bob Easton of seven different homes, accompanied by floor plans. These unique drawings allow the first-time builder to visualize each structure as a whole by showing every member of the house frame.

Indigenous builders are studied with an eye to the still-usable skills of the past. There are many photos of North American houses and barns: still-standing reminders of an era of practical building.

Rehabilitation projects then underway in major cities are also covered. There's a critical analysis of domes - they were found to be neither practical nor durable, and there's a detailed critique of America's program in those years to establish colonies in space.

Shelter II tells a story: Practical builders (past and present, in country and city) have always built with time-tested techniques and materials readily at hand: lumber, earth, stone, concrete, brick, thatch or abandoned city buildings. Design is governed by weather, purpose and economy. Building technique is determined by tradition, experience and practice. Then, as now, initiative and hand labor by owners can beat the high cost of building and reduce or eliminate lifetime mortgage obligations.

Out of print for some 20 years, Shelter II is an integral part of the Shelter Publications suite of books on handbuilt homebuilding, and we're happy to make it available once again.


27.

EARTHEN FLOORS

S. Reay Crimmel & J. Thomson
Paperback

Price: $29.95

For most of human history, people have lived in durable, comfortable buildings made from natural materials such as soil, sand, rocks and fiber. All over the globe, these ancient traditions persist; a …

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For most of human history, people have lived in durable, comfortable buildings made from natural materials such as soil, sand, rocks and fiber. All over the globe, these ancient traditions persist; a quarter to a third of the world's population today lives in houses built partially or entirely of earth. Conventional Western building techniques using industrial materials may save time and create efficiencies, but these perceived savings come at considerable financial and environmental cost.

As well as boasting a unique and beautiful aesthetic, natural building techniques are accessible, affordable and nontoxic. Earthen Floors: A Modern Approach to an Ancient Practice is the first comprehensive, fully illustrated manual covering the history, use and maintenance of this attractive, practical flooring option. This detailed, fully illustrated guide explains every part of the process, including:

  • Sourcing and harvesting materials
  • Preparing the subfloor
  • Pouring, finishing and sealing the floor
  • Living with and maintaining your earthen floor

Because information on creating quality earthen floors was not previously widely available, there have been some negative experiences. Drawing on the combined knowledge of the most qualified earthen floor practitioners, as well their own substantial experience, the authors deliver the definitive resource for this exciting technique, perfect for everyone from the novice to veteran builder.


28.

GREEN HOME BUILDING

Miki Cook & Doug Garrett
Paperback

Price: $24.95

According to conventional wisdom, building a green home is an expensive endeavor. The standard approach treats green as an add-on, tacking "premium" products, finishes and equipment onto a traditional…

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According to conventional wisdom, building a green home is an expensive endeavor. The standard approach treats green as an add-on, tacking "premium" products, finishes and equipment onto a traditional home design. As a result, many green home projects end up over budget or fail to achieve their environmental and performance goals.

Green Home Building explodes the myth that green homes have to cost more. Using proven methods based on applied building science, authors Miki Cook and Doug Garrett show how to:

  • Lower base construction costs to provide funding for high performance upgrades
  • Achieve a net zero energy home, including "zero-ing" water, waste, carbon and associated costs within 15 years
  • Live affordably into the future, despite anticipated rising costs for fuel, water, materials, taxes and health care

This comprehensive guide to building green on any budget defines the strategies that maximize the return on green investments. Written for anyone who has ever been swayed by the argument that the price tag limits how green a home can be, Green Home Building is a must-read for builders, contractors, architects, designers and homeowners.

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