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Home > Books > Home Design Books

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81.

THE COB BUILDER'S HANDBOOK

Becky Bee
Paperback

Price: $23.95

Cob (an old English word for lump) is old-fashioned concrete, made out of a mixture of clay, sand, and straw. Becky Bee's manual is a friendly guide to making your own earth structure, with chapters o…

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Cob (an old English word for lump) is old-fashioned concrete, made out of a mixture of clay, sand, and straw. Becky Bee's manual is a friendly guide to making your own earth structure, with chapters on design, foundations, floors, windows and doors, finishes, and of course, making glorious cob.

82.

BUILDING A LOG CABIN RETREAT

Michael Mulligan
Paperback

Price: $15.00

If you've ever dreamed of building a rustic log cabin to use as a weekend hideaway, hunting lodge or even an emergency retreat, this book tells you how to make it a reality. This step-by-step guide is…

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If you've ever dreamed of building a rustic log cabin to use as a weekend hideaway, hunting lodge or even an emergency retreat, this book tells you how to make it a reality. This step-by-step guide is chock-full of tips and advice culled from author Michael Mulligan's decades of experience. Specializing in do-it-yourself projects that use improvised materials and avoid bureaucratic hassles, Mulligan first shares invaluable insight on finding your land and negotiating the shark-filled waters of real estate deals. Then, in straightforward terms that even a novice can follow easily, he walks you through the construction process, from selecting and preparing the logs to erecting and chinking the walls to building the roof and finishing the interior. He also includes a chapter on dispensing with public utilities in meeting your water, sewage, heating, cooking, lighting, power and refrigeration needs. Finally, for those who wish to tackle a scaled-up version of Mulligan's basic design, he presents the formulas necessary for calculating the parameters and selecting the proper material.

83.

WOOD PALLET PROJECTS

Chris Gleason
Paperback

Price: $19.99

Lumber prices are soaring, and deforestation is a rising concern. Yet millions of pounds of perfectly usable wood are dumped in landfills every year.

Wood Pallet Projects shows how anyone can upcycle s…

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Lumber prices are soaring, and deforestation is a rising concern. Yet millions of pounds of perfectly usable wood are dumped in landfills every year.

Wood Pallet Projects shows how anyone can upcycle salvaged pallet wood to create truly one-of-a-kind projects.

Maverick craftsman Chris Gleason combines sound woodworking techniques with a hip designer's sensibility to unleash the limitless possibilities of the common skid.

Inside you'll find 15 of his inspired projects for rescuing and repurposing pallets. Some of his pieces celebrate the rough, edgy character of the material, while others are crafted as fine furniture. He shows how to construct both indoor and outdoor furniture in a variety of styles, along with other useful items such as a birdhouse, toolbox and even a ukulele.

There's plenty of nitty-gritty here on working with pallets, including where to find them and how to process them into usable lumber. You'll learn about sanding, fasteners and the best finishes (if any) to use.

Gleason provides important advice on how to make sure that your pallets are safe and not sprayed with harmful chemicals. A colorful gallery of finished work provides further inspiration for green crafting.

Inside you'll find 15 projects for upcycling ordinary pallet wood into such objects as:

  • A Wall-Mounted Curio Cabinet
  • A Bathroom Magazine Caddy
  • A Side Chair
  • An End Table
  • A Coffee Table
  • A Wine Rack
  • A Fireplace Mantle
  • Cabinet Doors,
  • An Outdoor Lounge Chair
  • Funky Birdhouses
  • An Outdoor Couch
  • A Modernist Picnic Table
  • An Outdoor Bar/Serving Area
  • A Ukulele
  • A Toolbox
  • A Workbench

84.

DIY FURNITURE

Christopher Stuart
Paperback

Price: $24.95

Featuring 30 designs by leading designer-makers from around the world, DIY Furniture shows you how to use simple techniques to make stunning designer furniture from scratch. Using the step-by-step gui…

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Featuring 30 designs by leading designer-makers from around the world, DIY Furniture shows you how to use simple techniques to make stunning designer furniture from scratch. Using the step-by-step guides, you can easily assemble all the projects from common materials that can be found at the local hardware store. Along with designs for seating and storage, the book also features projects for making your own bed, wardrobe, lighting and garden furniture. Each project features hand-drawn diagrams with short, easy-to-follow instructions on how to build the piece. Whether building from scratch or customizing existing designs, you can create unique designer pieces at a fraction of the normal cost with DIY Furniture. Brief biographies of all the featured designers are included at the end of the book.

85.

THE GREENED HOUSE EFFECT

Jeff Wilson
Paperback

Price: $29.95

It’s said that the greenest building is the one that’s already built, because so much energy is embodied in the existing structure.

With greater public awareness of the need for energy independence, the issue of how we can make our existing homes more resource-efficient is becoming ever more critical. Residential buildings make up a large fraction of our energy needs, largely due to heating and air-conditioning. So it’s no longer enough to simply do the small stuff, like switching to compact fluorescent bulbs, or turning down the thermostat at night.

In The Greened House Effect, author Jeff Wilson brings his twenty-five years of construction experience and hands-on knowledge of home building to bear on making our current houses cleaner, greener, more comfortable, and healthier. Think of a deep energy retrofit (DER) as a “whole home makeover”—one that represents a significant investment, but that saves money from the get-go by capturing the energy you “drop on the ground” every month, every year, through inefficiency, poor design, or simply living in a typical older home. This isn’t a book about freezing in the dark, but a solution that allows us to live more comfortably while making a positive impact in the world.

“We can’t buy our way out of the current and impending crises with the latest and greatest high-tech. We can’t buy our way out of it by simply replacing our old stuff with newer, “greener” stuff. That approach only assures that we will continue to experience the vicious circle of energy waste and dependence. I would argue, though, that we can save our way out of these problems,” writes Wilson.

Using his own family’s retrofit of their 1942 home as a prime example, Wilson weaves a readable narrative at a practical, hammer-and-nail level. He presents the solutions to our building and energy problems, making them seem possible for average homeowners and small contractors by offering the right balance of information, skills, financing strategies, and materials.

Technical information is presented in sidebars and graphs, and numerous color photos illustrate the process, including:

  • Testing the energy efficiency of your home and learning where improvements need to be made;
  • Dealing with local building codes and regulations;
  • Financing and paying for a DER;
  • Major components of the DER, such as roofs, exterior walls, basements, and whole house systems; and
  • Details of home-scale renewable energy options to complement the DER, including passive and active solar systems.

Wilson’s building experience, along with his lifelong passion for energy issues, all come together to form an inspirational, can-do approach to making our community, our nation, and our world a better place—one home at a time.

86.

YOUNG HOUSE LOVE

Sherry & John Petersik
Hardcover

Price: $25.95

This debut book by bloggers Sherry and John Petersik is filled with hundreds of fun, deceptively simple, budget-friendly ideas for sprucing up a home. With two home renovations under their (tool) belts, 5 million blog hits per month, and an ever-growing audience since the launch of their Young House Love blog in 2007, the Petersiks are home-improvement enthusiasts primed to pass on a slew of projects, tricks and techniques to do-it-yourselfers of all levels. Whether an experienced decorator or a total novice, on a tight budget or with money to spend, any homeowner or apartment dweller will find ideas for his or her own home makeovers here. Learn to trick out a thrift-store mirror, spice up plain old roller shades, "hack" your Ikea table to create three distinct looks, and so much more.

Packed with 243 tips and ideas-both classic and unexpected-every project pictured was exclusively executed for the book. With more than 400 photographs and illustrations, this is a book that readers will return to again and again for the creative projects and easy-to-follow instructions in the relatable voice the Petersiks are known for. Adding a little wow factor to your home has never been more fun!

87.

THE OUTDOOR SHOWER

Ethan Fierro
Paperback

Price: $19.95

Designer/builder Ethan Fierro celebrates summer with this collection of original outdoor shower designs that he’s discovered across North America. He offers dozens of designs to choose from, all pictu…

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Designer/builder Ethan Fierro celebrates summer with this collection of original outdoor shower designs that he’s discovered across North America. He offers dozens of designs to choose from, all pictured in stunning color photographs, ranging from a simple showerhead on the side of your cottage to semi-detached and freestanding structures. Fierro also includes an overview of basic plumbing and structural requirements, along with suggestions for using a wide range of building materials, such as stone, wood, metal, frosted glass blocks, earth, concrete, tile, stucco, and landscape vegetation. His plans are environmentally sound and incorporate cost-saving techniques, with ideas for repurposing found and recycled materials.

88.

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.

89.

BUDDHA HOUSE

CHRIS MCCLELLAN
Paperback

Price: $15.97

A picture-book of the Buddha House, by famed craftsman and natural builder Sun Ray Kelley. This house, built in Washington State, features sculpted walls of stucco, stone and cedar shakes, round timbe…

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A picture-book of the Buddha House, by famed craftsman and natural builder Sun Ray Kelley. This house, built in Washington State, features sculpted walls of stucco, stone and cedar shakes, round timberframe construction, a living roof, and Sun Ray's signature curved ridgebeams and railings made from whole trees--roots and all. A collection of 60 color photographs of this one-of-a-kind house with sayings from the world's great thinkers that help explain SunRay's philosophy of natural building. This book is the first in a series documenting the work of SunRay Kelley and his School of Natural Living.

90.

COMPACT HOUSES

Gerald Rowan
Paperback

Price: $19.95

Discover the huge possibilities to be found in a small house! Whether you're building from scratch or retrofitting an existing structure, these 50 innovative floor plans will show you how to make the…

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Discover the huge possibilities to be found in a small house! Whether you're building from scratch or retrofitting an existing structure, these 50 innovative floor plans will show you how to make the most of houses measuring 1,400 square feet or less. Gerald Rowan focuses on efficient layouts and creative ways to use every inch of your space, including closets, decks, porches, bathrooms, attics and basements. Artist renderings bring each house's exterior to life, and detailed interior drawings illustrate special space-saving features. Compact Houses includes one- and two-floor designs and plans with one to three bedrooms.

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