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Here is the best of backyard building: Popular building authors Jeanie and David Stiles (whose tree house once garnered a spread in Architectural Digest) have gathered dozens of original plans for tree houses, playhouses and sheds, as well as a summer house, tea house, garden arbor and functional workroom.
Backyard Building covers backyard accessories, the fundamentals of tools and materials, and useful tips based on real-life questions from the couple’s popular website. The book’s unique style, with hand-drawn illustrations to guide the reader through the building process in an easy-to-follow fashion, stands out from the crowd. The clear, detailed drawings are not only useful but a pleasure to look at; they are supplemented by irresistible color photographs.
Author: Jeanie & David Stiles
Whether building a summer cottage in the woods, the hunting cabin of your dreams, or homesteading off the grid, this handy reference provides a logical and sensible approach to building permanent shelter in out-of-the- way places. Including everything from choosing and clearing a site and creating an electrical power source, to clearing the land and creating a foundation, this book offers instruction on building an A-frame cabin and a rustic log cabin with a framed roof. There is also a special section on designing small buildings to cope with Mother Nature, including earthquakes, heavy snow, high wind, and flooding.
Compact Cabins presents 62 design interpretations of the getaway dream. Whether it be a small cabin on a sparkling lakefront, a breath-taking mountaintop, an expansive beach, or some other peaceful location, there is something here to please every taste. Best of all, these small-footprint designs are affordable and energy-efficient without skimping on comfort and style. The cabins range in size form a cozy 150 square feet to a more spacious but still economical 1,000 square feet, and all include sleeping accommodations, kitchen and bath facilities, and a heat source. Complete chapters on low-maintenance building materials, utilities and appliances, and alternative energy sources supply you with the options for living efficiently in small space.
For every design, you will find floor plans with detailed suggestions for designing the space for optimal use. These plans are flexible: many feature modular elements that can be mixed and matched to accommodate your particular needs or hobbies. Features such as an outdoor fireplace, covered porch, or external storage locker might work nicely in several cabin designs. It's all about enhancing and maximizing small spaces to your individual needs and preferences.
Author: Gerald Rowan
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.
Author: Gerald Rowan
Cool Tools features a selection of the best tools, the cheapest, or the only ones available to do the job. This oversized book reviews more than 1,500 different tools, explaining why each one is great, and what its benefits are. Illuminating the possibilities contained in each item, the catalog serves as an education outside the classroom. The content was derived from 10 years of user reviews published at the Cool Tools website.
Author: Edited by Kevin Kelly
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.
Author: Jay Shafer
Prefabricated straw bale wall panels combine the performance and low environmental impact of traditional straw bale with reduced labor and more consistent results. Going well beyond the scope of many natural building books, this indispensable manual includes a complete introduction to the use of prefabricated bale walls, packed with all the information you need to determine whether they are the right choice for your project.Written by the world's leading sustainable builders, designers, and engineers, these succinct, user-friendly handbooks are indispensable tools for any project where accurate and reliable information are key to success.
Author: Chris Magwood
This innovative collection features 35 simple, inexpensive projects that you can make from salvaged and upcycled materials: cardboard, metal, plastic and wood. The projects include tables, shelving units, chairs, lamps, and more, in a variety of styles. Many are stackable and easily portable, most can be made in a weekend, and all include instructions for disassembly and disposal when you’re ready to repurpose the materials. If you’d rather make than buy, these low-budget, high-style designs are just what you’re looking for.
Author: Will Holman
Malcolm Wells' fourth book about underground architecture will show you that building a house underground is not only possible but also a very good idea for those who want a friendly-with-the-earth life.
This book covers everything you need to know about underground building, from concept basics to house plans you can use for your own underground home.
An architect by trade, Wells lived in The Underground Art Gallery, in Brewster, Mass., and wrote several books about this subject, which he began promoting in 1964. A pioneer of underground building and natural design, he penned such best-selling books as Gentle Architecture and The Earth-Sheltered House. How to Build an Underground House is scanned from his own handwritten and illustrated pages and is self-published.
Author: Malcolm Wells
How to Build Dry-Stacked Stone Walls shows how to build a wall using the traditional method of dry stone masonry. Shaw-Rimmington then guides the reader through the building process. With dedication to the task and the author's experienced guidance, the only limit is imagination.
Author: John Shaw-Rimmington
Will Beemer takes you through the entire process from start to finish, beginning with timber sourcing and ending with a finished building. Using full-color photos, detailed drawings, and clear step-by-step instructions, Beemer shows you exactly how to build one small (12 by 16 foot) timber-frame structure that’s suitable for use as a cabin, workshop, or studio.
Author: Will Beemer
Based on the successful blog of the same name, Living Large in Our Little House is a practical and inspirational memoir about the joy and freedom of tiny house living. Traditionally, the American dream has included owning a house, and until recently that meant the bigger, the better. McMansions have flourished in suburbs across the country, and as houses got bigger we filled them with more stuff. Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell had been subconsciously trying to live up to this ideal when circumstances forced her and her husband into a 480-square-foot house in the woods. What was supposed to be a writing cabin and guest house became their full-time abode and they quickly discovered that they had serendipitously discovered a better way of life. They realized that by living smaller, they were, in fact, living large. They were not spending extra time cleaning and maintaining the house, but had the freedom to pursue their hobbies; they did not waste money on things they didn’t need; and they grew emotionally (as well as physically) closer. Kerri and her husband realized that living large is less about square footage and more about a state of mind. As Fivecoat-Campbell relates the story of her own transformation, she also profiles more than a dozen other families living tiny house lives. And she offers practical advice for how you can too.
Whether readers are inspired to join the tiny house movement or not, they are sure to be inspired to live large with less.
Author: Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell