Habitat for Humanity: How to Build a House


Since its founding in 1976, the non-profit Habitat for Humanity International has built more than 255,000 houses for more than one million people and families in need world wide. First published in 2002, "Habitat for Humanity How to Build a House "has helped thousands more build simple, energy-efficient homes of their own by helping guide them from foundation to roof, through all interior finishes and fixtures. Written by long-time carpenter and Habitat volunteer, Larry Haun, this extensive revision features ...

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Since its founding in 1976, the non-profit Habitat for Humanity International has built more than 255,000 houses for more than one million people and families in need world wide. First published in 2002, "Habitat for Humanity How to Build a House "has helped thousands more build simple, energy-efficient homes of their own by helping guide them from foundation to roof, through all interior finishes and fixtures. Written by long-time carpenter and Habitat volunteer, Larry Haun, this extensive revision features up-to-date information on residential codes, construction methods, and materials — as well as an updated design inside and out. Haun also provides new sections on tools, siding, ventilation, and landscaping. With Clear information on everything from obtaining a site and permit to finishing touches like installing door locks and cabinets, this is the best single-volume resource for the beginning homebuilder.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Habitat for Humanity (HFH) has a great reputation for helping poor people build affordable housing; over the last 25 years, it has built over 100,000 homes worldwide (it is the 15th-largest home builder in the country). The beauty of their system is that the home isn't a giveaway; homeowners must work on their home and the homes of others and must pay for their house themselves. HFH simply offers them the necessary assistance. Haun, a carpenter and Habitat volunteer, shows how to build a solid house from the ground up. As might be expected, the methods used by HFH result in a decent, affordable, no-frills home-there are no mini-mansions here. The highly readable text covers a HFH project in Charlotte, NC, from start to finish, including site acquisition and preparation, tools needed, foundations, framing, roofing, windows, interior finishing, household systems, and landscaping. The detailed instructions are enhanced by clear illustrations and photos. This is an excellent guide to home construction with the added bonus that it offers recognition to a great organization. Recommended for all public libraries. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal

Haun, an experienced carpenter and volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, leads readers through the basics of home construction. Scattered throughout are inspirational real-life stories of home recipients. A more exhaustive tome on house construction is R.J. DeCristoforo's Housebuilding: A Do-It-Yourself Guide. Still, this is an approachable handbook.

—Karen Ellis
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561589678
  • Publisher: Taunton Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/9/2008
  • Edition description: Revised, Updated ed.
  • Pages: 282
  • Sales rank: 222,048
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Larry Haun has worked as a carpenter in southern California for four decades and has been a Habitat for Humanity volunteer since the 1980s. He has taught apprentice carpenters at a local community college for more than 20 years. Larry lives in coastal Oregon, where he continues to build houses for Habitat.

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Table of Contents

Foreword vi
Introduction 2
Chapter 1 Getting Started: Site, Design, Permits, and Preparation 4
Step 1 Obtain a Site 6
Step 2 Prepare the Site 7
Step 3 Design the House 9
Step 4 Secure the Building Permits 11
Step 5 Get Organized to Build 15
Chapter 2 Building Basics: Getting Acquainted with Tools and the Parts of a House 22
Tool-Buying Tips 22
Essential Hand Tools 25
Tool Carriers 30
Power Tools 32
The Parts of a House 36
Chapter 3 Firm, Flat, Level, and Square: Foundations and Floors 42
Know the Foundation Fundamentals 42
Step 1 Form and Pour the Footings 49
Step 2 Build the Foundation Walls 50
Step 3 Backfill around the Foundation 52
Step 4 Attach the Sills 53
Step 5 Build Midspan Support for Joists 59
Step 6 Install the Joists 63
Step 7 Install Extra Joists and Blocking 68
Step 8 Install the Floor Sheathing 71
Chapter 4 Going Up: Walls Create Space 74
Step 1 Lay Out the Walls 76
Step 2 Plate the Walls 79
Step 3 Count and Cut the Headers, Rough Sills, Cripples, and Trimmers 82
Step 4 Mark the Plates 86
Step 5 Build the Walls 92
Step 6 Raise the Walls 100
Step 7 Plumb and Line the Walls 105
Step 8 Install and Plumb Door and Window Trimmers 108
Step 9 Sheathe the Walls 109
Chapter 5 Shelter: A Roof Overhead 112
Roof Trusses 112
Step 1 Prepare for Truss Arrival and Installation 116
Step 2 Install the Gable Truss 120
Step 3 Install the Remaining Trusses 123
Step 4 Secure the Trusses to the Interior Walls 127
Step 5 Add Drywall Backing 129
Step 6 Install the Barge Rafters and the Fascia Boards 129
Step 7 Sheathe the Roof 133
Step 8 Seal the Roof with Felt Paper 135
Step 9 Shingle the Roof 137
Chapter 6 Closing in: Windows, Doors, Siding, and Exterior Trim 146
Vinyl Siding 148
Step 1 Install the Remaining Sheathing and the Rough Exterior Trim 150
Step 2 Install the Housewrap and Flash Openings 153
Step 3 Set the Windows and Doors 155
Step 4 Complete Ventilation and Electrical Work 158
Step 5 Install the Starter Strips and the Trim for Vinyl Siding 159
Step 6 Install the Siding Panels 165
Step 7 Finish the Soffits 170
Step 8 Cover Exterior Trim with Aluminum Cladding 172
Chapter 7 Building an Outdoor Room: Basic Design for Porches, Decks, and Landings 174
Design Ideas for Decks and Porches 176
Step 1 Complete the Essential Roof Framing 176
Step 2 Install the Ledger 178
Step 3 Install the Foundation and Floor Framing 181
Step 4 Frame the Stairs 182
Step 5 Install the Decking and Stair Treads 187
Step 6 Install the Railings 188
Chapter 8 Comfort Inside: Sealing, Insulating, and Ventilating a House 192
Sweaters, Windbreakers, and Rain Gear 194
Step 1 Seal Penetrations in the Walls, Ceilings, and Floors 195
Step 2 Insulate the Walls, Ceilings, and Floors 199
Step 3 Install Vapor Barriers (if Necessary) 206
Step 4 Provide Adequate Ventilation 210
Chapter 9 The Walls Within: Drywall and Painting 212
Step 1 Get Ready to Install Drywall 214
Step 2 Install the Ceiling Panels 217
Step 3 Install the Wall Panels 224
Step 4 Install the Corner Bead 226
Step 5 Mud, Tape, and Finish the Drywall 228
Step 6 Paint the Ceilings and Walls 232
Step 7 Prepare and Paint the Interior Trim 235
Step 8 Paint the Exterior Siding and Trim 237
Chapter 10 Making a House Beautiful and Useful: Interior Trim, Cabinets, Countertops, and Closets 240
Step 1 Install Underlayment for Vinyl Flooring 242
Step 2 Install the Interior Doors 243
Step 3 Install the Window and Door Casings 249
Step 4 Install the Cabinets 254
Step 5 Install the Countertops 258
Step 6 Install the Baseboard and Chair Rail 260
Step 7 Trim Out the Closets 264
Chapter 11 Final Details: From Locks to Smoke Detectors 268
Step 1 Install the Hardware and Fixtures 268
Step 2 Select and Install the Finish Flooring 272
Step 3 Get to Know Electrical and Mechanical Systems 275
Step 4 Prepare for the Worst 276
Resources 278
Index 280
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