Living Homes: Stone Masonry, Log, and Strawbale Construction: Building Your High-Efficiency Dream Home on a Shoestring Budget

Overview

The house of your Dreams does not have to be expensive. The key is all in the planning. How much a house costs, how it looks, how comfortable it is, how energy-efficient it is--all these things occur on paper before you pick up even one tool. A little extra time in the planning process can save you tens of thousands of dollars in construction and maintenance. That is time well spent!

Living Homes takes you through the planning process to design an energy and resource efficient ...

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Overview

The house of your Dreams does not have to be expensive. The key is all in the planning. How much a house costs, how it looks, how comfortable it is, how energy-efficient it is--all these things occur on paper before you pick up even one tool. A little extra time in the planning process can save you tens of thousands of dollars in construction and maintenance. That is time well spent!

Living Homes takes you through the planning process to design an energy and resource efficient home that won't break the bank. Then, from the footings on up to the roof, author Thomas J. Elpel guides you through the nuts and bolts of construction for slipform stone masonry, tilt-up stone walls, log home construction, building with strawbales, making your own terra tile floors, windows and doors, solar water systems, masonry heaters, framing, plumbing, greywater, septic systems, swamp filters, concrete-fly ash countertops, painting and more.

Living Homes was completely re-organized and revised for the new sixth edition, based on five additional years of building experience with low-cost, high efficiency construction methods. Get the latest ideas on how to build a high-performance house that will stand the test of time! The sixth edition includes fifteen pages of new material covering the latest stone masonry tips, plus revised and expanded tips and techniques throughout the book.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This highly creative guide helps the non-builder become conversant with terms, materials, and techniques necessary to build one's dream home."--The Islands' Weekly Newspaper, Lopez Island, Washington.
(Review of the 4th Edition)

"This isn't mere theory but is firmly grounded in Elpel's hands-on experience creating durable, energy-efficient buildings on a shoestring."--Fine Homebuilding (Review of the 4th Edition)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781892784322
  • Publisher: HOPS Press, LLC
  • Publication date: 7/28/2010
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 245
  • Sales rank: 597,316
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas J. Elpel started his building career from a tent in 1989. Twenty-one years old and newly married, Tom and Renee Elpel bought land, moved into a tent, and started building their passive solar stone and log dream home, although they had little construction experience and even less money. But they read books and learned through hands-on experience, completing their home for approximately what most people would spend on a new car. Elpel has continued to refine his ideas on low-cost, high-efficiency construction ever since, designing and building, or participating in the construction, of several additional stone, log, and strawbale buildings. Tom was inspired to write Living Homes in part to show that it is still possible to live the American Dream - to own a great home without a mortgage. Tom is continuing to hone his building skills, with the goal of developing ways to mass-produce and market low-cost, high-efficiency homes. When he is not building, writing, or trying to change the world, he spends much of his free time hiking and camping in the wilderness. His most recent book, Roadmap to Reality (2010), explores the relationships between self-awareness, spiritual consciousness, and the historical development of technologies.

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