The Real Goods Independent Builder: Designing and Building a House Your Own Way

Overview

This is a comprehensive manual of design and building methods for owner-builders as well as professional builders and their clients. In addition to presenting specific building techniques, the book explains the design principles and planning processes that underlie all good building, so that readers can develop their own exceptional designs, independently.

Independent Builder...

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Overview

This is a comprehensive manual of design and building methods for owner-builders as well as professional builders and their clients. In addition to presenting specific building techniques, the book explains the design principles and planning processes that underlie all good building, so that readers can develop their own exceptional designs, independently.

Independent Builder develops subjects not covered thoroughly in other books, but critical to success:

  • Designing small houses that seem big
  • Understanding innovation
  • Estimating and controlling costs
  • Incorporating ergonomics and accessibility
  • Doing drawings and scale models
  • Making contracts that work

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Cream of the crop of building books."—Tim Rinehart, Woodcrafters Supply

"Most people contemplate at some point the question of what makes a great place to live. This book will give you the conceptual tools to understand why some houses are merely buildings, while others are really 'homes' — comfortable, convivial, stimulating to the mind and senses. Like Eliot Coleman, Sam is more interested in ideas than in trendy (often costly) products. An excellent overall design is always a more durable and flexible solution than any particular choice of component. Surprisingly, it's not as hard as most people think to build a house. I say that as someone who has been part of an owner-builder project, from start to finish, and who found Sam's logical and artful book a crucial companion. From drafting layouts to finishing window trim, with this book in hand you can build a house. You can also run a contracting business using Sam's collaborative models. What a pleasure, an editor, to have been involved in producing a book that has given me so much help as a homesteader."—Jim Schley

"I am planning to build an owner-built house next summer, and have read upwards of 50 books on the subject. The Independent Builder is by far the best. It shared wisdom in addition to information."—Mark Harrison of Jaffrey, New Hampshire

"Clark takes a pragmatic approach, combining the best new technologies with more traditional, time-tested methods (the main criteria being whether the construction is cost-effective and can stand the test of time). This tome is chock-full of information [for] even the most ardent do-it-yourselfer."Library Journal

Library Journal
Clark, a carpenter, designer, and builder with over 25 years' experience, has revised and expanded his earlier Designing and Building Your House Your Own Way (Chelsea Green, 1978) to reflect recent developments. Clark takes a pragmatic approach to construction, combining the best new technologies with more traditional, time-tested methods (the main criteria being whether the construction is cost-effective and can stand the test of time). The first third of the book covers design, preparation, making contracts, and estimating costs, areas that aren't very glamorous but are of the utmost importance. The rest of the book covers materials, systems (heating, cooling, and water), and methods of construction. Clark doesn't engage in a lot of hand-holding-the information is short and to the point. This tome is chock-full of so much information that it could make even the most ardent do-it-yourselfer's head spin. Recommended for all construction collections. (Photos and appendixes not seen.)-Jonathan N. Hershey, Akron-Summit Cty. P.L., Ohion
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780930031855
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/1/1996
  • Series: Real Goods Independent Living Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 1,228,513
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 10.06 (h) x 1.23 (d)

Meet the Author

Sam Clark is a builder who has worked with owner-builders since the late 1960's. His book Designing and Building Your Own House Your Own Way helped thousands of people manage their building projects. He is also the author of The Motion-Minded Kitchen, and co-author (with Margaret Wylde and Adrian Baron-Robbins) of Building For a Lifetime. Sam works with Iron Bridge Woodworkers and with The Buildings Group (accessible design and facilities planning), both based in Plainfield, Vermont. He also has his own design company http://www.samclarkdesign.com/

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