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Picks of the Month

Home > Browse By Topic > Green Homes > Design, Planning, Contracting

We Found 47 items, sorted in Bestselling order.

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31.

THE HOW TO GUIDE TO FRAMING A STRAW BALE STRUCTURE

Andrew Morrison
DVD

Price: $39.99

This double DVD set with nearly 3 hours of step-by-step footage will walk you through the entire framing process from start to finish. Whether you have never framed before or if you know how to frame…

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This double DVD set with nearly 3 hours of step-by-step footage will walk you through the entire framing process from start to finish. Whether you have never framed before or if you know how to frame but aren't clear on what the differences are between standard construction and straw bale wall framing, this video will provide you valuable information.

32.

THE HOW TO GUIDE TO PLASTERING WITH NATURAL HYDRAULIC LIME

Andrew Morrison
DVD

Price: $39.99

Did you know that the average cost of hiring a plaster crew to apply three coats of plaster to a 1,500-square-foot home is more than $15,000? And that's just for the labor! Fortunately, plastering is …

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Did you know that the average cost of hiring a plaster crew to apply three coats of plaster to a 1,500-square-foot home is more than $15,000? And that's just for the labor! Fortunately, plastering is a skill that is teachable, and people around the world have successfully created beautiful plaster jobs on their straw bale homes.

The How-to Guide to Plastering DVD includes nearly a full hour of information, sourced from professionals, that you need to know to plaster your straw bale structure successfully with natural hydraulic lime. (Due to its durability, breathability, natural ingredients and user-friendly application, natural hydraulic lime may well be the best material for plastering straw bales.) The techniques taught in this DVD can also be used with just about any plaster you choose. The technical details transfer to such finishes as earthen plaster, cement/lime mixes and more. No matter what plaster you choose, the information in this DVD will help you create a beautiful and durable finish.

33.

GUIDE TO BUILDING A MONOLITHIC CONCRETE SLAB FOUNDATION

Andrew Morrison
DVD

Price: $39.99

The How-to Guide to Building a Monolithic Concrete Slab Foundation DVD contains the latest information you need to know to build your own foundation. Walking through each stage of the building process…

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The How-to Guide to Building a Monolithic Concrete Slab Foundation DVD contains the latest information you need to know to build your own foundation. Walking through each stage of the building process, the DVD provides simple how-to techniques that will have you building your own concrete foundation with no prior foundation or concrete experience.

34.

THE ONLY DIY BOOK FOR ONE-OF-A-KIND PROJECT BUILDERS

Clarence D. Goosen
Paperback

Price: $26.95

Keep busy all year long! The Only Do-It-Yourself Book for One-of-a-Kind Project Builders features more than 25 do-it-yourself projects that you can modify to suit your needs and skills. This book cont…

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Keep busy all year long! The Only Do-It-Yourself Book for One-of-a-Kind Project Builders features more than 25 do-it-yourself projects that you can modify to suit your needs and skills. This book contains photos and complete how-to instructions for designing and building one-of-a-kind projects. Measured drawings, materials lists and step-by-step instructions for most projects are included in this easy-to-understand book. You'll also find articles that focus on learning skills such as welding, plumbing repairs, electrical repairs, shed construction and more.

35.

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.

36.

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.

37.

MOTHER EARTH NEWS GUIDE TO LIVING ON LESS, 4TH EDITION

Mother Earth News
Paperback

Price: $6.99

Live simply: save money, smile more. This theme runs through the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Guide to Living on Less special edition. In its 100 pages, you'll find expert advice, tips, instructions and more to …

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Live simply: save money, smile more. This theme runs through the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Guide to Living on Less special edition. In its 100 pages, you'll find expert advice, tips, instructions and more to help you live a more self-sufficient life. Its guidance covers everything from building better soil with free organic fertilizers to constructing tiny homes that are cozy, affordable and inspiring. The fourth edition of this handy guide will have you living on less and loving it!

Read reliable information about building a compact cabin or simple shelter that's enjoyable and affordable. Grow your own healing garden and find good health just outside your front door. Discover simple tips for creating nutrient-rich, root-welcoming soil, and grow your most abundant garden yet. Learn where to find healthy, farm-fresh eggs. Follow delicious recipes for making your own homemade root beer, ginger ale, grape soda and more.

Other articles include:

  • Adding Insulation Can Save You Money: Figure out whether you should add insulation to your home, and which pieces of the job you can do yourself.
  • Easy Ways to Preserve Fresh Food: Your guide to canning, freezing, dehydrating and other simple, seasonal storage methods.
  • Instant, No-Dig Garden Beds: Create or expand your food garden with this time-saving technique.
  • Want Milk? Get Goats: Dairy goats can supply your family with delicious milk, yogurt and cheese. The fun of raising these gregarious animals is just a bonus.
  • Disease Prevention Basics: These techniques can prevent many of the diseases that plague your vegetables. They include wide spacing, trellising and careful use of organic pesticides.

38.

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.

39.

RESIDENTIAL FRAMING: A HOMEBUILDER'S CONSTRUCTION GUIDE

William P. Spence
Paperback

Price: $21.95

Here's everything you need to construct the home of your dreams!

Use Residential Framing: A Homebuilder's Construction Guide as your guide to becoming your own general contractor, or use …

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Here's everything you need to construct the home of your dreams!

Use Residential Framing: A Homebuilder's Construction Guide as your guide to becoming your own general contractor, or use this massive source to keep up with what's going on if you hire workmen to do the job. Every stage of construction receives careful, clear instructions. Whether it's the foundation, walls, floors, windows, doors or roof, author William Spence fully explains everything - even interior and exterior finishing. Hundreds of photos, diagrams and illustrations cover every step:

  • framing materials
  • framing systems
  • floor framing
  • wall and partition framing
  • ceiling and roof
  • post, plank and beam construction
This thorough work also includes complete details for common rafters, hip and valley rafters, and dormers, as well as shed, flat, gambrel and mansard roofs. A variety of door and window styles is offered, as is your choice of exteriors, including solid wood, hardboard, plywood, wood shingles, aluminum siding, vinyl and masonry.

You also get special tips on interior trims, stairs, porches and decks. There's even a detailed section on the power tools you'll need, how to set up your own on-site shop, and how to be your own full-time safety supervisor.

40.

UNDERGROUND BUILDINGS

Loretta Hall
Hardcover

Price: $29.95

Unusual as they seem, underground buildings are surprisingly common.

Every day, tens of thousands in North America work, shop, dine, study and play in the more than 300 public and commercial structures and 5,000 private homes nestled in the earth.

Underground buildings are safe, attractive, useful and comfortable places to frequent and live. Unlike a common misconception, most are dry and warm, and they are often sun-filled. More than 100 underground buildings are included in this fascinating subterranean tour. These buildings range from the famous to the unnoticed. Some were built for pragmatic reasons, others for aesthetic considerations, and still others, for a combination of both.

There are impressive success stories and discouraging tales of failure. Some underground buildings are incredibly energy-efficient, for example, while others leaked so badly they were abandoned.

A vast spectrum of structures is presented, ranging from stunning examples of hidden opulence to humble subterranean cubbyholes where unassuming people immerse themselves in nature

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