Are you looking for creative ways to lower your energy costs, generate more of your own power, or become less reliant on the grid? Energy expert Paul Scheckel offers practical advice for taking matters into your own hands. Understand the fundamentals of solar, wind, water and biofuel energy production as you make your home ready for renewables. Each chapter of The Homeowner's Energy Handbook provides a comprehensive discussion of renewable energy sources, along with "green guides" for building your own energy-saving (and energy-producing) equipment. Step-by-step instructions show you how to build a bicycle-powered generator, biodiesel processor, thermosiphon solar hot-water collector, biogas generator, smokeless wood-gas camp stove, and more. Whether you want to button up your house to be more energy-efficient, find deep energy savings or take your home entirely off the grid, this guide has the knowledge and skills you need to reduce your use, then produce!
Author: Paul Scheckel
Energy bills have skyrocketed in North America, and traditional energy sources can be as damaging to the environment as they are to your pocketbook. The Homeowner's Guide to Renewable Energy will show you how to slash your home energy costs while dramatically reducing your carbon footprint.
Completely revised and updated, this new edition describes the most practical and affordable methods for making significant improvements in home energy efficiency and tapping into clean, affordable, renewable energy resources. If implemented, these measures will save the average homeowner tens of thousands of dollars over the coming decades.
Focusing on the latest technological advances in residential renewable energy, this guide examines each alternative energy option available, including:
This well-illustrated and accessible guide is an essential resource for those wanting to enter the renewable energy field. Packed with practical tips and guidelines, it gives readers sufficient knowledge to hire and communicate effectively with contractors. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in saving money and achieving energy independence.
Author: Dan Chiras
This exciting book takes the reader on a tour of fourteen natural building methods, including straw bale, rammed earth, cordwood, adobe, earthbags, earthships, and more. You'll learn how these homes are built, how much they cost, and the pros and cons of each.
Author: Daniel D. Chiras
Keep your home clean, green and healthy! Common, nontoxic kitchen ingredients such as baking soda, lemon and vinegar are wonderful household cleaners and great replacements for harmful chemical cleansers. Pair them with essential oils to clean, disinfect and freshen every room. With more than 150 recipes for all-natural, easy-to-prepare solutions, you can clean wood, glass, tile, porcelain, fabric, carpets and much more — naturally and safely.
Author: KARYN SIEGEL-MAIER
Forget about chemical cleaners and pricey "green" products … all you need are a few simple kitchen staples to make your whole house sparkle! The Organically Clean Home features 150 easy-to-make recipes for cleaning products filled with all-natural ingredients you can trust (and actually pronounce!). America's favorite cleaning blogger, Becky Rapinchuk, guides you through the steps needed to make everyday necessities from dishwasher detergent to antibacterial wipes without spending a fortune.
Armed with simple instructions for packaging and storing your homemade cleaners, you'll enjoy turning each room into a beautiful and toxic-free space with fresh-scented products like:
With The Organically Clean Home, you'll save hundreds of dollars every month … and have a clean, healthy home that you and your family can feel good about.
Author: Becky Rapinchuk
Designer/builder Ethan Fierro celebrates summer with this collection of original outdoor shower designs that he’s discovered across North America. He offers dozens of designs to choose from, all pictured in stunning color photographs, ranging from a simple showerhead on the side of your cottage to semi-detached and freestanding structures. Fierro also includes an overview of basic plumbing and structural requirements, along with suggestions for using a wide range of building materials, such as stone, wood, metal, frosted glass blocks, earth, concrete, tile, stucco, and landscape vegetation. His plans are environmentally sound and incorporate cost-saving techniques, with ideas for repurposing found and recycled materials.
Author: Ethan Fierro
Tips, rules-of-thumb, regional characteristics and many other considerations are presented to help readers with passive solar architecture, from initial site selection to visionary design.
Author: DAVID WRIGHT, AIA
The Scoop on Poop presents a wide range of ways to answer the call of nature, and in so doing maximize the benefits of existing wastewater. This book explores proven alternatives to Western wastewater disposal. Whether you're interested in composting toilets, outdoor greywater or blackwater planters, constructed wetlands, or other innovative solutions, author Dan Chiras will walk you through:
All system plans are relatively simple and straightforward — enough so that the average homeowner can build and install them. Intended for readers who live in cities, towns and rural environments, this is a practical guide to safe, ingenious ways to capture the nutrients from waste and recycle them back into your soil to grow fruit trees, vegetables and flowers — all without running afoul of the "ick" factor.
Author: DAN CHIRAS
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.
Author: Debra Rucker Coleman
The Useful Book is a modern and energetically designed encyclopedia of DIY.with step-by-step instructions and illustrations, relevant charts, sidebars, lists, and handy toolboxes.Practice measuring, cutting, and nailing by building a birdhouse. Make a bookshelf or a riveted metal picture frame. The tools that everyone should have, and dozens of cool projects that teach fundamental techniques.
Author: David and Sharon Bowers
Tiny Homes on the Move chronicles 21st-century nomads: people who inhabit homes that are compact and mobile, either on wheels or in the water. In photos and stories, this fascinating book explores modern travelers who live in vans, pickup trucks, buses, trailers, sailboats and houseboats that combine the comforts of home with the convenience of being able to pick up and go at any time. With more than 1,000 color photos accompanying the stories and descriptions of these movable sanctuaries, this is a valuable and inspirational book for anyone thinking outside the box about shelter.
Author: Lloyd Kahn
There's a grassroots movement in tiny homes these days. The real estate collapse, the economic downturn, burning out on 12-hour workdays – many people are rethinking their ideas about shelter – seeking an alternative to high rents, or a lifelong mortgage debt to a bank on an overpriced home.
In this book are some 150 builders who have taken things into their own hands, creating tiny homes (under 500 sq. ft.). Homes on land, homes on wheels, homes on the road, homes on water, even homes in the trees. There are also studios, saunas, garden sheds, and greenhouses.
There are 1,300 photos, showing a rich variety of small homemade shelters, and there are stories (and thoughts and inspirations) of the owner-builders who are on the forefront of this new trend in downsizing and self-sufficiency.
At the heart of our 1973 book Shelter were drawings of five small buildings, which we recommended as a starting point in providing one's own home. Now, almost 40 years later, there's a growing tiny house movement all over the world – which we've been tracking over the past two years.
Many people have decided to scale back, to get by with less stuff, to live in smaller homes. You can buy a ready-made tiny home, build your own, get a kit or pre-fab, or live in a bus, houseboat, or other movable shelter. Some cities have special ordinances for building "inlaw" or "granny flats" in the back yard. There are innovative solutions in cities, such as the "capsules" in Tokyo. There are numerous blogs and websites with news, photos, and/or plans for tiny homes, documented here.
If you're thinking of scaling back, you'll find plenty of inspiration here. Here's a different approach, a 180º turn from increasing consumption. Here are builders, designers, architects (no less), dreamers, artists, road gypsies, and water dwellers who've achieved a measure of freedom and independence by taking shelter into their own hands.
About the Author
In 1968 Lloyd Kahn worked as Shelter editor for the Whole Earth Catalog. In 1971 he published Domebook 2. His shake-covered geodesic dome was featured in Life magazine. Ultimately disillusioned with domes, he took Domebook 2 out of print and in 1973 published the oversized book Shelter, which went on to sell more than 250,000 copies. In 2004, Kahn published HomeWork: Handbuilt Shelter – in many ways the sequel to Shelter – and Builders of the Pacific Coast in 2008. Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter is the fourth book in this series. Kahn and his wife, Lesley live and work in a small coastal town in Northern California.
Author: Lloyd Kahn
Take the first step to achieving your dream of building and living in your very own tiny house! The Tiny House Design & Construction Guide is your road map to the entire build process. This guide will help you to understand each step that needs to be taken and, more importantly, give you the confidence to start building your own tiny house. This is the expanded, 2nd edition of the Tiny House Design & Construction Guide. This latest edition contains over 50% more content and over 38 more images and illustrations. I listened to my reader's feedback and added much more information into the framing, electrical, and plumbing sections of the book.
Author: DAN LOUCHE
Tiny homes are popping up across America, captivating people with their novel approach not only to housing, but to life. Once considered little more than a charming oddity, the tiny house movement continues to gain momentum among those who thirst for a simpler, "greener," more meaningful life in the face of society's "more is better" mindset.
This book explores the philosophies behind the tiny house lifestyle, helps you determine whether it's a good fit for you, and guides you through the transition to a smaller space. For inspiration, you'll meet tiny house pioneers and hear how they built their dwellings (and their lives) in unconventional, creative and purposeful ways. They'll invite you in, show you around their cozy abodes, and share lessons they learned along the way.
Inside you'll find everything you need to design a tiny home of your own:
Tiny House Living is about distilling life down to that which you value most, freeing yourself from clutter, mortgages and home maintenance ... and, in doing so, making more room in everyday life for the truly important things, such as relationships, passions and community. Whether you downsize to a 400-square-foot home or simply scale back the amount of stuff you have in your current home, this book shows you how to live well with less.
Author: Ryan Mitchell
Featuring profiles on tiny house owners with photographs and floor plans of the homes, ideas on where to find materials, and what to look for and avoid when selecting reclaimed materials, Tiny Houses Built with Recycled Materials is a unique book perfect for your biggest DIY project yet!
Author: Ryan Mitchell
Bringing together the collective wisdom of a past generation of craftsmen, Traditional Toolmaking provides an in-depth record of the skills and techniques that made the mass production revolution of the 20th century possible. When first published in 1915, this book was an answer to a vast array of toolroom problems and explained many essential toolmaking operations. It includes timeless practices as well as some personally tailored methods by master toolmakers, including how to:
With detailed descriptions of every procedure, essential mathematical rules and calculations for use in the workshop, and a number of illustrative figures, this book stands as an invaluable reference for those with an interest in practicing hands-on toolmaking processes.
Author: Franklin D. Jones
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.
Author: Loretta Hall
How can we adequately provide housing when disaster strikes? Catastrophes come in a variety of forms, be they weather-related (hurricanes, floods and droughts) or society-driven (resulting from civil disorder or poverty), instantaneous (earthquakes, tsunamis) or gradual (rising sea levels). Yet all urgently demand safe, sustainable housing designs that are cheap to build, environmentally friendly, and hardy enough to withstand severe environmental conditions. Not only is there climate change to contend with, there are millions of people, right now, who do lack safe or adequate housing.
In Urgent Architecture, Bridgette Meinhold showcases 40 successful emergency and long-term housing projects-from repurposed shipping containers to sandbag homes. She surveys successful structures as well as highlighting promising projects that are still being developed. Every one is quickly deployable, affordable and sustainable. This book is an essential resource for those who are interested in green building, sustainable design, eco-friendly materials, affordable housing, material reuse and humanitarian relief.
Author: Bridgette Meinhold
Wind power is the fastest-growing source of energy in the world, and by the year 2020 it is projected to supply at least 12 percent of global electrical demand.
Wind Power Basics provides a clear understanding of wind and wind energy systems including turbines, towers, inverters and batteries, site assessment, installation, and maintenance requirements.
Whether you're considering your own small-scale wind energy system or just want a straightforward, detailed introduction to the benefits and challenges of this rapidly emerging technology, Wind Power Basics is the guide for you.
About the author:
Dan Chiras is a respected educator and author who has published more than 25 books on residential renewable energy and green building, including Power From the Wind. He is the director of the Evergreen Institute, where he teaches workshops on small wind energy systems, solar electricity, passive solar design, energy efficiency, and green and natural building.
Author: Dan Chiras
CLEARANCE $14.85 This debut book by bloggers Sherry and John Petersik is filled with hundreds of fun, deceptively simple, budget-friendly ideas for sprucing up a home. With two home renovations under their (tool) belts, 5 million blog hits per month, and an ever-growing audience since the launch of their Young House Love blog in 2007, the Petersiks are home-improvement enthusiasts primed to pass on a slew of projects, tricks and techniques to do-it-yourselfers of all levels. Whether an experienced decorator or a total novice, on a tight budget or with money to spend, any homeowner or apartment dweller will find ideas for his or her own home makeovers here. Learn to trick out a thrift-store mirror, spice up plain old roller shades, "hack" your Ikea table to create three distinct looks, and so much more.
Author: Sherry & John Petersik