What are some good dvd's and books?

Started by gypsyheart, April 04, 2006, 10:22:13 AM

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Hi. I am looking for some good house building dvd's and books. We have never built so we need things for the beginner. All aspects, framing, roofs, electrical etc. A flow chart would also be nice. Thanks.
MORGAGE: From Old French morgage, mort gage, literally "death pledge".


Hi Gypsyheart!  Have you looked on the main page of CountryPlans?  There's a link to John's list of recommended books...   :)

You will know the truth & the truth will set you free


"Working alone" by John Carroll is worth getting hold of and for roofing I can recomend "Framing Roofs", Tauton's.
I've got nothing on today. This is not to say I'm naked. I'm just sans........ Plans.


Thanks for your replies. I looked at the books recommended by this site. I've already bought one! How about a step-by-step home wiring book, or one for beginners? Any recommendations would be great.
MORGAGE: From Old French morgage, mort gage, literally "death pledge".

glenn kangiser

"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.0

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Gypsyheart, a good place to look for various building topics is here on the forum in referral links... the following is one that John posted awhile back...  

John Raabe:
QuoteHere is a well done series of short videos on such topics as engineered lumber, foundatons, insulation and more.

You do have to wait through an ad or two so it's just like TV!  Cheesy

http://www.hgtvpro.com/hpro/pac_ctnt_ihdr/text/0,,HPRO_20976_28891,00.html?cat=1 &vid=831

You will know the truth & the truth will set you free


I have purchased a load of books over the last few years for ideas on my house. Some of the best ones are:

"Building your own House" by Roskind (old, but very clear descriptions and explanations of framing- try to get the more updated version with Part 2 included- called Building Your Own House: Everything You Need to Know About Home Construction from Start to Finish/Part I & Part II )
"Make your House Do the Housework" by Don Aslett
"Homing Instinct" by Jon Connell
"30 Energy Efficient Houses...You Can Build" by Alex Wade
"A Design and Construction Handbook for Energy-Saving Houses" by Alex Wade
Creative Homeowner "Plumbing" and "Wiring" are excellent primers with lots of pictures and diagrams
"Working Alone" by Carroll
"Cottage Water Systems" by Max burns
"Habitat for Humanity: How to Build a House" Haun
"Earthship" Books 1 & 2 & 3 by Michael Reynolds
"Living Homes- Design and Construction"  Thomas Elpel
"The $50 and Up Underground Housing Book" by Mike Oehler
"Owner-built Homestead" Ken Kern
"Complete Tile" by Sunset Books
"The Low Maintenance House" by Gene Logsdon (ANYTHING by Gene is good, if you're interested in Homesteading- too many to list here)

These ought to get you started. I would suggest you go to Amazon.com and look them up used, in hardcover if you can get them (hold up better to wear, usually don't cost any more used, easier to read). If you have a Half-Price Books near you, look there. Trade in some of your old romance novels for credit.  :)  Taunton Press has several good books in the "For Pros By Pros" series (some are listed above).
You can get almost all of these books for very little money, as many of them are old (80's). Anything home related by Rodale in the 70's and early 80's is good, like "Build it Better Yourself", "The Solar Greenhouse Book", "Build Your Harvest Kitchen", and "Make it! Don't Buy it!", plus ones I listed above.

I Know Mike Oehler has videos out on his building method, and I have heard a good strawbale building DVD is out called "Building with Awareness", though I haven't seen either. Mostly, I watched HGTV and DIYnet for shows like "Be Your Own Contractor", and "Assembly Required".

If you have a Solar Tour of homes in your area, go to it. Sol Fest in Northern CA and Sun Festival in Scottsdale AZ in the summer are great fairs to go to for greenbuilding too.

We should probably move this topic to the general or refferral links topic board.


Purely for inspiration, no how-to-do-it building info but it got me going: Mortgage Free http://chelseagreen.com/1998/items/474by Rob Roy
Building With Awareness http://www.buildingwithawareness.com/Movies2.html is a great DVD.


"One must have chaos in one's self to give birth to the dancing star" ~Neitszche


The very much earlier Rob Roy book on being mortgage free started me on the road, in the 70's or very early 80's.  It had stories of all the people who were building in his area, what, how, and why they did what they did.

how about the DVD Building With Awareness?  It's (yay!) professionally filmed.  With an original soundtrack (some people liked it) and two or three plastering workshops.  Dustin mentioned this one too.

Laurie King wrote a mystery (one of two or three involving the same characters) called Folly in which our heroine, recovering from a couple of years worth of really serious depression rebuilds a great-uncle's cabin in the San Juans (somewhere up in there!)  I expect that the building is pretty much OK, but she's doing it herself, which I sometimes need to be kick-started into doing.  The book helps.  And King is a good writer.

It is perfectly true that hardcovers, if available, are sometimes better quality--not much is sewn in signatures lately though--often the print's a bit bigger, certainly the paper is better than in mass market paperbacks--although you won't find much in this category in mass market paperback.  but if you're buying from Amazon, it's pretty easy to get to $25 and free shipping.  IIRC all their used vendors charge $3.75 for standard shipping.  I don't think there's much point in saving $4 bucks on the price, but only a quarter by the time it gets to you.  

Also check alibris on used books.  Or Powells.  But I have gotten used books from Powell's via alibris.  There are a few more places.  

Just lately I've been running into ex-library copies from the used sources that are virtually free, the shipping being three or four times the cost of the book.  And shipping's $3.75.  Ex-library books are fine if you just want "reading copies."  As are book club editions. Which you're not likely to run in to in this category either.

Also check out www.dirtcheapbuilder.com Charmaine Taylor's site.  That's a one-person operation--I think her dog helps.  She's the best source for reproduction copies of the Ken Kern books.  Good service--better I think than Amazon, although no particular break on price.  Plenty of information scattered around on the site.

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I just got one last night at Barnes and Noble for 1/2 price (still $15) called Building Green by Clarke Snell and Tim Callahan. It interests me because they build a small building through out the book using different building techniques such as one wall cob, another strawbale, etc. Wonderful green roof and for me an amazing idea for an interior floor.