Guides to DIY
Homesteading books by these professionals guided us from
planning to completion of our three buildings with no contractors. We were both
instructed and inspired by these authors.
Often we modified or adapted procedures found on these books
to better suit our skills and need, but this short selection of
books helped us succeed at DIY home building. You will find many of those adaptions
in our section on DIY building.
We acknowledge that these are but a few of the many books on
homesteading and DIY building now available. But after reviewing many of the
current guides to homesteading, this is our selection. We have done well by
following their guidance.
For your convenience, we have provided links directly to
these books, often available used for less money than in a store, on the Amazon
web site. Living in a remote rural area, we tend to rely heavily on mail order
and have found it a real convenience, saving time and gas money.
The books are also typically available at bookstores and, in
the case of the specific how-to books, in building supply stores such as Home
Depot and Lowe’s.
We hope that you find these books as helpful as we have.
The Straw Bale House
by Bill and Athena Steen, David Bainbridge with Daniel Eisenberg.
A great resource for DIY straw bale builders written by pioneers in straw bale building.
Bill and Athena have done workshops at their home, the Canelo Project, and as far away as Mexico and Northern Europe.
The Natural House
by Daniel Chiras. Great information for many DIY building applications including cob, adobe and other materials.
The Natural Plaster Book
: Earth, Lime, and Gypsum Plasters for Natural Homes by Guelberth and Chiras. Similar in format and quality of content to The Natural House. A great resource for DIY natural plaster.
Adobe: build it yourself
by Paul Graham McHenry, Jr. published by University of Arizona Press, 1973. We referred to this for our adobe guest house. All we needed for successful adobe construction.
Building Traditional Kitchen Cabinets
by Jim Tolpin by Taunton Press, 2006. A great guide for the novice (as I was) cabinet maker. We saved thousands of dollars building our own kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
Bookshelves and Cabinets
by Sunset Books. We found this a good guide to design and a supplement to Tolpin’s book.
by Home Depot (Meredith Press). All we needed to plumb our buildings. Great information on maintenance as well.
Complete Home Wiring
by Sunset Books. Simple and straightforward. Lots of diagrams and pictures. We wired all our buildings with this book as a guide.
Routing and Shaping: Techniques for Better Woodworking
by Nick Engler. We used this for learning the techniques necessary for building our cabinet doors and many other applications.
by Patrick Spielman. A great help in using a tricky tool.
Masonry: Design, Build, Maintain
by Editors of Creative Homeowner. For building our foundations and laying our flagstone deck, this was a great resource.
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