home construction book recommendations? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 03-18-2005, 04:04 AM - Thread Starter
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I have begun to research alternative types of housing construction. My husband and I own a property in Oklahoma and are interested in straw bale housing or recycled tire construction. Both would be somewhat inexpensive as we put up our own hay each year for our cattle and if we chose to go with the tire construction, I am sure that these would be free.
Can anyone recommend books on these subjects? Does anyone have experience with this type of construction?
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#2 of 5 Old 03-25-2005, 08:15 AM
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We will be doing cordwood construction on our property in Tennessee. Rob Roy has written some excellent books on the subject. www.daycreek.com also has a work in progress of cordwood building.

Straw Bale Building by Magwood and Mack is also good for that type of construction. I would like to try it for a barn or even part of the house we're building.

Good luck with your new home!
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#3 of 5 Old 03-25-2005, 09:47 PM
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Amanda.....I recommend "The Hand-Sculpted House" by Ianto Evans.
If you're not familiar with cob building......it is *dirt* cheap! THe basic elements are earth, sand, water and straw. Think cob cottages; Devonshire, England, white-washed cottages with thatched roofs. That's just one example. Its incredibly durable; some cob homes are over 500 years old! Plus, you can literally sculpt your home.......neat-shaped windows, built-in benches and coves, etc....

Rob Roy has also written a fantastic book I recommend to ANYONE who will be buying a home. Its called "Mortgage Free! Radical Strategies to Home Ownership" Wow......what an eye-opener.

What part of Oklahoma are you in?? I have a good friend moving there from WA this summer. They are moving to the northwest part, but not in the panhandle.

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#4 of 5 Old 03-26-2005, 02:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the links, I am going to get these books ASAP. I am in the SE part of Oklahoma. I live in a very small town, there are 13 students in my dd's kdg. class and that is the only kdg. class in the school.
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#5 of 5 Old 03-29-2005, 01:02 AM
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The ultimate straw bale book is good. It did actually put me off straw bale but I have lent it to a friend who is doing a straw bale house & she says it has been very useful. One thing I wanted to point out is that hay & straw are different things. You use straw in building & feed hay to animals so I think what you are calling hay really is hay. I do know a lady who made adobe bricks for a house with mud & hay. It is still standing 7 years later & looks fine but most books are very clear on using straw not hay.

I'd second the handsculpted house & also add in becky bee's book on cob building. Both these books don't really help with cob & local building laws we have to apply to tho' but are good practical books.

The other book we have found very useful is a book by Jack Sobon which I think is called the timber framed house or something like that.
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