06 June, 2012

A Summer Reading List

A recent gift from my companion is 'More Straw Bale Building' (from Mother Earth News and New Society Publishers), as she expects me to learn how to build with bales and get busy with making our country cottage dream home.  So, I'm under orders to read it now.  Yes darlin', it's right here in front of me.  Maybe this fall I'll write a review of it here.

'Building Construction Illustrated' by Francis D.K. Ching should be possessed by every architect, designer, contractor, handyman, lumberyard, hardware store counterman, homeowner and Saturday morning thumb-banger. I think you get my drift. It's in its fourth edition now, my copy of the second edition was printed over twenty years ago, but still relevant. You can find it on Amazon, Ebay, and what few bookstores that are still left.  Fire up that Kindle too....because you can download it for only 12.95 (no shipping cost!). My youngest granddaughter is just a year old, maybe I'll get it for her as a Christmas gift.

The trade magazine Journal of Light Construction (JLC) is an excellent monthly 'encyclopedia' of construction techniques. Most of the how-to articles are written by contractors themselves. While I receive the hardcopy in the mail every month, I often check their website for the free .PDF's to download. Tool reviews and ads are helpful, too.  Also available from JLC is a DVD-ROM of the past 20-odd years of the magazine.

Tumbleweeds Tiny House Company may not have been the first site to promote smaller houses, but Jay Shafer is the out-front leader of the tiny house movement.  For more than a decade, Jay has been living in 100 square feet or less.  He has books, plans and advice for anyone considering downsizing to the smaller house.  The house plans go from 65 sq.ft. to almost 900 sq.ft.  Another site to see is Kent Griswold's TinyHouseBlog.com for more big ideas about living small.

Building the Future with the Past
Tiny Texas Houses website is back online. They were offline for a while, and I'm glad that they're back up. I really like their designs and the fact that they use as much recycled material as possible. I've placed the link back on my link list and hope to see more of them in the future.
I keep The Kneeslider in my link list which has absolutely nothing to do with housing, but I'm still a motorcycle maniac. It's a well written blog by Paul Crowe, formerly of Cycle World magazine. He covers all brands of motorcycles (foreign and domestic), news and tech development.
Finally, for all of us tech-weenies and garbage gadget-teers out there (we know who we are), the two sites that I love most are; the MIT Technology Review and Instructables I get the MIT newsletter every weekday and the Instructables newsletter weekly, so be sure to sign up.