The Complete Guide to Alternative Home Building Materials & Methods: Including Sod, Compressed Earth, Plaster, Straw, Beer Cans, Bottles, Cordwood, and Many Other Low Cost Materials

3 Responses to The Complete Guide to Alternative Home Building Materials & Methods: Including Sod, Compressed Earth, Plaster, Straw, Beer Cans, Bottles, Cordwood, and Many Other Low Cost Materials

  • William Sampson "Will" says:
    21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars
    Nothing “complete” about it, January 30, 2010
    By 
    William Sampson “Will” (New England) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: The Complete Guide to Alternative Home Building Materials & Methods: Including Sod, Compressed Earth, Plaster, Straw, Beer Cans, Bottles, Cordwood, and Many Other Low Cost Materials (Paperback)

    This book is billed as a “complete guide” when what it really does is present only a thin sketch of the subject matter with very little insight or professional expertise involved. It reads like a high school term paper in which the student spent a few hours madly pulling stuff off of the internet without really doing any serious research. And don’t buy this if you what you want is a guide for you to do alternative home building yourself. Every third paragraph ends with an admonishment to leave the job to a professional — this despite several recipes for do-it-yourself building materials. And the organization of the book makes what little valuable information it has almost inaccessible. For example, although cordwood construction is specifically mentioned on the cover and takes up a number of pages and pictures inside, you won’t find it on the table of contents or in the index. You will find it buried in an overlong and overbroad chapter that purports to be an overview of the building process. Supposed “case histories” interspersed throughout the book are frequently little more than thinly veiled ads for the subject’s professional services or political agenda. You’d do better spending a few hours cruising the internet for better information than wasting money on this book. Besides, your internet search is likely to be more thorough and illuminating than anything this author came up with.

    Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 

    Was this review helpful to you? Yes
    No

  • Shirley Qin says:
    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Alternate version of the tale of Three Little Pigs, February 5, 2010
    By 
    Shirley Qin
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: The Complete Guide to Alternative Home Building Materials & Methods: Including Sod, Compressed Earth, Plaster, Straw, Beer Cans, Bottles, Cordwood, and Many Other Low Cost Materials (Paperback)

    Just based on the title, this book seems promising. “Going green” is the craze right now, why not start with where we live? Upon opening the book, we are treated with a witty dedication that sets the tone. The rest of the book is just as humorous, clever, and fun.

    The book adds a whole new dimension to the classic tale of three piggies. Turns out the piggies who built their houses about of straw, clay, and some new unconventional materials, such as rubber, plastic and glass, prevailed after all. Plus, they can save the planet.

    Don’t be mistaken. This isn’t a how-to book on how to build your own house. By that I mean the book doesn’t give step-by-step directions for everything that needs to be done in order to build a house–it just gives an overview of alternative home-building strategies, your choices and why. So if you’re really serious about building your own house, you’re going to need another, more technical book on what pipe connects to what hole, what each part of a house is, etc. In other words, this book doesn’t give much technical basics; it’s more specialized.

    However, the book is still VERY informative. It doesn’t miss much. Though it won’t answer your really small, technical questions, it will answer most of your problems. Though the author claims to only cover “some” of the alternative home-building methods, I’d say it covers enough to build at least twenty different types of alternative homes.

    If you’re like me and are too lazy build your own house but love the idea of alternative home building, this book would make a great gift for your local builder. In fact, I think I’ll buy one for them right now.
    After all, unless we collectively make the change towards alternative home building, we’ll all die of overpopulation and global warming. And to top it off, buying the book will save animals. You can feel that you contributed to a good cause because a portion of your purchase will go to The Humane Society of United States).

    Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 

    Was this review helpful to you? Yes
    No

  • S. Fitzgerald "SandyInOhio" says:
    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Gather up your beer cans and build a house?, August 9, 2012
    By 
    S. Fitzgerald “SandyInOhio” (Eastern Ohio) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: The Complete Guide to Alternative Home Building Materials & Methods: Including Sod, Compressed Earth, Plaster, Straw, Beer Cans, Bottles, Cordwood, and Many Other Low Cost Materials (Paperback)

    If you like houses that look just a bit unusual, or you like the idea of “going green” with home construction, “The Complete Guide to Alternative Home Building Materials and Methods” is an interesting book that, frankly, may make you snicker when you first read its claims, but then you’ll likely be looking for projects around your house where you can put its ideas to work.

    The book’s subtitle promises you can build houses with sod, plaster, straw, bottles and even beer cans — and it delivers when it shows you, even with color photos, just how to go about using those odd materials rather than plaster and wood. You probably won’t be able to gather up the sod in your yard and make a new house, but you’ll have fun learning about whether you should, and about people who have done that.

    This book isn’t just an interesting read for people who actually build houses, but for those of us who like reading about unusual construction, and really, who would think you could build a house of beer cans? Which, by the way, the book doesn’t really recommend, which is kind of disappointing. Instead, it suggests you recycle your cans and use the money for something else.

    Aside from this one small flaw, this is an interesting read and you’ll have fun thinking of your next dream house while you read it, or you’ll be inspired to work on one of your own.

    Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 

    Was this review helpful to you? Yes
    No

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *