Owner/Builder

Owner/Builder

An owner/builder can theoretically do most of the work in building his or her own house. Most building authorities recognize that people often want to do the work themselves rather than hire professional contractors and laborers. Of course an owner/builder is still subject to the same code requirements as the professionals would be.

Building in this mode can save a lot of money and be immensely satisfying at the same time. I had always wanted to design and build my own house, and it wasn't until I was in my fifties that I was able to realize this dream; all of the construction I did before this had been either remodeling existing structures or working for other people. I must say that living in a house that I designed and built brings joy to my life in many ways; the building fits our needs and aesthetics so perfectly.

Most of the books listed here relate to conventional construction techniques. However most of the design work and planning that goes into building a house is the same, regardless of the materials used. Also much of the detailed work related to electrical and plumbing, etc. is the same.

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Media

The books shown below are arranged according to when they were published, with the most recent ones at the top. If you click on one of the images you will be taken to a page at Amazon.com where you can find out more about the book. If you end up buying one of them, greenhomebuilding.com will receive a small commission that will help cover the cost of maintaining this website. Thanks for your patronage.

Remodel Green: Make Your House Serve Your Life, a Green Home Building Book by Kelly Hart, 2014.

Over the course of the author's life he has engaged in numerous remodeling projects, as a professional carpenter, as a home owner, and as a renter. He draws on this experience as he explores with you what he considers to be the main principles that should guide you in your choices for your own green remodeling project.

The chapters include fitting your house to your needs, the basics of passive solar design, tips on keeping your house cool, options to power your house with renewable energy, ways to conserve water, employing local, natural and recycled materials, the value of cultivating vegetables, how to naturally store the produce that you grow, and why to consider sharing some facilities with others for economy and sustainability.

Plans

dreamgreenhomes.com is the companion site of greenhomebuilding.com and has many wonderful sustainable home plans.

countryplans.com inexpensive plans for small cottages and cabins are described here, with lots of nice photos.

Photos

deboerarchitects.com Some thoughts and illustrations about strawbale building by architect Darrel DeBoer.

Climate Considerations

buildingscience.com some very specific suggestions for building techniques related to climate.

Directories

needcontractor.com offers a free referral service where you submit a description of your project and they will have up to four different contractors in your area submit bids for the job.

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I specifically disclaim any warranty, either expressed or implied, concerning the information on these pages. Neither I nor any of the advisor/consultants associated with this site will have liability for loss, damage, or injury, resulting from the use of any information found on this, or any other page at this site. Kelly Hart, Hartworks LLC.