Cabins: A Guide to Building Your Own Nature Retreat
Cabins: A Guide to Building Your Own Nature Retreat

* Book Type:

Not Available Online
Publisher: Firefly Books

Author Statement: by David and Jeanie Stiles
Audience: Trade
Specs: 16 pages of full color photographs, over 100 black and white illustrations, bibliography, sources, index
Pages: 256
Trim Size: 8 1/2" x 11" x 3/4"
Language code 1: eng
Publication Date: 20010303
Copyright Year: 2001
Price: Select Below

Cabins: A Guide to Building Your Own Nature Retreat

A complete guide to building a wilderness retreat, from buying land and getting services, through developing plans and construction methods. All aspects of construction are clearly illustrated and various designs are explored.

"Clear, practical book ... full-color photos help do-it-yourselfers realize their dreams." -- Log Homes Illustrated

The best-selling Cabins is back in print, at the same great value of its original price. This authoritative how-to title gives readers all the information they need to build their own cabin, including:

  • A useful list of essential questions to consider during the planning process
  • Types of cabin construction, such as pole built, stick built, post and beam, stone, cordwood, wood siding, and the advantages of each
  • Site preparation, foundations, windows and doors, ladders and stairs, insulation, roofing, electricity, water systems and heating
  • Essential information on log cabins
  • Cabin designs and their advantages
  • Furnishings and accessories

    Construction methods are clearly illustrated in meticulous line drawings and precise plans with measurements. Cut-away cross-sections and exploded diagrams give the builder the true perspective and detail needed to obtain the best result, allowing readers to get the most enjoyment out of their newly built wilderness retreat.

  • Bio:

    David Stiles is a designer/builder who, together with his wife, Jeanie Stiles, has written articles for publications such as Better Homes and Gardens and the New York Times and authored 15 books, including Sheds and The Treehouse Book (which won the ALA Notable Children's Book Award). The Stiles divide their time between New York City and East Hampton, New York.



    by Don Metz, architect

    In North American culture, the cabin holds a unique place in our collective consciousness. Enshrined in the best traditions of grassrooted nostalgia, the cabin symbolizes those bedrock frontier virtues of self-reliance, sturdiness, simplicity, humility and ---by inference -- honesty. By its very lack of pretension, the cabin connotes a purity of life whose loss we yearn to recall. As a genre, it stands at the moral center of a particularly American ethos defined by a cast of characters as diverse as Abe Lincoln, Davy Crockett and Henry David Thoreau.

    During the colonial era, the cabin was home on much of the frontier, and is still remembered in folklore, song and verse as a safe and cozy haven. Today, the notion of the cabin as Home Sweet Home persists in literature and film. Whether in the mountains, on the prairie or by the lake, it remains a symbol of all that we value.

    Today, the cabin has become the place we get away to when the place we're in has worn us out, a retreat from anxiety, a place dedicated to renewal. From the moment we lift the latch, push open the door and inhale that smoky-creosote-camphor cabin scent, we are altered for the better. More than a home away from home, the cabin reminds us of how -- we like to think -- life used to be lived in simpler times. It provides us with an opportunity to be closer to nature, and closer still to one another. The cabin is where we go to replace the hum of technology with the buzzing of insects, where cyberspace is out of place, where a mouse still has two ears and four legs. The cabin is a simple, sacred place where food and drink always taste better, where music sounds brighter, where evenings with loved ones linger longer into pleasure, where sleep is deep and dawn is fresh with wonders we've elsewhere forgotten.

    Cabins seeks to address not only the practical issues involved in the design and building of a cabin, but also to encourage the impulse. Life is long, but need it be so hectic?

    Imagine: After a long drive into nightfall, you step out of your car onto familiar footing -- not asphalt, not concrete -- but the stuff of millennial forests and plains and shorelines, the earth itself. You stretch your tired body, and you know immediately that every traveled mile was worth it as long as the trip ended here. Within moments of your arrival, it seems as if a blanket of peacefulness has gently covered you. An owl calls from a distant treetop, the same hoot-hoot, hoot-hoooot you remember from the last time -- welcome back. You breathe the night in deeply and look up at the stars. How could you forget they could be so dazzlingly bright? And the pines, the fragrance -- the scent of sage or the salty air.

    You drag your duffel bag up onto the porch and reach for the key hidden in the abandoned wren's nest above the door. The lock has its eccentricities, but even in the dark, you know how to coax it open; after all you installed it yourself. When the groceries have been put away and the lamps are lit low, you light a fire. And as you sit back in that comfy, old chair and look into the lazily flickering flames, you can't begin to imagine what life would be like without the elemental pleasures of a cabin.

    TOC: Foreword

    Chapter One: Cabin Planning

    Chapter Two: Types of Cabin Construction

      Pole Built Cabins
      Stick Built Cabins
      Post and Beam Cabins
      Stone Cabins
      Cordwood Cabins
      Wood Siding

    Chapter Three: Cabin Construction

      Hand Cart
      Site Preparation
      Windows and Doors
      Ladders and Stairs
      Insulation and Roofing
      Plumbing and Sanitary Systems

    Chapter Four: Log Cabins

      Log Joints
      Cutting Your Own Logs
      Working with Logs
      Two-Bedroom Log Cabin

    Chapter Five: Cabin Designs

      Helen's Writing Cabin
      Pyramid Cabin
      A-Frame Cabin
      Pole Built Cabin
      Timber-Framed Guest Cabin
      Lakeside Cabin
      Japanese Moongazing Cabin
      Mediterranean Cabin

    Chapter Six: Outfitting a Cabin

      Classic Cabin Accessories
      Protecting Your Cabin


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