Step-by-step instructions on how to build a home in an economical and artistically unique way.
Owning a home doesn’t have to be a trying ordeal, says Madison, who reports that he built his own house with little more than his own muscle power and ingenuity. Though he claims not to be particularly handy, he managed to create a fully functional cabin complete with electricity, running water and Internet access as part of a journey that was both fulfilling and therapeutic. He takes readers through the process, from cutting down trees and laying the foundation for the floor to installing the piping and electricity to detailing plans to build additional modules. Pictures and diagrams complement the text, and the author even discusses his future plans to fully automate the cabin. In addition to the down-and-dirty details, he uses quotes from a number of philosophers–Aristotle, Locke, Rousseau and others–to help explain his motivation: It was as much about testing his own abilities as it was about creating a physical shelter. On one level, this is a practical guide that contains pertinent information for people who actually want to build their own cabin. On another, it’s a fascinating look inside the mind of a man who chose to go against the grain and who writes with such folksy charm and comical practicality that you can’t help but applaud him for bucking the system. Those not interested in building their own homes will be bored senseless by the technical details and some of the long-winded endnotes, but entertaining anecdotes–such as how the author munches on blackberries while simultaneously trimming his beard in his yard to lay down a barrier of human scent that deters snakes–keep the pages turning.
In definite need of editorial direction but makes a case for the author–whatever his name is–getting his own home-improvement show.