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Homing Instinct: Using Your Lifestyle to Design & Build Your Home Paperback – December 31, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0070123465 ISBN-10: 0070123462 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional; 1 edition (December 31, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0070123462
  • ISBN-13: 978-0070123465
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,054,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

If the idea of a new house is an interesting possibility, but not yet something that occupies a large number of your waking hours, which of the several hundred books at your local bookstore will be the most helpful?

To get you started, read John Connell's Homing Instinct: Using Your Lifestyle to Design and Build Your Home (McGraw-Hill, 1998). The author is both an architect and the founder of Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Warren, Vermont (www.yestermorrow.org). The school runs intensive workshops in design and construction for both professionals and non-professionals.

Intended for a lay audience, Connell's book is free of jargon, and his writing is so engaging you will find yourself reading about foundations and framing with great interest, if not gusto. The sections on The Site and The Building (with chapter headings like "Walls and Wallness" and "What Works and What Doesn't: Looking at the Interconnected Effects of Gravity, Temperature, Moisture and Ethics") will be more riveting after your house starts to go up, and you want to understand what you're looking at. At the beginning stages of your new house project, the section called "The Program" will be more helpful.

To arrive at the right design for you, Connell says, you need to start with the big cosmic questions -- Who are you? Who would you like to be? -- and then gradually home in on a real house. The "Bubbles and Storyboard: Diagramming Your Program" chapter walks you through how to make a bubble diagram. Most architects in their initial discussions use these with clients to illustrate various functional relationships and how the house might relate to the site.

Many architects will caution against thinking about a design before you have a building site, but I think working out which spaces are more important to you and which ones are less so will make the architect's job easier. And once you've established what the spaces and their relationships are, these can be physically configured in any number of ways, depending on the building site you end up with. (The Sacramento Bee 2003-05-31)

From the Back Cover

A uniquely personal, state-of-the-art guide to designing and building a home, Homing Instinct considers not only the roof, but the sky...not only the placement of plumbing, but where the first light of dawn will enter the building...not just ease of maintenance, but your home's impact on the planet. This richly detailed, forward-thinking book can help you create a house that perfectly expresses who you are--physically, emotionally, and spiritually. See how things really work, from foundation and framing, to plumbing and electricity, to selecting the right materials and products. Understand the latest construction options. Resolve questions of cost, durability, design, intent, and self-expression. Master architectural fundamentals and effective building techniques.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
As a residential designer and builder I read a lot of how-to books and this is the first and only one of its kind - informative as well as entertaining. I picked it up after dinner one evening and when I next looked up it was four in the morning! Homing Instinct seems to have it all - stick building, timber framing, log homes, straw bales....even geodesic domes. It covers the foundation work, the energy systems, plumbing, electrical and , best of all, gives loads of alternatives in every area. Connell writes in a very humorous way which is refreshingly different from so many techno-texts. And the illustrations by themselves are worth the price. I know it's just one guy's opinion, but I think this book is worth half a dozen of those others.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
i'm in the process of building a second home for our family. at first, i was very afraid that going to an architect, an "expert" was going to be expensive and potentially frustrating - how could they know what i wanted, how could i know to trust that they were "that" good and wouldn't charge me an arm and a leg for some design-y house? this book provided the education - the vocabulary, the concepts, the rationale - that any non-architect needs. after reading its chapters, i feel more confident both in my own ability to find the right architect and building professionals, and that i really do want to work with an architect.
even if you aren't building a house, this book will help you understand the one you currently have. it gives you enough context so that, the next time you see a funny stain on the floor, you'll be able to better guess if its water or a present from the dog.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Charles R. West, Jr. on October 25, 1998
Format: Paperback
If you are going to build your own home, then reading this book is an investment in your future. It will take you step-by-step thru the process of tailoring the building and site to fit you and your family for years to come. From where the building will sit on the site, to deciding how to create living spaces that fit your living both now, and in the future.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
Designing and building your own home is an exciting, albeit stressful undertaking. Designing and building a home in sync with a natural lifestyle makes the undertaking overwhelming. HOMING INSTINCT provides a detailed overview of the home planning, design, and construction process, but has several distinct advantages over the typical building book. It begins by detailing homebuilders' needs according to their values and lifestyles. Then, throughout the book, homebuilders are offered design and construction choices based on those needs. HOMING INSTINCT presents sustainable building and construction methods as well as conventional choices so homebuilders can make chocies each step of the way. The book is not only educational and comprehensive, more importantly, it makes the decisions associated with building a home effortless and deeply personal
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