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Prefabulous + Almost Off the Grid: Your Path to Building an Energy-Independent Home Hardcover – October 1, 2012


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Frequently Bought Together

Prefabulous + Almost Off the Grid: Your Path to Building an Energy-Independent Home + Prefabulous and Sustainable: Building and Customizing an Affordable, Energy-Efficient Home + Prefabulous World: Energy-Efficient and Sustainable Homes Around the Globe
Price for all three: $62.93

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (October 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419703250
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419703256
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 0.8 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sheri Koones is an award-winning author whose previous books include From Sand Castles to Dream Houses, House About It, Modular Mansions, Prefabulous, and Abrams’ Prefabulous + Sustainable. She lives in Connecticut.


More About the Author

I began writing about home construction when I had the difficult task of supervising a major renovation of my family's house. After being dissatisfied with the the books available I decided I would write a book (From Sand Castles to Dream Houses)and include all of the information I wish I'd had when I built my own house. People then began to ask me about the various options available to them - roofing, siding, trim,etc. I didn't know much about these items myself - so I spent the next 2 years researching every available option so my readers would be able to select those that were best for them before beginning to work with their architect or builder. House About It was the result of this arduous research. While I was reviewing the various methods of construction for a chapter of House About It, I discovered modular construction, which I found incredibly exciting. In the last few years I have found other methods of prefab construction which I believe are also wonderful methods of building a house. I hope that my books have created more informed homeowners who will build homes that they will throughly enjoy living in - that are healthy, sustainable, energy efficient and beautiful.

Customer Reviews

It is clear, easy to read, and full of information.
architecture student
It's a superb book for anyone who is interested in green building, ecological architecture, and the future of sustainable housing.
Mitchell Thomashow
Like any paradigm shift, initially, the change is rejected or misunderstood.
John

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By ehf on October 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm very interested in some-day building a prefab modern home so I bought this book to see some more examples and to try to get an overview of the current state of the industry. There are a lot of nice example houses in this book and there are some nice technical asides that get into detail about certain technologies and government programs that are good to know about.

On the downside, nothing in this book is too in-depth, and there is an annoying tendency in the modern prefab industry to talk about their houses as being somehow affordable for most people, but I've never once seen that as a reality. As much as I'd love to believe that building one of these houses could be cost-effective, the only thing I can really find are examples of wealthy people patting themselves on the back and overpaying for energy efficiency and "non-toxic" building materials. I'd like to see more sources in this industry really get down to the nitty-gritty of the cost-efficiencies involved and rely less on what I see as empty eco-marketing .
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
No matter where you live, this book showcases styles and designs relevant to your region and THE LATEST green building techniques available. This is quite simply a glimpse into the future of ALL homes, and it will be in our lifetime. Nice thing is, you get real world examples of green technology explained in layman's terms, and some wonderful interior and exterior design ideas to boot. The book is a great addition to the "Prefabulous" line of books, and continues to show that green building is doable, beautiful, and a heck of a lot easier with prefab construction.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By JMcG on February 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read most of Sheri Koones books and they all are easy reads and informative. This book is typical of her work. If I were to build a modular house, her expertise would be Priceless. This book has many examples, lots of pictures and is very informative. The book is somewhat repetative, with many of the house examples, having the exact same certifications, energy ratings, or end results. There was nothing revealed in this book that I felt I had to have in my next house. The person who invented the first clear glass window had a revolutionary idea that was a game changer in the housing industry. The idea of modular housing ( factory built housing ) is a game changer. This book didn't reveal any game changing ideas (to me at least). I also thought some real world examples of owners making cost benifit energy decisions would be informative. For example, what is the ROI on buying X's solar panels, or installing R38 fiberglass insulation Vs a higher grade of open cell or closed cell insulation in ... Chicago, or in Florida? Is it better to buy more insulation or to buy more solar panels? Overall it is a good book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John B. Connell on October 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Prefabricated homes have become very trendy and, not surprisingly, widely misunderstood. What Ms. Koones does with this book (and several of her previous ones)is track the ongoing evolution of prefab home building. Not all manufacturers are the same and not every homeowner wants the same thing. So the first accomplishment of this book is the VARIETY. This is important because manufactured homes (prefabs) suffer from all sorts of stereotypes. In this collection you will see traditional homes, contemporary homes, experimental homes but in all cases energy efficient homes. Which brings us to the second accomplishment of the book; cutting edge GREEN architecture. Koones beautifully presents the growing number of green and sustainable custom homes utilizing factory strategies for better energy performance. This approach is not even debatable - Energy Star, USGBC and several other renowned national certifying organizations have unequivocally stated that prefabrication is a fundamentally green way to build. And this book provides supporting details and sources for each project. And finally, the third accomplishment of this book is the VISUAL reward one gets when holding it in their hands. Not only are the houses beautiful and well photographed, but the book itself is nicely designed and flawlessly produced. It's a touch more expensive than some housing books on the market but it remains an incredible value nevertheless because there is so much well researched information in it. When you're finished being inspired, you can turn to the appendices and find out who to call for the next step. Anyone who even dreams about a new home or a little get-away needs to have this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Wayne J. Lutz on October 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I'm trying to improve my own off-grid lifestyle, as documented in 'Off the Grid: Coastal British Columbia Stories,' Sheri Koones has written an excellent book for those seeking their first taste of off-the-grid living. The book's photos are superb, and the author's discussions of ecological issues (including our carbon footprint) was enough to wake me up. My tiny cabin on a Canadian lake needs some revisions! I've recently read many of the best guides for people just starting out in off-the-grid environments, and this is near the top of my list.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Connie on October 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. I was happily surprised to find this book not only full of photos of beautiful homes, but very informative & useful. It can be used as a tool for anyone who is trying to reduce their carbon footprint, reduce energy consumption, or to just learn about what others have done in their effort. It will have a home on my coffee table and has inspired me to move forward with owning a prefab home some day!
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