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Cabins: A Guide to Building Your Own Nature Retreat Paperback – March 3, 2001
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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From Library Journal
Cabins have come a long way from the 19th-century rustic structures familiar to all school children. The Stileses, a husband-and-wife team who have collaborated on a number of woodworking titles, show how to build a cabin that reflects the builder's lifestyle; some are simple, while others contain multiple rooms and utilities. Although the authors make it look easy, the amount of work that goes into a log cabin is staggering (even small cabins require 60 or more logs that each take five to seven hours to hew by hand). Other designs include a Japanese moon-gazing cabin, a pyramid-shaped cabin, and an A-frame cabin. A section on cabin accessories (including brief construction hints for rustic wood furniture) and a list of sources (including web addresses) completes this title. It should be part of in-depth public library collections.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The Stiles ... show how to build a cabin that reflects the builder's lifestyle. (Library Journal 2001-09-01)
If you've ever thought of building a little retreat somewhere ... you will probably enjoy this book ... Cabins is geared to the modern homebuilder -- homes have to meet modern building codes, after all -- and examines a variety of building techniques. (New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal 2001-05-26)
You'll find not only the practical issues ... but also the inspiration to help select the cabin that is perfect. (Kandis Carper Spokane Spokesman-Review 2001-05-25)
An invaluable resource ... step-by-step instructions starting with basic planning. (Stacie Gentile Calgary Sun 2001-06-16)
The kind of book that stirs the imagination. (Lexington Herald-Leader 2001-06-03)
A primer for anyone with dreams of 'getting away from it all.' (Ted Hainworth Saskatoon Star Phoenix 2001-07-21)
Clear, practical book ... full-color photos help do-it-yourselfers realize their dreams. (Log Homes Illustrated 2001-11-01)
With this study of the what, when, where, and how of cabin building, anyone's yearning for the last great place can be satiated. (Patrick A. Smith ForeWord 2001-10-01)
[The book will] lead the clumsiest carpenter through the necessary steps to build a cozy getaway. (Annie Stoltie Adirondack Life 2002-10-15)
You can do it!... For tips read Cabins: A Guide to Building Your Own Nature Retreat. (Rebecca Sawyer-Fay Cottage Living 2005-04-01)
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The Stiles are, apparently, a prolific couple on this and similar topics, and they certainly deserve credit for effective packaging and marketing. David Stiles has filled the book's pages with material--some good, some irrelevant, and some good for entertainment--but he certainly has filled it nonetheless. The layout and tone of this book is vaguely reminiscent of a copy of an early 1970s Mother Earth News. The reader's challenge is to extract the kernals of insight from the volumes of chaff. What the book lacks in detailed engineering and construction discussion and techniques it makes up for in peripheral and, in some cases, funny advice. Consider the detailed description of the electronic vehicle-arrival and gate-unlocking monitors--this in a book purported to find ways to get one in touch with mother nature and perhaps forego electricity entirely. Or the sketch plan for the garden-hose remedy against racoons infiltrating your metal trashcan. The advice is intriguing enough, but one suspects that a bit more discussion on well-installation or obtaining running water might be in order before turning to a technological solution involving the use of pressurized water for a racoon problem. Given the Stiles' ties to Manhattan, maybe the accepted security measures of their current environment don't seem quite as ridiculous or irrelevant as they probably do to anyone who actually lives in a rural area. Or consider their admonition against Coleman lanterns being "Scary and hard to light." Hmmm, I, too, have fears and I'm certainly not the most dexterous fellow, but I've learned that five minutes of hands-on practice can turn even the most hardcore urbanite into a safe and proficient Coleman-lantern lighter. Something tells me Mr. Stiles has not taken the time to do the same, and this casts a disconcerting pall over the value of much of his other advice. How much of it has actually been tried?
But this book is valuable for the focus it gives to architecture and perhaps encouraging one to pick up a tablet of graph paper and start sketching floorplans or facades; extract those ideas and use them as fodder for formulating your own. Read the rest with a grain of salt. For a more focused, pragmatic, and obviously tested perspective on cabin-building, get a copy of G. Wayne Fears' "How to Build Your Dream Cabin."
I won't give away all his secrets (could be a copyright violation!) but for example, they show you how to survey the land yourself with a cheap laser pen and some pieces of wood, what to look for when choosing land to buy, how to buy and get the best price, how to determine what kind of foundation you want, what you need to know for a septic system and utilities and what not. I especially like the plans for a log staircase, the log furniture and the stone fireplace.
Of course, virtually everything in the book needs to be expanded on but it's this way for a reason. It's an excellent overview of the entire cabin building process, like a 101 course, but for every little detail you'll need to do more research on. Roof framing, electrical, plumbing, concrete pouring, road building, etc - this book points you in the right direction for what you need to you but lengthy details on each topic are intentionally left out. So if you're serious about building your own cabin as I am, then you'll need to buy several other books, but this book is a great one to start with and is a fun read that will keep your imagination and excitement going strong.
The reason for the 4 stars, not 5, is because I think there could be more floor plans and types of cabins covered.