How to Build an Eco-friendly Little Guesthouse
Roy writes that this book is “totally devoted to the construction of a specific building, with all the various techniques described thoroughly enough so that the reader can replicate the project.”
The author previously constructed one—a guesthouse called Stoneview—on a twenty-acre woodland lot he owned and wanted to sell. The structure can also be used as a workshop, a storage building, a garden shed, or a vacation cabin. There are helpful suggestions on selecting a site, clearing the land, and installing posts. There are also thorough instructions for framing, rafters, and planking. Roy also includes a chapter on building a “living roof,” an energy efficient alternative that contains topsoil. Moss grown on grass sods can be placed around the edge. Roy planted chives and sedum on his as they retain moisture in their succulent leaves, taking them through long rainless periods. Roy offers instructions on painting interior walls, on plumbing, hot water, and electrical systems, and—more importantly—on toilet installation.
The cost of the project as detailed in Stoneview runs around is $5,000 and the work takes about 578 hours.
An annotated bibliography lists four books and there is a metric conversion table. For readers wanting to try their hand at building, this is the book for them.