Beachcomber556

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As kids, books like The Visual Dictionary and David Macaulay’s The Way Things Work were our most-prized possessions

As kids, books like <i>The Visual Dictionary</i> and David Macaulay’s <i>The Way Things Work</i> were our most-prized possessions. We’d spend hours pouring over insect classifications or a cutaway diagram of a combustion engine.<p><b>The Visual Handbook for Building and Remodeling ($23)</b> is like that, but for grown ups: 600 pages of detailed color illustrations covering everything from timber frame joints to span & load calculation tables to sun path charts for optimizing passive solar heating in your cabin.

The yurt compound of William Coperthwaite near Machiasport, Maine. 

The yurt compound of William Coperthwaite near <b>Machiasport,</b> <b>Maine</b>.<p>No one alive has done more to promote yurts than Bill Coperthwaite. Coming across the style in a 1962 <i>National Geographic</i> article, he recognized in the yurt a construction method so simple and durable, that almost anyone, regardless of skill or budget, could build their own home. He’s spent the last 4 decades living off-grid, lecturing, selling plans, and leading hundreds of yurt building workshops around the globe.<p>Read more on …

Cabin north of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada. 

Cabin north of <b>Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada.</b><p>Off the grid. No road access. Father’s happy place.

A-frame cabin built in 1968 in the woods of Dorrington, California

A-frame cabin built in 1968 in the woods of <b>Dorrington, California</b>.

Meet Jack English, a 93-year-old legend who lives in a cabin isolated deep in the Ventana Wilderness, California

Meet Jack English, a 93-year-old legend who lives in a cabin isolated deep in the <b>Ventana Wilderness, California.</b><p>While on a hunting trip he learned that an old homestead was put up for auction by the estate of a childless heiress. He put a bid on the property and won. On the land he built a small cabin using materials from the land and milling trees by hand. When his wife passed away, Jack effectively left “society” and moved to the cabin full time.<p>Filmed and contributed by Grace Jackson.

Off the grid home in Cable, Wisconsin

Off the grid home in <b>Cable, Wisconsin</b>.<p>Contributed by Thomas Thornquest.

Timber-framed cabin built from salvaged, hand-milled wood in Keene, NY

Timber-framed cabin built from salvaged, hand-milled wood in <b>Keene, NY.</b><p>Follow along here.

The Dune House by Min2 in Alkmaar, Netherlands

The Dune House by Min2 in <b>Alkmaar, Netherlands.</b>

Massive treefort in the Catskills of New York

Massive treefort in the <b>Catskills of New York.</b><p>Contributed by Cory Weidenbach.