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No. 65, Fall 2014

Shelter (Book Review)

By Jeff RuppertNovember 4, 2014March 20th, 2022No Comments

FC (Shelter) optimized_ADMIN_Oct-08-115440-2014_ConflictMany of us dream of having a natural home in the country, away from the city and built from materials close at hand. Few of us are lucky enough to experience such a gift, and the rest of us continue to dream.

Wayne Bingham is a dreamer, an architect and one of the lucky few to live his dream. He now has a beautiful straw bale home in Idaho that is shared with his wife and other family and friends. However, this book is not just about the home or the dream. It is primarily about the journey. The gift of this story is that it is real. It is a story one can relate to and it is spoken as one mans truth during a journey over many years.

The book covers many years of Wayne’s life, but the thought of “walking the talk” emerged in 2001 after he had designed a few bale homes and felt a deeper connection with what was to become an odyssey into natural building.

The story is predictable and honest, but it is also full of timeless wisdom in the form of “Tips” that are captioned. Each one of these are gems that those of us who design and build natural homes. As an engineer and contractor I felt a connection to Wayne’s story, and must admit, also felt jealous as I have not lived my dream just yet.

This book is a must-have for all owner-builders. It gives a perspective on costs and why various decisions were made, but most importantly the time-scale of building your own home with limited help is an eye-opener. As an owner-builder it is important to understand the scale of building a home. It is immense and requires patience, perseverance and lots of love of your partner, if you have one. This story shows how one couple was able to successfully navigate those rough waters and come out happy, but not unscathed.

Shelter is an inspiration that we recommend as a quick read for both the owner-builder and seasoned pro alike, especially if you are new to natural building. There are lots of images that successfully convey the scope of the project and we’re pretty sure you won’t be disappointed with the ending.

At the time of publication Shelter is available for pre-order $16.95 USD from Familius. It appears it will be available both in paperback and digitally. Print ISBN 978-1-939629-25-8, Digital ISBN 978-1-939629-84-5

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