Help me inspire my dad to build a cabin.
December 7, 2008 9:06 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to encourage my dad to build a cabin on land he's owned for years, what cabin/outdoorsy house design book should I get him for Christmas?

He has had a few acres up in the Black Hills of South Dakota for more than a decade and has always talked about building a little house or cabin there. Now he's starting to get the time and resources to build one, and I'd like to get him a book on design that might provide some inspiration and maybe a gentle nudge in the direction of actually doing it. Recommendations?
posted by R_Nebblesworth to Human Relations (13 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
I would love to build this house some day.

Apartment Therapy (the site with the link above) is a terrific resource - for the cabin, and for what could go in it
posted by seawallrunner at 9:40 AM on December 7, 2008

There's this whole genre of "small house" books, which are, in general, pretty awesome to look through. A lot of the places they show are pretty high-end/architect-designed, but they usually also have some more DIY-ish places in them, and if he's not at the stage of actually looking for feasible plans, I think they'd be useful for inspiration.
posted by ITheCosmos at 9:43 AM on December 7, 2008

I really like home design books by The Taunton Press. They are best known for publishing The Not So Big House, but they have also published several books on designing and building cabins.
posted by Andy's Gross Wart at 9:51 AM on December 7, 2008 [2 favorites]

Building Green - A complete how to guide to alternative building methods. It explains all kinds of enviromentally low impact building techniques, including cob and straw bale. Totally inspirational, and timely.
posted by roofus at 9:55 AM on December 7, 2008

One of my all-time favorite books is chock-full of cabin-y inspiration. I'd highly recommend "The Cabin--Inspiration for the Classic American Getaway" by Dale Mulfinger and Susan E. Davis. The photgraph-rich text delves into the back stories of humble, owner-built getaways, as well as designer homes, and leaves one feeling that a cabin of one's own is well within reach.
posted by kayzie at 10:06 AM on December 7, 2008

While not a design book, he might really like and be inspired by Michael Pollan's "A Place Of My Own: The Education Of An Amateur Builder." It chronicles Pollan's experience building a writing cabin in his land, and certainly made me want to go out and do the same. (In an alternate universe where I have the space, talent, and time to do so.)
posted by Stacey at 10:14 AM on December 7, 2008

Designing Houses: An Illustrated Guide is a great first book for someone interested in designing and building his or her own house. My mom bought this book and used it when she redesigned our kitchen.
posted by mattdidthat at 10:26 AM on December 7, 2008

By way of background, he was a homebuilder for about 5 years, so it's more inspiration and motivation rather than instruction I'm looking for. Thanks for all the reccommendations!
posted by R_Nebblesworth at 10:27 AM on December 7, 2008

This book is pure inspiration to me.
posted by jennyjenny at 11:22 AM on December 7, 2008

Grand Designs website. There are also books and DVDs available, hugely inspiring TV.
posted by fire&wings at 11:55 AM on December 7, 2008

I love Log Houses of the World. Most of these are not small dwellings, but the book is great for ideas.
posted by medeine at 11:58 AM on December 7, 2008

Depending how he feels about hippies, a lot of 1970's DIY books like Woodstock Handmade Houses are fun to poke through. If he's got a construction background then anything conventional might just look like work, so I'm thinking off-the-wall stuff could be the ticket.
posted by jon1270 at 12:02 PM on December 7, 2008

HomeWork: Handmade Shelter is indeed a great book.

I love Mike Oehler's design, but this probably isn't for everybody: The Fifty Dollar and Up Underground House Book.
posted by BigSky at 6:50 PM on December 7, 2008

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