Book Review: Housing Reclaimed

| by Teena Hammond
Book Review: Housing Reclaimed

When you're ready to build a home, opt for a green home that reduces waste by using salvaged and reclaimed materials. In Housing Reclaimed — Sustainable Homes for Next to Nothing, author Jessica Kellner details how to build a home using as many reclaimed materials as possible.

Some of the projects, such as a kitchen countertop made with wooden log disks laid in concrete to create a rustic design, can be incorporated into an existing home.

One of the communities detailed is the Phoenix Commotion in Huntsville, Texas, which is a home-building business dedicated to providing low-income housing for working folks such as single parents and working artists.

Green building basics such as earthen homes, straw bale construction, concrete forms and cordwood building are details, as well as the pros and cons of each.

The 224-page book includes an array of photos, and the stories of several families and their homebuilding experiences, such as the Baker family who build a home by hand in Alabama, taking five years and amassing zero debt.

The beauty of the book is that it proves that homebuilding doesn't have to be an unattainable dream. The guide is a must-read for anyone considering building a zero- or low-debt home while reducing landfill waste and creating a stronger community.

Housing Reclaimed

Sustainable Homes for Next to Nothing

By Jessica Kellner

224 pp. New Society Publishers. $24.95

For more information, see our Building a Green Home research center.

Topics: Building Green, Sustainable Products

Teena Hammond
Teena Hammond has published more than 2,000 articles in People and W magazines, Women's Wear Daily, and in dozens of newspapers and books. She also wrote a home improvement, remodeling and decor column that ran in Gannett newspapers nationwide. She's interested in all things green and would love to hear from you with your story ideas.

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