Building off the grid

 

"If you're reading these words, it's because you're a dreamer. You dream of living where you don't, and doing things you've never done." Rex and LaVonne Ewing, authors of Logs, Wind and Sun ... Handcraft Your Own Log Home ... Then Power it with Nature, have written the book they searched for when building their dream home in the foothills of Colorado's Front Range.

The Ewings earned their credentials the hard way, handcrafting their own log home with a minimum of equipment, and installing solar and wind power that supplies all the electricity they need to live and work comfortably.

Logs, Wind and Sun is both packed with useful information and enjoyable to read, outlining practical topics from how to select a building site that will maximize solar and wind power, to determining the most energy-efficient ways to keep your home warm and your beer cold. Somehow, the authors manage to make you believe that you, too, can peel logs and do your own chinking and decorative stonework - even if you've never so much as picked up a chainsaw.

Worksheets included in the back of the book help you calculate everything from your electrical needs to solar, battery and wire sizing.

The book is also generously sprinkled with personal anecdotes and insights that entertain and inspire as well as inform. "Every log has a personality," the authors remark. "Treat it like a friend, but study it like an adversary."

Logs, Wind and Sun, by Rex and LaVonne Ewing, 304 pages, hardcover: $28.95. PixyJack Press, Colo.