DIY redwood estate: home + yurt + cottage + micro winery

“Thirty years ago King was making $12,000 per year as a fireman when he and his wife Lin found a redwood grove for sale in Northern California. They bought the property for $30,000 and with the help of a lot of books (“Design Drawing”, “Wiring Simplified, Soils and Septic Tanks, How to build and Design, Build and Maintain Your Swimming Pool) they began to build first a small carriage house, then a swimming pool and finally the home of their dreams with cathedral ceilings, stained-glass windows and a “treehouse” bedroom.”

Another great video by Kirsten Dirksen of Fair

5 thoughts on “DIY redwood estate: home + yurt + cottage + micro winery”

  1. Pdf of the codes themselves are free. I have both the current residential and electrical codes. For a more DIY instruction, Black & Decker and some of the other tool manufacturers put out books. For a quick how not to, watch a few episodes of Renovation Realities (sometimes I think it should come with Mike and the bots). If you’re really nervous, search for kids science experiments. It’ll give you some practical experience with a few dollars of supplies and the worst result will be having to reset the breaker.

  2. Owen, look at my comment and questions. I said nothing about the building aspect. I asked about wiring, septic, plumbing etc. My biggest concern is the right wiring. Septic I have a good idea but, would like suggestions on the best book/s so that I keep it code in the event I do get checked. Just good books on these different steps in the building project. As you know, my intentions are to be deep off grid but, I still want to build to code. What books do YOU suggest or are there any you know of?

    • Like I said the other books can be found in a good library. There’s no need to buy books like these when they’re freely available in libraries. Tip on electrical book: get the simplest, shortest one you can find with good illustrations.

  3. VERY nice place they’ve built. One thing that struck me is he said he read lots of books. This leaves me with the question of “What Are” the best books to read on wiring, septic, plumbing etc. etc. etc. Do you Owen, as well as. the rest of the blog readers have recommendations? This would be something I could benefit from as many others might. Thanks.

    • It all depends on the project and what you’re trying to do. The short answer is get 2-3 of the best books on the main building method (ex: earthbag, straw bale, etc.), maybe 1-2 books on post and beam (if appropriate), 1 highly illustrated book on carpentry. The rest you can borrow from a good library and possibly photocopy the most important pages. You might be able to borrow all of them from a good library, but it helps to have several really good books on hand for regular reference.

      Also, use the Internet heavily. There’s tons of free information now. You could probably get by without home design books that are primarily photos, for instance.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.