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Our Chelsea Green Authors : Thomas J. Elpel

Thomas J. Elpel

Thomas J. Elpel started his building career from a tent in 1989. Twenty-one years old and newly married, Tom and Renee Elpel bought land, moved into a tent, and started building their passive solar stone and log dream home, although they had little construction experience and even less money. But they read books and learned through hands-on experience, completing their home for approximately what most people would spend on a new car. Elpel has continued to refine his ideas on low-cost, high-efficiency construction ever since, designing and building, or participating in the construction, of several additional stone, log, and straw bale buildings. Tom was inspired to write Living Homes in part to show that it is still possible to live the American Dream—to own a great home without a mortgage. Tom is continuing to hone his building skills, with the goal of developing ways to mass-produce and market low-cost, high-efficiency homes. When he is not building, writing, or trying to change the world, he spends much of his free time hiking and camping in the wilderness.

    Thomas J.'s Books

    Living Homes

    Stone Masonry, Log and Strawbale Construction

    The house of your dreams does not have to be expensive. The key is all in the planning. How much a house costs, how it looks, how comfortable it is, how energy-efficient it is—all these things occur on paper before you pick up even one tool. A little extra time in the planning process can save you tens of thousands of dollars in construction and maintenance. That is time well spent!

    Roadmap to Reality

    Consciousness, Worldviews, and the Blossoming of Human Spirit

    What if our entire experience of reality were based on an assumption that could be proven false? In Roadmap to Reality, Thomas J. Elpel tests the assumption that we are a sentient (self-aware) species, and finds evidence suggesting otherwise.

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