It seems like nowadays every time you look around there’s another large suburb or apartment complex being built. Often times they replace large forests, greenbelts, and other natural ecosystems. Aside from that, the large construction machines emit carbon emissions for months at a time and all nearby residents have no other choice but to deal with it.

At Insteading, we like to promote more sustainable building methods, by building with the earth in mind. Tiny living promotes a smaller footprint, cob building utilizes natural materials, and of course, off-grid living is the ultimate sustainable living.

Featured Guides:

Recent Building Posts

  • greenhouse

    Greenhouse Plans

    A greenhouse is one of the most well-known garden structures. Providing shielding from extreme sun, wind, and rain — greenhouses can significantly extend your growing season. These sunny buildings come in a variety of shapes and sizes too. Heated glass greenhouses can fight against snow and cold in severe climates. Plastic sheeting can help create […] More

  • Eco-Friendly Playgrounds

    Parents know the benefits of installing playgrounds and playsets. Beyond being a fun activity that gets children outdoors, playground equipment is important for a child’s cognitive, emotional, physical, and interpersonal development. A day in the backyard or at the park does wonders for kids’ physical health, as well as improving their self-confidence and social skills, […] More

  • wood hose caddy with planter

    Planter Box Plans

    Create a true gardenscape by moving your plants beyond the pot. Create your own planter boxes with these free online designs. I searched the internet to try and find a planter box to match just about any urban homestead and found some really great projects. Planter Box Plans for All Kinds of Homesteads Carpentry projects […] More

  • DIY sauna with keyhole roof

    How To Build A Sauna

    So, you’ve just gotten back from sweating in a friend’s sauna and you’ve decided you gotta have one too. Just how realistic is this goal? Well, it’s definitely going to take some time and effort, but as someone who has been helping a friend build a traditional yurt sauna, I’ve learned saunas are a surprisingly […] More

  • a tape measure extended

    9 Expert Builders Share Their Measuring Tape Tricks

    A dog is man’s best friend, a tape measure is a builder’s. So, many have taught their tape measures to do tricks. How To Tape Measure A Long Distance When You’re Working Alone “The Break Test” How To Extend Your Tape Measure When Your Hands Are Full Tape Measure As Calculator: How To Measure Double […] More

  • outdoor wall sconces

    Outdoor Wall Sconces

    An outdoor wall sconce can be: A functional item. Just there to make sure you don’t trip over the patio stairs. A contributing design element. Follows the theme or style you’ve chosen for your outdoor decor. A focal point. If you don’t have incredible landscaping, or stunning furniture, sconces are an inexpensive backyard conversation piece. […] More

  • calculator and money

    How Much Does It Cost To Customize A Tiny House?

    If you’ve researched buying a tiny house you know prices are usually listed as a “starting price,” just like new cars are. Why? Because a tiny house is too personal for a one-size-fits-all option to work. So builders offer options to match a customer’s budget or lifestyle. Someone doing a lot of outdoor work might […] More

  • tiny house bus

    The Best Photos From the 2016 Tiny House Jamboree

    The Tiny House Jamboree, held August 5-7 2016 at the campus of the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, featured 24 speakers, 34 tiny house building companies, and even a wedding (“no tangible gifts,” of course). I couldn’t make it, but thanks to the magic of social media, can share in a little bit of […] More

  • textured recycled glass tile for a tiny house bathroom

    Gorgeous Recycled Glass Surface For Tiny House Bathrooms

    What’s more natural? A surface with texture, or one that’s flat and plastic? Even better is a textured surface made from recycled glass. One of the most compelling things about building a tiny house is that you can consider materials that would be prohibitively expensive in a “normal” home. Salvaged tin ceilings, vintage hardwood floors, solid […] More

  • chair_1_growing_furniture

    Growing Furniture

    Train and graft a tree for half a dozen years or so and you have strong, local, one piece (tree) furniture. One piece wood chairs, no joints. Partially planed. The first chairs are expected to be in galleries mid-2017. by FullGrown, UK. One piece tree chair. The trees are harvested in winter and then allowed to […] More

  • birch-bark-side-table

    Bark Furniture And Accessories

    Birch-Bark is waterproof and will not rot, its familiar surface is richly graphic. Birch-Bark has been used for millennia in the making of canoes, wigwams, scrolls, Buddhist manuscripts, maps (including the oldest maps of North America), art, torches, fans, musical instruments, shoes, clothing, as a substratum for sod, birch-bark roofs and more… Birch Armoire-style-Cabinet-Louis-XV-style by Marché Dauphine – 140, rue […] More

  • gutter-gardening-horizontal-gutters

    Gutter Gardening

    Gutter sculpture watering system… During a very heavy rainstorm I would imagine dirt and water must pour out of these pretty gutters. Lakeside cottage, Lake Erie. Paint your old gutters attach to painted stockade fence. Painted gutter garden. How to: Gutters on fence – filled with flowers blooming in a riot of color. […] More

  • Graphene

    Graphene is a thin carbon layer arranged in a chicken wire pattern one atom thick. It’s the thinnest material in the world. (What could be thinner than one atom?) Not only thin, but more than 100 times stronger than steel, transparent and flexible to boot. The graphene layer can be manually peeled away from graphite (like […] More

  • Brushwood Fence

    Using undergrowth, twigs, tips and small branches to make fences. Brushwood fences were probably one of the earliest fence types constructed in Japan. Today brushwood fences are very popular in Australia as well. Bamboo brushwood fence. Using the twigs and tips of the bamboo. Via: Brushwood fence at the Rakusai Bamboo Park in Kyoto […] More

  • cob fireplace

    Cob Fireplaces

    Cob Fireplaces… Cob fireplace. Cob fireplace in Hilde Dawe’s house, British Columbia. Cob fireplace by Charles Andre. Cob fireplace (Rumford) Cob Fireplace. Budownictwo Naturalne. More

  • shipping container home

    Shipping Container Homes

    Shipping container homes seem like a no-brainer. Approximately 30 million steel shipping containers are in existence, filled and floating, or standing empty in a port. 8 feet wide by 8.5 feet high, and either 20 or 40 feet long, the steel shipping container has been the globally standardized transportation module since 1956. Sending empty containers […] More

  • old windows greenhouse

    Greenhouses from Old Windows and Doors

    Calling all used awning windows, bay windows, storm doors, and clerestories back to service. 1) Recycled Window Greenhouse, Minnesota Greenhouse made from recycled windows by Jan and Ed Vitse of New Look Floral (a garden and floral business) in Rochester, MN. This little gem, made from recycled windows was built in 2003. The structure is 12 […] More

  • Seattle Homestead

    Green Home Plans

    Home Plans: (See PreFabs also) a small, small sampling… FreeGreen– Free Green stock plans !!! *** Dream Green Homes. Numerous designs using Earth, Wood, Straw, Bamboo, Stone, Manufactured, Lightweight Concrete, Organic, Domes, Earth Sheltered, etc. www.architectural Architectural House Plans. Working drawings for client-inspired, architect-designed, built homes. Straw Bale House Plans, Solar, lots […] More

  • Alternative Building Methods

    Alternative Building Methods: Green Home Building. Info about Earth, Wood, Straw, Bamboo, Stone, Manufactured, Lightweight Concrete, Organic, Domes, Earth Sheltered, etc. Natural Building Network is a not-for-profit membership association promoting natural building principles, materials and practitioners worldwide. Good events list. Earth Bag Building– earthbag (sometimes called sandbag) construction. Lots of pictures, videos, […] More

  • Pebble Pathways

    “Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find you have crossed the mountain.” Unknown. A pebble and stone path with gaps increases permeability. By Jeff Bale. Pebble path in the UK, image by Pebble Mosaic in […] More

  • Arthur Rackham’s Illustrations And Hugh Comstock’s Carmel Cottages

    Illustration by Arthur Rackham. Alice was feeling bored while sitting on the riverbank with her sister, when she noticed a talking, clothed White Rabbit with a pocket watch run past. She follows it down a rabbit hole. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland) is an 1865 novel written by English author […] More

  • Wattle Edging

    Wattle edging has surrounded kitchen gardens since gardening began. Has seasonal pruning left you with numerous, long, flexible tree suckers and saplings? You will need to move fast, as those branches will become too stiff to weave soon after cutting. Drive stakes. Weave like a basket. The firmer you press the wattle down, the sturdier the fence […] More

  • Hedge Laying

    Over two thousand years older than chain link. A living hedge not only keeps livestock fenced but also prevents soil erosion and water runoff. Living hedges are good wind blocks and snow collectors as well as habitat to birds, insects and small mammals. And they sequester carbon, rather than produce it, such as during the […] More

  • Wattle Fence

    Wattle is woven wood fencing. Hurdles are woven wattle fencing panels. Historically moveable hurdles were employed for pasture and livestock rotation. We have been wattle making (wattling) since Neolithic times. How To Weave A Wattle Fence The upright stakes are sometimes called “sales” and the saplings called ‘weavers’. Hazel, willow, sweet chestnut, plum, forsythia or any supple, long, straight, slender saplings make […] More

  • The Art Of The Dry Stack Stone Wall

    Dry (without mortar) stone work in the hands of a skilled waller is an art form. An art form that will last multiple lifetimes and serves multiple functions. Using but one tool; the hammer, and much patience and strength, a skilled waller can lay yards of fence per day. Most modern wallers do not like […] More

  • Recycled Glass Bottles

    Much of the glass we throw out is not recycled because different glass has different melting points and recyclers only melt the most common containers. Artists use old and new glass to create unique pieces of home decor. Glass Bottle Windows Hanging window composed of serving plates, wine bottle bottoms, stemware bottoms and faceted stained glass […] More