Yurts, igloos and treehouses — hardly serious options for today’s homeowner, or are they? These so-called alternative dwellings have been around for centuries plus they are eco-friendly and ideal for those on a tight budget. Forget dry wall - ice, adobe, cob and rammed earth are true environmentally friendly building materials and incredibly it’s possible to find serious guide books offering advice and tips for building everything from a traditional Mongolian yurt to a cosy underground cavern or a home high in the branches. AbeBooks.com has compiled a list of the top 10 guides to building an alternative dwelling.
1. Yurts: Living in the Round by Becky Kemery

Yurts: Living in the Round by Becky KemeryYurts are cheap to build and energy efficient. If the neighbours are rowdy or the view becomes boring, pack up and move the whole house to somewhere else.
2. Building an Igloo by Ulli Steltzer

Building an Igloo by Ulli SteltzerFully biodegradable and no carbon footprint, igloos are not just for Eskimos. Plenty of ice for cocktails but warm weather clothing is essential.
3. Build Your Own Treehouse: A Practical Guide by Maurice Barkley

Build Your Own Treehouse: A Practical Guide by Maurice BarkleyTreehouses are not just for kids — Tarzan and Jane set up home high in the jungle branches so why can’t you?
4. The $50 and Up Underground House Book by Mike Oehler

The $50 and Up Underground House Book by Mike OehlerDig this book - cut down on heating costs with perfect insulation but the lawn is on your roof in this topsy-turvy dwelling. Views are some what limited.
5. Dome Story: Planning / Building a Geodesic Home by Lucas Grillis Adams

Dome Story: Planning / Building a Geodesic Home by Lucas Grillis AdamsDome sweet dome and so futuristic — you too could live in a huge spherical object.
6. Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties: And How to Build Them by Daniel Carter Beard

Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties: And How to Build Them by Daniel Carter Beard The ultimate urban modern dwelling? A home created entirely from recycled materials.
7. The Indian Tipi: Its History, Construction, and Use by Reginald Laubin

The Indian Tipi: Its History, Construction, and Use by Reginald LaubinTipis are probably the ultimate tent — warm, dry, robust and portable.
8. Build with Adobe: Revised and Enlarged by Marcia Southwick

Build with Adobe: Revised and Enlarged by Marcia SouthwickLittle more than a mixture of sand, clay and water — Adobe has been around for 4,000 years. Can you see dry wall being used in 6008?
9. Building with Cob: A Step-by-Step Guide by Adam Weismann

Building with Cob: A Step-by-Step Guide by Adam WeismannAnother ancient building material first used a thousand years ago, cob (that’s adobe with straw) can withstand fire and earthquakes. A cob wall can be up to a yard thick — makes hanging pictures easy!
10. The Rammed Earth House by David Easton

The Rammed Earth House by David EastonSand, gravel and clay is compressed and then dried to make a material that’s basically solid rock — probably been used for thousands of years.