Low-Maintenance Living: Intro

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Low-Maintenance Living

A house with most of the housework and chores designed, built, and decorated out? Is there … could there … be such a thing?


There should have been one a long time ago.

Why hasn’t a maintenance-free house appeared before now? Ask any homemaker.

The answer is simple. MEN build houses, but men, for the most part, don’t do housework (cleaning, cooking, laundry, child care). So they don’t think much about the time and labor it takes to keep a house up. Only a minute percentage of the homemaker’s work-saving ideas ever get implemented in structure or furnishings. Yet most cleaning and maintenance chores can be minimized if not eliminated entirely from your house.

This guide is intended to show and share with you all the possibilities for cutting the maintenance problems out of your house and your life.

All you need is some ingenuity, a little effort, and a modest amount of money...and you can do most of your housework with a hammer. It’s been your idea all along. Here is how we got involved—began to pick up on your ideas and launch our study of maintenance-free design and construction.

Do Your Housework With a Hammer

Your home takes a good slice of your life, and it does give you some comfort, shelter, and dignity in return ...but you really pay for this.

• It costs you to buy it (seems like forever!)

• It costs you to insure it (forever!)

• You have to pay taxes and utilities ...(forever!)

• It costs you to repair and re place everything that wears out (forever!)

• It costs you care and cleaning (forever)

By designing, decorating, and building your home and its furnishings to be low-maintenance, you can do your housework with a hammer.

We know you can get more for your money. You can get your house to earn some of its way in life. We’re going to show you how you can get your house to do lots of the cleaning and maintenance all by itself.

Time is the most valuable commodity we have. We don’t want to use it all up cleaning, caring for, or earning a way to pay for a dwelling. So we need to make our homes as maintenance-free, as expense-free, and as mind-freeing as possible. Fast, easy, orderly, and less daily upkeep for the entire house, inside and out, will take pressure off the entire family and give you time to enjoy life again!

We’ve concentrated here on exactly how you can alter your dwelling to cut your maintenance time. The material in this guide is something you can actually use, and we hope you’ll be motivated to put it into practice. But no, this guide doesn’t give you complete plans for a trash chute or blue prints for how to put a floor grate in to put an end to sweeping for ever. Some things—however badly needed and wanted—aren’t practical yet, and we couldn’t tell you in a guide this size how to perform every step of every project. There are already many books and websites that will tell you how to do every kind of construction and installation, and if we tried to do it here, we’d end up with a very long and tedious web site.

Although we couldn’t put complete instructions for every idea in these pages, we’ve tried to give enough guidance so that any one with a desire for household freedom can proceed from here to get the rest of the materials and advice they need to make their house do the housework. The Source List (in another section of this guide) provides specific references for anything that’s not readily available at hard ware or building supply centers.

There are thousands of new ideas published every month in web sites, books, magazines, and pamphlets, plus manufacturers come out al most weekly with something new. Keep your eyes open—much of it's being geared to cut maintenance time in your house. If it works and will cut your time—grab it— your time is worth it! We have faith that if you see and like an idea, it will spark your own ingenuity and ambition to seek out and find a way to get it done exactly the way YOU like it.

You’ll notice that this guide is opinionated—sometimes very much so. That’s because working firsthand with the problems and materials discussed in these pages for a combined total of forty-five years now, we do have some strong opinions about what things are best or how they should be done. We’d like you to consider some of the ways we, and others, have relieved ourselves of maintenance burdens. but in the end, you should have it your way.

Your house exists for you and should be tailored to the enjoyment of your family and friends. We realize that you may want to adapt some of the ideas in this guide to suit your taste, and that pleases us, too, because your house designed to clean itself should be what you feel comfort able with—not us. We only want to help you eliminate all the chore work that keeps you living for a house instead of in it.

If we give you even one great time reducing principle in this guide, or trigger just one of your own ideas and motivate you to pull it off—then we’ve succeeded. We hope we give you at least one million-dollar idea for your time invested in reading thru the advice in this guide.

We don’t claim to have all the answers; we realize these are only a fraction of what is out there. The idea is to get you into the mode of what we call low-maintenance thinking (some call it thinking outside the box.) If you have something more or better, please share it with us. Anything that can cut the financial and emotional burden of housekeeping is worth the effort—let’s spread the word, the gospel of easier, better living. Let’s all get together to reduce the time and agony of cleaning chores, so we’ll have the freedom in our lives to enjoy some “Life After Housework”!

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