HEY, OLD-HOUSE RENOVATORS from Brooklyn to the Hudson Valley: wouldn’t it be great if there was, like, a school you could go to for anywhere from 2 to 12 days to get some hands-on, experiential learning in building design and construction?
And what if it was located in central Vermont’s Mad River Valley, and wasn’t too expensive, and the food was good?
There is such a place: it’s called Yestermorrow Design/Build School, and since 1980, it’s been offering courses in all aspects of the building arts and trades to students, homeowners, architects, and builders on its 38-acre campus. The instructors are all pros in their fields, and the teacher-to-student ratio is high.
I’m drawn to Carpentry for Women — oh, to know how to hang a door without having to hire someone! — and intrigued by Put the Fab back in Pre-Fab and Ply Like an Eagle, a furniture-making workshop (all 5 days, $750).
There are more than 150 different courses between April and October, from Basic Home Design (12 days, $1,680; 6 days, $900) and Residential Additions & Renovations (2 days, $300) to Plumbing, Electricity and Masonry Demystified. Sustainable-design offerings include Green Roof Design (5 days, $750), and 1-2 day quickies in Solar Design, Wind Power, and Ecological Water Systems.
Then there’s esoterica like Strawbale Construction (who knew?) and Japanese Shoji & Woodworking.
You can stay in a dorm ($30/night), cabin ($15), your own tent ($8), or a B&B in town.
So stop paying through the nose for things you could do yourself and get thee to Yestermorrow’s website, or call 888/496 5541 for more info.
You’ll be raising a barn before you know it.