Welcome to the Shelter Blog

How does this differ from other blogs and websites on the subject of homes and shelter? It’s not all recycled web content. Much of what appears below is original material — feedback from people who have been inspired to build homes from our books over the past 40 years. You’ll see it first here.

Big Power in a Small Package


The Boxer 320 compact utility loader is an innovative machine that reduces the costs of performing key tasks and the process of improving the environments in which people live and work. By replacing hand labor as well as larger more expensive machines, the Boxer provides a cost-effective, terrain-friendly solution for landscapers, irrigation contractors, plumbers, electricians, and property owners as they dig, trench, till, auger, demo, place materials, and perform dozens of other tasks. Read More …

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Curved Roof Barn in Oregon


During my bookstore tour in Oregon in June, I took a few days off to drive around in the Willamette Valley (south of Portland) to hunt for barns. It’s a beautiful area, kind of like a mini-Sacramento Valley — flat, rich farmland, abundant water, with steep mountain ranges on 3 sides. I spotted this barn with it’s gracefully curved roof and did my usual trespassing to shoot the exterior.

There was a cabinet maker’s shop next to it. I stopped in and met Mackenzie Strawn, and he said I could go inside the barn. Ooh-hoo! It was one of those barn moments. Everything was working here. Proportion, scale, carpentry, efficiency — plus color and light.



The rafters were framed with what looked like rough 1×10′s laminated together (with old-school nails). I believe the carpenter laminated them, then cut a curve along the top of the laminated “beam.”

Mackenzie measured it for me: it was 24′ wide, 32′ long, 26′ height to the ridge. There are a number of curved-roof barns in the vicinity.



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The Tiniest of Tiny Houses Is Built on a Tricycle

Unicycle House

“By combining transportation, storage, and lodging into a single pedal-powered unit, a Dutch designer’s Housetrike may be a possible solution for the homeless, the nomadic, or maybe even the touring cyclist. The prototype of the Woonfiets (living bike, or Housetrike) was designed and built by Bas Sprakel, a way of solving some of the pressing problems for people living on the streets, by providing a secure place to store their belongings, while also expanding to become a safe shelter at night…”

Check out the article at www.treehugger.com.

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Tree Houses in Columbia River Gorge

Screen shot 2014-09-09 at 7.13.03 AMFoster Huntington’s 6-speed 6 cylinder Toyota 4×4 pickup truck camper is featured in Tiny Homes on the Move (pp. 22-23). He stopped by our studio on his way north from Baja last year and we shot photos for the book. It’s an beautiful rig, the best I’ve ever seen for off-road/surfing travel. He was heading up the coast, looking for new adventures.

Well, he sure found some; yesterday he emailed us:

Hey Lloyd,

Hope things are going well in for you. I’ve been working on a project building tree houses and a skatebowl on in the Columbia River Gorge. Check it out here: www.thecindercone.com


tumblr_napswx44nf1ts8049o1_1280Check out Foster and friends building, skating, jumping into waterfalls, hot-tubbing. Are these guys having fun? I wanna be there! (and 40 years younger).

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Box O' Quackers

Ducks bus

Photo by Steve Walser

1951 GMC bus that pulls a 1956 Airstream Trailer, used as a tailgate party bus for Oregon Ducks fans.

The bus originally hauled Idaho schoolkids, then Oregon Boy Scouts, then was used on a strawberry farm. Now a tailgating venue, the bus’s history stays alive, filled as it is with tailgaters who not only are students of the game and loyal to their team, but enjoy nothing better than the sweet smell of victory. Read More …

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Eagle Point Cabin

Eagle Point Cabin

Photos © Geoff Prentiss

“A meandering path leads to Eagle Point Cabin where it sits nestled between a rock outcrop and a thicket on the windswept west coast of Washington’s San Juan Island. The semi-sheltered building location was chosen to provide some protection from the winter winds and to block out views of the neighboring houses. Read More …

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Tiny Home at a Tiny Price


Hi guys,

Love the blog. Here is a short article on a shelter from my home town of Christchurch, New Zealand. Christchurch was torn apart by a series of earthquakes in 2010/2011 and subsequently the housing and rental markets have gone wild with hyper-inflated prices. Add to that high demand for builders and an overly bureaucratic city council who stand in the way of housing consents. There are a number of cool projects popping up across the city; this is one of many.



***Note I do not know this person and this is not my article.

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Bug's New Book

Bug's New Book

Bug Deakin, the highly personable chief of Heritage Salvage (lumber, doors, tons of building materials) in Petaluma, Calif., is hosting, along with publishers Cameron Books, a book signing next week. Note: among the musicians playing is Nick Gravenites, who played with Janis Joplin, Paul Butterfield and Mike Bloomfield back in the day, and founded The Electric Flag.

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