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.

Are Tiny Houses a Viable Affordable Housing Solution?

billmoyers.com:2014:10:06:are-tiny-houses-one-solution-to-homelessness:…The [tiny house] movement began as an effort by a small group of individuals to shrink their carbon footprint. “The size of your house probably has more to do with how eco-friendly the house is than anything, because you have to heat and cool that space and heating and cooling is what uses most of the energy. So having a small space automatically makes you more eco-friendly,” says Brian Levy, an expert in implementing sustainable energy who has worked with the Department of Energy and has built a model tiny home, called Minim House…

Cruise on over to www.billmoyers.com and check out the article.

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Wooden Teardrop Trailers and Surfboards Built in France


“Born in the heart of the Basque country, UhainaPo is to Classic Surfboard Spirit what a Stradivarius is in the world of violin. Surfboards, paddles, longboard, bodyboard, Hawaiian canoes UhainaPo offers the intact pleasure of a real authentic surf.

Manufactured with the same requirements as UhainaPo products, TearDrops Uhainapo Travel will allow you to travel in comfort and respect for nature.”


www.uhainapo.com3 www.uhainapo.com1 www.uhainapo.com

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Family of Four in 540 sq. ft. Small Home

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Interior designer Jessica Helgerson and her family had every intention of spending only a few nights in their new summer home. But the weekend turned into a few weeks, and up until this day, the Helgersons can’t bring themselves to leave. “We came over on the weekend of my birthday and never left,” says Helgerson…”

Check out the article at www.houzz.com/….

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Oregon Timber Frame Barn 2014

The owners of this magnificent new barn still under construction wish to remain anonymous, so I won’t be specific about location.

timber frame barn in oregon under construction

interior of timber frame barn in oregon under constructionpost detail of timber frame barn in oregon under constructionIt was one of those serendipitous finds: I ran into a cabinet maker while out photographing barns and he asked if I’d like to see a large timber frame barn. Did I! I followed him for about 20 miles into the hills until we arrived at the barn.

It was starting to get dark when I was there, so I had about 20 minutes to shoot these photos.

It is 70′ by 100′.

The timbers were cut by Collin Beggs Timber Framing in Northern Idaho. The posts and beams were salvaged from Douglas Fir trees that had been killed by timber beetles in Idaho and Montana. The curved wind braces were not cut out of dimensional lumber, but follow the natural curves of timber (from a certified forest) not suitable for milling.

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Curved Roof Barns


Hi Lloyd,

Complete BuildingWhen I read about your interest in curve roofed barns, I thought of the barn Ryan Lee designed this year. I wrote to Ryan for permission to share these with you and he is happy to do so. The barn has not been cut or built yet, but should be done in the spring of 2015. The design was created using Dietrich’s software.

Chris Dancey
Manager of Communication
Dietrich’s North America

Ryan Lee: www.midwesttimberframes.com

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Trolley Car Is Living Room in Sierra Mountain Home Compound


Peter and Donna Thomas have a gypsy wagon that was featured in Tiny Homes on the Move. (They brought it down to Santa Cruz and parked it outside Bookshop Santa Cruz when I did a book presentation there last month.) Here is the story of another of their projects, a building complex in the Sierra Nevada mountains, with a 1926 Melbourne W-2 streetcar as the living room with an outdoor kitchen and two gypsy wagons as bedrooms:

After traveling 40,000 miles in our gypsy wagon, we returned back to work in our white-walled studio, in a conventional stick-built home in Santa Cruz, California. It’s not a bad place, but we started to long for the simplicity and pleasure of living in the wagon, and we had to stay home. We began imagine having an indoor-outdoor sort of home, composed of several gypsy wagons, covered by one big roof.

That dream turned into reality in California’s southern Sierra foothills, where weather is too hot and cold and land is cheaper. We found an old gold mine with a big barn structure that had no sides, and started changing what we had imagined to reality.

The first addition was one half of a 1926 Melbourne W-2 streetcar that we had found in 2006 when Donna and I were walking from San Francisco to Yosemite. Our “Muir Ramble Route” took us through Kelly Park in San Jose. Outside their California Trolley and Railroad Corporation Trolley Barn volunteers were cutting up an old metal trolley for scrap. Read More …

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