‍‍‍‍Small Homes (213)

Island Soul

I don’t see any boards, but these guys gotta be surfers. Somewhere in Kapa‘a, Kauai. Authentic, yeah?

What I like here (aside from the soulfulness):

  • Hip roof, corrugated steel sheets
  • Porch area by subtraction. Think of it as the overall simple roof shape; then by moving walls inside, you get porch.
  • Up off ground on simplest of foundations.
  • Colors: red/green. I love the brick red color, especially window trim on Pacific west coast.

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California Today: A Housing Fix That’s Close to Home

264-square-foot accessory dwelling unit in Livermore that was designed by Avava Systems, a Bay Area startup. Sasha Moravec

In The New York Times,
article by Mike McPhaite

In case you can’t access the entire article, here it is. This is important! Can it be that officials are doing something relevant for affordable housing? Small Homes!

One fix to California’s housing crisis could be in our own backyards.

A growing movement of urban planners is pushing policies that would spur homeowners in hot housing markets like San Francisco and Los Angeles to create “granny flats” on their properties.

Known officially as accessory dwelling units, they typically take the form of garage studios or backyard cottages that can be used by an elderly relative or a college-age renter.

Until now, California cities have not taken to the units with the same gusto as other places on the West Coast such as Portland and Seattle. That’s in large part because the cost and red tape involved in building them has been prohibitive for many homeowners.

But in January, legislation went into effect that was intended to change that, by eliminating certain utility connection fees and removing a requirement to add off-street parking for each new unit.

The idea was simple: Make it easier to build the units, then watch the housing stock soar and the rents fall.
Read More …

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Timber Home on Canada's Sunshine Coast

Around eight years ago my brother and I bought some land on the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia. He planned on building a large shop and I planned on building a small house, at the same time there was some logging going on behind the place, so we bought some logs —
mostly second-growth Douglas fir…

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5 Questions with Lloyd Kahn

City Lights Bookstore welcomes Lloyd Kahn on Tuesday, April 11th. He’ll be discussing his new book, Small Homes: The Right Size, from Shelter Publications. Lloyd answered our 5 questions. More about him, and his answers, below.


The Event: Tuesday, April 11th at 7:00PM. 261 Columbus Ave., San Francisco, CA 94133.

About Small Homes: Are tiny homes too small for you? Do you want living space larger than 200–300 sq. ft. of floor area? Hot on the heels of his popular Tiny Home series of books, Lloyd Kahn revisits smallish structures and explores the possibilities of working within limited physical spaces and maximizing creativity in relation to one’s needs. His new book is profusely illustrated and he will be presenting a visual presentation that will include many images that never made it into the book.

Featuring: 120 homes in the 400–1200 sq. ft. range, owner-builder techniques, natural materials, a variety of construction methods, inspiration from owner-builders, a cornucopia of ideas, small homes in the country, towns, and cities, and over 1,000 photographs. Use your own hands to build your own home.

About Lloyd Kahn: Lloyd Kahn is the editor-in-chief of Shelter Publications, an independent California publisher. Shelter Publications specializes in books on building and architecture, as well as health and fitness.


City Lights: If you’ve been to City Lights before, what’s your memory of the visit? If you haven’t been here before, what are you expecting?

Lloyd Kahn: First time maybe 1962, I was an insurance broker and started to wander in North Beach during my lunch hour. Memory of wonderful place. I bought Howl.


CL: What’s the first book you read & what are you reading right now?

LK: I started out reading books on the sea by Howard Pease at 12 years of age or so. Right now reading A Man Called Ove by Frederik Bachman.


CL: Which 3 books would you never part with?

LK: Barns of the Abbey of Beaulieu at Its Granges of Great Coxwell and Beaulieu-St. Leonards by Water Horn and Earnest Born, Das Skizzenbuch des Francesco di Giorgio Martini, and Richard Halliburton’s Complete Book of Marvels


CL: If your book had a soundtrack, what would it be?

LK: The album “Let It Bleed” by the Rolling Stones (which includes “Gimme Shelter”).


CL: If you opened a bookstore tomorrow, where would it be located, what would it be called, and what would your bestseller be?

LK: Maybe some day I’ll open a bookstore and sell off the some 600 books I have on building and architecture. I could call it Learning to Build.


Join Lloyd and City Lights on Tuesday, April 11th at 7PM as we celebrate the release of his new book, Small Homes. Get the book direct from Lloyd’s Shelter Publications, at City Lights, or ask for it at your local independent bookseller.

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Jeffrey's Straw Bale House

Hey there!

Well, it’s happened twice now. Just as you publish a book on a subject, I finish a project that might have sat nicely in your book!

First one was my tiny home dome, released just after your book Tiny Homes

Then coincidently I purchased and moved onto my 38 ft. narrowboat just as you released Tiny Homes on the Move

Now. I have just finished creating this 40m2 / 430 sq. ft. straw bale house with my new company, Hartwyn. The building is named Ty Twt — Welsh for “small home.”

It was an interesting project, where we offered the entire build as a training program. We took a group of mixed-skill interns through the entire building process in 12 weeks.

We used local straw, dug our site clay for plasters, and the timber was (mostly) all milled locally. It boasts a green roof, composting toilet, tadelakt shower (Moroccan lime plaster), and greywater system.

I have attached some pictures, and have high-res ones if you would like. But all of the information is on our site with a nifty little time-lapse of the whole process!

Hope this is of some interest!

–Jeffrey


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