Home Work Book (24)

The Homes Kate Dodd Built

Kate Dodd built two off-the-grid houses in the Northern California woods in the early ’70s. She and her partner started the house in spring of 1972 and moved in that winter (with one wall covered with plastic sheeting).

The foundation was concrete piers. The pole frame was spiked to the piers with a vertical piece of 1″ galvanized pipe. For the attached greenhouse she poured a perimeter foundation…

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Sauna at Louie Frazier's in Mendocino

After losing two saunas to high river water, Louie built this one on a one-ton Toyota truck frame. A pickup plus a few people haul it back from the river in the winter, with Donna steering the front wheels from the inside of the sauna. Woodstove built from 50-gallon drum gets fed from the outside…

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Small Woodland Home in Southwest England

Dear Lloyd,

I became a carpenter and eco builder because of your books. Shelter and HomeWork got me hooked. Builders of the Pacific Coast got me started.

I used to work in an office. Now I build homes (narrowboats, vans, caravans, yurts, cabins) for the customers that want something different but can’t afford hiring “big people.” The poor also have the right to live in a nice home.

I built this 6.5m-diameter, heptagonal, tapered-walled, reciprocal green-roofed yurt, the “reciproyurt,” last year and got more than 70 volunteers involved.

I love working with people without experience. They give any project a freshness that you never get with professionals. They have no real preconceptions — really open-minded. They want to learn but they also teach you so much! They mainly helped with big jobs like raising the frame.

–Jesus Sierra

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Canadian Home in Our Book Inspires Home in Tasmania


My name is Pete Robey and my wife Blythe and I live in Tasmania. The little island attached to the bottom of Australia. Thought I would share with you that our house is the first approved cordwood home in Australia. It is currently featured in Australia’s Owner Builder magazine. You can get a link here at the bottom of the page: www.thehousethatworkedout.com 

I bought your 3 books: Shelter, Builders of the Pacific Coast, and Home Work early on before we had even confirmed style. The Baird House from page 28–31 of Builders of the Pacific Coast just grabbed me. Thanks Mike Baird and to you too Lloyd (House) for this inspiration. We designed our home with the same ideal: every room and every area of the home can pretty much engage with every other area of the home. The village TeePee idea. We have a massive 4 ft. diameter, 2  ft. long tree holding up the earth roof and our 2nd story doesn’t go all the way to the middle so we have plenty of space. We don’t have stairs, preferring to use a gym rope as exercise — see this post from our blog: ‌www.thehousethatworkedout.com/…

Catch you later.

From www.lloydkahn.com/…

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Natural Buildings: Photographs by Catherine Wanek

A natural building


Since discovering straw bale construction in 1992, Catherine Wanek has traveled widely to spread the straw bale gospel, and documenting traditional and modern examples of natural building. She co-edited The Art of Natural Building in 2002, wrote and photographed The New Strawbale Home in 2003, and wrote The Hybrid House in 2010. Her photos are featured in Home Work: Handbuilt Shelter.

Shown above, Thierry Dronet built this fairy-tale hybrid of straw bales and cordwood masonry, topped with a “living roof,” as his workshop and stable for two horses in eastern France. Bale walls act to retain the hillside, with a plastic sheet barrier and a “French drain” to wick away moisture. Time will tell whether this practice is advised.
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