Posts by Lloyd Kahn (239)

Falling in Love with an Airstream Trailer

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I fall in love with buildings from time to time. It happened again last week when I spotted this little Airstream. Everything looked right. Bambis are single-axle, lightweight (3,000 lbs.), superbly designed tiny homes. New ones start at $44,000. (Ouch, yes, but how much do homes cost these days?)

It’s brilliant inside. There’s kitchen, bath, 2 beds, table with benches. Spacious-feeling even though it’s less than 8′ wide, around 110 sq. ft. interior space. The interior of this one was designed by architect Christopher Deam in conjunction with Airstream. (There are wonderful architects in this world.)
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Sneak Preview #1 from our next book, Small Homes: Aunt Lillie's House – Old Farmhouse in Georgia

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We are in production of our next book, Small Homes, and we will be posting sneak previews as we continue doing layout — over the next several months.

My name is Suzy, and I’d like to tell you about my small house. It’s a little 1943 ranch-style farmhouse, 1082 sq. ft., and sits on 10 lovely acres just outside historic Madison, GA.

When we began to search for our first home, we considered lots of options. We had to choose between either a “desirable” neighborhood, or acreage in a more rural setting.

We’d been in Atlanta for a year and it was way too busy for us, so we began looking around outside the city. All the houses we looked at just didn’t work for us. Either they were small lots with large odd-shaped homes (’80s weirdness), or trailers on large plots of land.
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Fort Ross, Recreated Russian Fort on NorCal Coast

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Last week Yogan and I spent an hour exploring the Fort Ross State Historic Park, a masterful re-creation of the Russian fort built on the Northern California coast in 1812. The Russians brought down Native Alaskan hunters who speared sea otters from seal skin kayaks. Most of the hunters came from the Kodiak Islands and their kayaks, spears, and hunting techniques were extraordinary (more on this later).

If you are ever driving up the Northern California coast, I highly recommend going to this site.

Here is the chapel (star of the show), metal shop, and wood shop. Roofing on these buildings consisted of 2 layers of long planks, laid with the cracks in the top layer over the centers of the under layer.

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Small Homes Book Sneak Preview #2 — Homesteading in Montana

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Just came in for our new book Small Homes:

Hey Lloyd,

Like many others, your books inspired us to build our own home. Four years ago I left a career as a helicopter pilot in the Army with my wife and two kids and moved to the Mission Valley of Montana (north of Missoula). We bought 40 acres of bare hay fields and built an 800 sq. ft. house. It was quite an experience since neither one of us had experience with construction. We broke ground in late September, and six weeks later I remember the first snow of the season blasting me in the face as I dried in the last wall. We finished it more or less over the winter, then went on to build a barn a few years later … still working on that one!

We grow organic produce and pastured hogs and like to farm as much as possible with our draft horses. I’d like to say 800 sq. ft. is working for us, but after four years, we currently are in the midst of adding on, increasing our square footage to about 1800*. With our remodel, we are trying to replicate the classic American Foursquare style of architecture that is widely seen across the country with a few timber-framed details here and there. I think we could have lasted longer with a house sized somewhere in between, but this was initially going to be just a small cottage for family to stay in and down the road we would build another house, therefore we built it without storage in mind. Well, we ran out of money and didn’t see the need to do that, so here we are! Nevertheless, its been a wild ride!

Thanks for the inspiration!
–Micah & Katie Helser

Yes, it’ll exceed our size limit of 1200 sq. ft., but it was smaller to start, so it’s going in the book. (We have been known to stretch parameters.)

From: www.lloydkahn.com/…

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Mark & Meg's Half-Acre California Coastal Farm

On which they grow 60-70% of all their own food.

I’m going to post sneak previews of our next book, Small Homes, once in a while, as I proceed with layout. There will be 6 pages with photos of Mark and Meg’s home, built out of recycled wood, and garden.

I’m experimenting with Twitter to post references to other websites; it’s quicker than blogging. www.twitter.com/lloydkahn

Post from: www.lloydkahn.com/…

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Jay Nelson's Suzuki Camper Built for Foster Huntington

Jay Nelson’s work has been featured in Tiny Homes and Tiny Homes on the Move. Foster Huntington’s Toyota Tacoma camper was featured in Tiny Homes on the Move.

Camper completed

From Foster:

The car is a Suzuki SJ410. It’s the predecessor to the Samurai and has a 1-liter 4-cylinder enqgine.

The camper is made out of marine plywood and thin copper sheeting. The camper has a sleeping space that’s just over 6 feet long over the cab.

Jay Nelson designed and built the camper in two weeks with some help from some friends.

From www.lloydkahn.com/…

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Small Homes Book Under Production

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I’m rolling with layout of Small Homes. It’s like magic: I start with a bunch of photos and columns of text and start assembling. I’ll pick a lead photo and blow it up on my little (inexpensive) 6-year-old Brother DCP-9040CN color printer/copier and start laying things down, getting pics to size on the copy machine, shifting stuff around, adding text, taping it down with Scotch removable tape and voila, it’s lookin pretty good.

Note: We want to hear what people are doing about shelter in cities (other than paying $3500/month for a studio apartment in San Francisco). Email us at smallhomes@shelterpub.com.
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Our Next Book — Small Homes — Now in Production

I started 3 days ago. My M.O. is to open the file drawer and start picking out folders (there are 50–60 now) to work on.

I pick them out randomly and start doing layout — with scissors and removable scotch tape. No stinkin’ computers at this stage.

I print out the text in 3 and 4 columns, adjust photos to desired size on copy machine, and do rough layouts.

This is turning out to be really fun. We’ve accumulated material for maybe a year and now, the book is starting to assemble itself, in random manner. Organizing will come later.

Note: Contact us if you know of small homes (400–1200 sq. ft.) that would work in this book: smallhomes@shelterpub.com

We are especially interested in any kind of homes in cities and towns.

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Seeking Builders of Tiny Homes on the Move

We’ve been approached by a film maker who is interested in telling the stories of people/a person who specializes in converting vehicles into tiny homes that move. Ideally, we’d like to find someone who does this for other people and makes a living/makes a business of it.

Vans, house buses, house trucks, trailers, or sailboats or houseboats. Please contact me if you know of anyone in this category: lloyd@shelterpub.com

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Most Useful Tools for a Half-Acre Homestead

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Summon the word “homestead” and you likely think of hardy farmers with 10 or more acres on which they keep livestock, grow and preserve a great deal of their own food, and fell trees to build their homes. But more modest-sized homesteads are more attainable for most people, and these smaller-scale acreages can embody old-school homesteading in principle, if not in scope. Our half-acre homestead is one of those. Following are some of the most useful tools and techniques that have made Lesley’s and my 40-year journey toward greater self-sufficiency possible.

www.motherearthnews.com/…

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New Video of Lloyd Kahn's Homestead by Kirsten Dirksen, Fair Companies

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Photo by Nicolás Boullosa

Kirsten Dirksen is a filmmaker with Fair Companies, a bilingual media operation that she and her husband Nicolás Boullosa run out of Barcelona. Kirsten is a former TV producer for MTV and the Travel Channel who now focuses on “…community and access to tools on sustainable culture.” She has produced almost 600 videos, an amazing body of work when you consider that it’s the editing, not the shooting, that is so time-consuming. I don’t know how she does it.

We’ve had a bunch of people shoot film (OK, OK, video) around here and they generally take a long time to get set up, then follow a preconceived series of shots and questions.

Kirsten walked in the first time and within 5 minutes, was shooting. We were comfortable with her. She winged it, seeing what we were doing, following us around. On one of her visits, her two little long-haired girls explored the garden and chickens and Nicolás shot photos.

…[more on full post page]…

One thing I love about this video is that she recognized what Lesley is doing in her life and with her garden, her art, and her attitude towards a home. Often that gets missed in people coming here to see me.
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