RIP Lloyd House

Photo of Lloyd’s “Leaf House” on Hornby Island by Jan Janzen. The roof shape was due to the curve of a piece of driftwood that Lloyd used for the ridge beam.

When I met the builder of my dreams 17 years ago, his name was Lloyd — House!

We became great friends and he was the main inspiration for my favorite of all our building books: Builders of the Pacific Coast.

Lloyd passed away about two weeks ago on Hornby Island, BC, Canada.

Michael McNamara (who first introduced me to Lloyd) sent this, which is posted at the Hornby Island Co-op. (A few of the phrases are borrowed from the Robert Louis Stevenson poem, “Requiem.”)

There’s a very complete list of his buildings, along with photos and interviews with him in the book:

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

16 Responses to RIP Lloyd House

  1. Sad to hear but all things come to pass. His genius is well documented in your books and I, for one, have taken great inspiration from both him and you. Sorry for the loss of a good friend.

  2. Hello
    I would like to send you a picture of Lloyd’s House, but your email addresses come back to me as undelivered, from France, strange?
    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi, Roland,

      It turned out that email from was being blacklisted on the mail server. I’ve fixed that, and whitelisted your address.

      Please try sending them again, and reply to this comment if you are still having a problem.

      Rick Gordon, Shelter Publications, Inc.

  3. His work and spirit came through like a overdue train in your book Builders of the Pacific Coast. So much love in those buildings.

  4. How sad to discover this almost a year later. Lloyd was my uncle on my mother’s side He left me a message on my telephone probably just before his death… He was my funky uncle… I was lucky, not everyone can be part of someone like him.

  5. He was my funky uncle,,, just loved him all my life, we were often thought to be brother and sister because of the family resemblence.

  6. Hi, I was checking LLoyd House as I was wondering how old he was ,, when I saw the notice of his death. Lloyd was my uncle , on my mother’s side, and earlier in 2022 he had left me a message saying he was “alright”. As Lloyd was not one to appreciate being crowded by his relatives I had not visited with him for some time, none the less he was always in my heart and often on my mind. Lucky me, he was in and out of my life for the past 70 years, we were often thought to be brother and sister as he was 20 years younger than my mother … and I was more than happy to accept the thoughts.
    What a wonderful mentor for us all, a truth speaker , and as one person said quite intolerant of nonsense…

  7. Hi Pauline
    Ziff House here , Freds son, I’ve been wondering if he was still alive for some time. So 90 it was ,, not bad, wish it could have been longer . He lived his life as he chose with no masters . The House family was never close. But i visited him twice by kayak once on Hornby once at Tofino. He was so like my father , genes run strong.

  8. Thanks for sharing…. Lloyd was my favorite person in the world,(uncle) someone who was not afraid to be authentic.

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