homes (147)

Manufactured Homes in Petaluma, California

Stephen Marshall has been building small- and medium-sized homes for 50 years now. Here’s a walk-through tour of one:

Sonoma Manufactured Homes – a partner company with Little House on the Trailer – builds Accessory Dwelling Units (aka ADUs, Second Units, Granny Flats, Prefabs) both HUD approved manufactured homes and RVIA certified Recreational Trailers.

Sonoma Manufactured Homes is located in Petaluma, CA and serves the North Bay Area including all of Sonoma County, Napa County, Marin County, and Solano County. Shipment to other areas can be arranged.

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My Home in Big Sur, Built in the ’60s

I built this house in 1967–68 at Burns Creek in Big Sur, California (about two miles north of Esalen). The 14 posts were 12-foot-long 6″ by 12″ double-track railroad ties on 8′ centers. The girders, as well as the rafters were 30-foot-long, 2-by-14’s that had been salvaged by Cleveland Wreckers from an old horse stable in San Francisco. Sheathing was lumber from a farm labor camp I tore down in Salinas, and the shakes were split from deadfall trees I found in Palo Colorado Canyon. I used studs in between the posts. For shear panels (diagonal bracing) on one 8-foot-wide section each of the 4 walls, I used ⅝″ plywood nailed 2″ on centers around the edges and 6″ o.c. on the interior studs. I used annular grooved nails, which are way stronger than smooth nails.

Foundation was a grade beam with concrete delivered (40 miles down the coast) from Pacific Grove, on top of which I mixed and poured 14 round piers shaped by cardboard Sonotubes. Steel brackets embedded in the piers held the posts.

It took me about a year. I did all the carpentry, plumbing, and wiring. It’s a very simple house, a big shed really, and the carpentry is less than exquisite, but it got a roof over our heads. Oh yes, total materials costs were $8,000.

I developed a water supply by building a little dam in a spring 600′ above the house, and running plastic pipe down the hillside. I started some small-scale farming and we had a big garden and I would pick up fish guts in a 50-gallon drum on the Monterey wharf (in our 1960 VW van) on our weekly shopping trips into town.

There were a few things about it that didn’t exactly fit the building codes, so once when the building inspector came, I put on a Jimi Hendrix record loud when I saw him pull up, and he was so rattled that he didn’t notice the non-compliances.

The owners love the house, and I visit once in a while, and camp out next to a studio above the house.

When I decided to leave Big Sur (and embarked on a 5-year period of building geodesic domes), I sold the house to the owners of the land for $11,000.

Item of interest: Barbara Spring, an artist who bought the house from the land owners in the early ’70s, was a friend of the architect Phillip Johnson (post-modern architect known for his Glass House, co-designer (with Mies van der Rohe) of the Seagram Building in NYC, etc.). Johnson was looking for a house to buy in Big Sur and when he came to visit Barbara on a rainy day (with the Ashley Automatic wood stove warming the house), he told her this was the kind of place he would love to find.

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Steel-Framed House on British Columbia Island by Builder Dean Ellis

From Builders of the Pacific Coast, pages 154 to 155.

As I go through the 1000 or so photos in this book, there are more than 100 like this that deserve large-formatted viewing. It strikes me that we could do an exhibit of selected photos from this book.

Note: We have an unconditional guarantee on all of our books. If you are not completely satisfied, for any reason, at any time, call us up and we will send you a refund. No need to return books. Also, we have a 30% discount on two or more books, with free shipping — which is usually a lower price than Amazon.

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The Sculptured House

Hi Lloyd,

We like to inform you about a documentary from Sweden that follows the construction of our little natural house. We decided to put it for free on YouTube for everyone to share, in the hope it will inspire people to build their own natural house. Your books have always been a great inspiration and we often leave them lying around when we have guests to see who gets it 🙂 Thank you for sharing your work and vision.

Regards,
Dennis Rodie & Ayet Alers

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1860s Farmhouse on 12½ Acres in Maine, $325,000

We are a carpenter/gardener couple who have been restoring our 1860s Greek Revival farmhouse for the last 30+ years. One of our goals has been to live self-sufficiently and conscientiously, and we believe our home and gardens uniquely reflect this.

The house includes three bedrooms, a large beautiful kitchen, dining room, living room, library/office, studio, pantry, mudroom, two full bathrooms, and an airy, screened and glassed-in sunporch. Connected to the house by a long porch, is a 25′×36′ two-story shop/studio, and a woodshed and storage area.

Behind the house are established organic vegetable, and perennial flower gardens, fruit trees, and blueberry and raspberry bushes. A Nearing style 10′×20′ stone, glass and wood greenhouse extends the gardening season at both ends, and provides a lovely refuge on sunny, cold winter days.

Hard as it is for us to leave this, our children are grown and we no longer need this much space and the large gardens. We hope a younger family looking for a similar lifestyle will get as much joy from it as we have.

–Joe Stanley

House and 12.5 acres – $325,000: richmondmainefarmhouse.com/house | woodtools@yahoo.com

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