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Gravity-Powered Shingle Shuttle

I’m going to put on a new roof soon, working by myself. Hardest part is getting the shingles up on the roof. I’m building a gable patio roof at the same time so I don’t want to rent a lift several times to load different roof areas as it progresses. While doing a search for info I came across this:

–Lew Lewandowski

A little blurry, but you get the idea. I’ve asked Lew to send us a video of his version.
Bundles of asphalt shingles are heavy!

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California Today: What to Know About California’s New Housing Laws

It’s Monday. Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed two bills aimed at easing the state’s housing crisis. Plus, firefighters are scrambling to protect some of the world’s oldest trees from flames.

No matter where you live, you’re probably familiar with the exorbitant cost of housing in California.

The state’s median home price has crept above $800,000, more than double what it is nationwide. Among the 50 biggest cities in the country, we’re home to the top four most difficult places to afford a mortgage. And half of all Americans experiencing homelessness live in California.

Our housing crisis has a seemingly simple solution, according to the laws of supply and demand: Build more housing.

But for decades, resistance from suburban homeowners has stalled development as the problem has only gotten worse.

On Thursday, the state took a step toward creating higher-density neighborhoods as Gov. Gavin Newsom signed two high-profile housing bills.

Though the bills, Senate Bills 9 and 10, endured intense opposition in recent months, neither is all that revolutionary, said Conor Dougherty, a reporter for The New York Times who writes about economics in California.

But the package of housing reforms passed in California over the past four years, including these two latest measures, “is probably the biggest change in housing in 50 years or more,” Conor told me.
Read More …

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Wynken, Blynken and Nod

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Three side-by-side houses in SFO’s Sunset district last week.

One person commented that he had lived in one of these and that it had a 5′ by 5′ outdoor patio in the center of the house. Come to think if it, I remember such an inner patio in my friend Rod Lundquist’s mother’s house out in the avenues, it was like a light well with windows looking into it on all 4 sides. A pretty nice feature for houses that are built wall-to-wall.

The title popped into my mind and I just looked it up, nothing to do with houses, but a pretty nice opening stanza in this poem by Eugene Field, 1850-1895:

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
    Sailed off in a wooden shoe,
Sailed into a river of crystal light
    Into a sea of dew.

“Where are you going, and what do you wish?”
    The old moon asked the three.
“We have come to fish for the herring fish
    That live in this beautiful sea;
    Nets of silver and gold have we,”
Said Wynken, Blynken, and Nod

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Homesteading in Alaska, 2020–2021

Hi Lloyd and company,

Greatly enjoyed your book, Small Homes: The Right Size. My wife and I live in a small home on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. We bought the land and the original cabin, which, according to the realtor, had no value: “free firewood.” So we of course did like some of the homeowners in your book, and decided to restore the place.

We added a 14×16 foot room and went from 500 sq. feet to now 830. Added a few outbuildings and now have a lovely place to call home on the edge of the wilderness. Moose, bears, lynx and more in the area.

Hope to make a second addition next year if time allows, so we can have a little more room; my wife would love a larger kitchen, and that should be it. I did all the work, with help from one of my sons and some occasional help from other family members.

If you ever are in Alaska, do stop by and visit.

I’ve attached one shot of the place, original log cabin on the right side and the 2019 addition on the left side. I’ve also attached two photos of our garden.

Keep up the good, inspiring work with your books!

–Ed and Theresa Gonzalez
Ninilchik, Alaska

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A Home in Sooke, British Columbia

Shot on a trip in 2017, hanging out with Godfrey Stephens and Bruno Atkey…

I like a lot of things about this design, like the way the shingles flair out over the lower windows.

Too bad more people having homes built don’t just go with the thousands of well-worked-out designs like this, rather than hiring an architect, who will usually be trying to make a “statement.”

There are lots of of home-sweet-homes designs out there, worked out over centuries.

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Louie’s Shop

When I first met Louie, in the mid-1980s, I was stunned by the beauty of this little building, and even more stunned when he told me that his design was based on the painting of a Mandan earth lodge on page 4 of our book Shelter. Moreover, his cabin across the river was based on the drawing of a small Japanese cabin (bottom right, page 21) in Shelter.

At that point, I had published Shelter II in 1978, but hadn’t really planned on any new books on building.

If Shelter had inspired buildings like this, it occurred to me that it was time for a sequel, and therefore I started working on Home Work, featuring Louie’s creations as the first part of the book. It turned out that a lot of buildings had been inspired by Shelter, as you can see if you leaf through Home Work.*

Since then, we’ve become the best of friends, and I visit him whenever I can. I stay in the little circular room (at right in the exterior photo), and it’s always a wonderful experience — looking up at the radial framing of the roof (with a Ford truck wheel at the apex), looking out at the grapevines, enjoying the design and quality of the building.

I always consult him on projects underway, and on this trip I took along the 30 or so pages of rough layout of our next book, Rolling Homes, and got his feedback.

Now that I’ve returned home, I’m back to work on this book, and it looks really exciting — what with the huge interest in nomadic living these days.*

Stay tuned.

P.S.: I highly recommend the film Nomadland; it’s real (a rarity these days).

*Shameless Commerce Department

You can get both Shelter and Home Work on our website with a 30% discount and free shipping — which beats Amazon. There’s a money back guarantee on all of our books.
www.shelterpub.com

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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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