Small Homes: The Right Size (Shelter Library of Building Books) (Paperback)

Small Homes: The Right Size (Shelter Library of Building Books) By Lloyd Kahn Cover Image

Small Homes: The Right Size (Shelter Library of Building Books) (Paperback)

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Find inspiration from DIY owner-builders who constructed their own small homes in this coffee-table book filled with photography.


Are tiny homes too little for you? Well, small is bigger than tiny The average American home is 2,500 square feet--that's too big. The tiny home averages 200-300 square feet--that's too little. The small homes featured here are 400-1,200 square feet--just right American homes are getting bigger and bigger, but small homes are less expensive, use fewer resources, are more efficient to heat and cool, and are less costly to maintain and repair. They are desirable for those who want to avoid a bank mortgage or high rents yet need more room than a tiny house can offer.


Lloyd Kahn has been a leader in the green-building movement for over 40 years. In Small Homes, he presents 120 small homes via more than 1,000 full-color photographs. The homes vary from unique and artistic to simple and low-cost. Some are ordinary buildings that provide shelter at a reasonable cost, and some are inspiring examples of design, carpentry, craftsmanship, imagination, creativity, and homemaking. Some are built with natural materials, such as cob or straw, and some with recycled wood or lumber milled on-site. Some are old homes that have been remodeled, while many were designed and built from scratch. Many are in the country, some in small towns, and some in large cities. Dozens of builders share their knowledge of building and design, with artistic, practical, and/or economical homes in the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, France, Germany, Spain, New Zealand, and Lithuania.


Inside you'll find


  • 120 homes in the range of 400-1,200 square feet
  • Owner-builder techniques
  • Variety of construction methods
  • Inspiration from owner-builders
  • Small homes in both rural and urban areas


The underlying theme with Shelter's books, which span more than 40 years, is that you can create your own home with your own hands, using mostly natural materials. A computer can't build your home for you. You still need a hammer (or nail gun), a saw--and human hands.

Lloyd Kahn started building more than 50 years ago and has lived in a self-built home ever since. If he'd been able to buy a wonderful, old, good-feeling house, he might have never started building. But it was always cheaper to build than to buy, and by building himself, he could design what he wanted and use materials that he wanted to live with.Lloyd set off to learn the art of building in 1960. He liked the whole process immensely. Ideally he'd have worked with a master carpenter long enough to learn the basics, but there was never time. He learned from friends and books and by blundering his way into a process that required a certain amount of competence. His perspective was that of a novice, a homeowner, rather than a pro. As he learned, he felt that he could tell others how to build--or at least get them started on the path to creating their own homes.Through the years, he's personally gone from post and beam to geodesic domes to stud-frame construction. It's been a constant learning process, and this has led him into investigating many methods of construction. For five years in the late '60s to early '70s, he built geodesic domes. He got into book publishing by producing Domebook One in 1970 and Domebook 2 in 1971.He gave up on domes (as homes) and published his company's namesake Shelter in 1973. Since then, Shelter Publications has produced books on a variety of subjects and returned to its roots with Home Work in 2004, The Barefoot Architect and Builders of the Pacific Coast in 2008, Tiny Homes in 2012, and more.Building is Lloyd's favorite subject. Even in this day and age, building a house with one's own hands can save a ton of money and--if you follow it through--you can get what you want in a home.
Product Details ISBN: 9780936070681
ISBN-10: 0936070684
Publisher: Shelter Publications
Publication Date: April 14th, 2017
Pages: 232
Language: English
Series: Shelter Library of Building Books