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There ARE a Few Good Architects in the USA: Lake/Flato Architects in Texas

“HACIENDA JA JA

Alamo Heights, TX

Nestled beneath the canopy of the live oaks, the home is a natural partner with its neighbors in scale, with porches allowing its residents to easily engage with activity on the street.

Carefully sited to preserve and to protect the live oaks, to promote cross-ventilation and to maximize natural daylighting, the home is also designed to avoid solar thermal gain during the summer and capture passive solar heating during the winter. Rainwater is collected from the roofs and stored in a below-ground tank; during most of the year, captured rain water will supplant domestic water for all landscape irrigation needs.”

https://www.lakeflato.com/projects/homes.asp

Suggested by Michael Gaspers

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A Building Permit in Northern New York State for $32

I think this is a good enough comment to bring front and center:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post https://lloyds-blog.theshelterblog.com/the-near-impossibility-of-building-your/

“There are still places where community is good and bureaucracy is limited. In northern New York, we have a small cabin, 14X28, on 44 acres. We bought it as a prefabbed shell, and are finishing it inside as we can. The building permit to set it on a gravel pad was 32 bucks. No problems with a composting toilet, and the inspection to hook up the power, after I did the wiring and ran underground cable up to the road, was 50 bucks. Installing fiber-optic internet was free.

9 miles away is Potsdam, with two universities, and 10 miles further away is Canton, with two more universities. St. Lawrence County was a favorite destination during the back to the land movement of the 70s, and a lot of countercultural folks are still there, still trying to live well and lightly on the land.

It’s beautiful there (part of the county is in the Adirondack State Park, and the county is bordered to the north by the St. Lawrence River. Montreal is a couple hours away, and you can make a day trip out of going to NYC, if you don’t mind getting home late.

The land is still remarkably cheap, though not as cheap as it was 20-30 years ago. Taxes are high, but in unincorporated areas, with a modest home, they aren’t terrible. And what’s more, those high taxes pay for a lot of good stuff you don’t get in low tax states.

The climate is harsh, of course, but that’s one reason the place isn’t overrun with people. If, like us, you have a place to go, or can travel during the coldest months, it’s a perfect climate.

Best of all, the people there are the nicest, kindest people I’ve ever run across. I know that sooner or later, I’ll run into a jerk up there, but in three summers, it hasn’t happened yet. An example: when it came time to hook up the power, it turned out they’d mailed the paperwork to another address. We had to go down to the National Grid offices in Potsdam to get it straightened out. We got into the parking lot, and the guy in charge was outside waiting for us, with the paperwork in hand, ready to be signed.

The same thing happens constantly there, with folks going out of their way to be kind and helpful.

Anyway, there are still Good Places.”

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More on Tinker's Bubble, Off-Grid community in Somerset, England.

“…The name Tinkers Bubble comes from the spring that flows through the woodland ending in a small waterfall by the road. This is where gypsies brought their horses to water them at the bubble; the gypsy name for a waterfall.

The home pictured is Mary and Joe’s, a roundwood timber frame with lapped exterior walls and thatched roof and repurposed windows.…”

https://naturalhomes.org/tinkersbubble.htm

Sent by Anonymous

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French Carpenter Seeking Work In California/Oregon/Washington This Summer

Yogan is an accomplished timber framer (and treehouse builder) from France. His work has appeared in our last two books. He will be traveling along the west coast this summer and wants to hook up with builders, home owners, homesteaders, and/or people of like interests. He’s open to any kind of arrangement, including working for room and/or board.

You can check out his work here: yogan.over-blog.com

From Yogan:
Hi friend builders, carpenters, inventors…

   I’m Yogan, a carpenter of south west france,

   I’m coming in August, September and October to walk on the west coast, from California to Seattle. My goal is to meet, visit, help, places and peoples where there are amazing shelters, cabins—in the woods if possible.
   If I could find a community of carpenters living in cabins in the forest,  it would be perfect!
   I’d also like to go to any carpenter or timber framers’ meetings.
   I will be hitchhiking frequently with my backpack and accordion! You can email me at: Yogan Carpenter <yogancarpenter@gmail.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 & 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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Building a Primitive Wattle and Daub Hut From Scratch

“I built this hut in the bush using naturally occurring materials and primitive tools. The hut is 2m wide and 2m long, the side walls are 1m high and the ridge line (highest point) is 2m high giving a roof angle of 45 degrees. A bed was built inside and it takes up a little less than half the hut. The tools used were a stone hand axe to chop wood, fire sticks to make fire, a digging stick for digging and clay pots to carry water. The materials used in the hut were wood for the frame, vine and lawyer cane for lashings and mud for daubing. Broad leaves were initially used as thatch which worked well for about four months before starting to rot. The roof was then covered with sheets of paper bark which proved to be a better roofing material. An external fireplace and chimney were also built to reduce smoke inside. The hut is a small yet comfortable shelter and provides room to store tools and materials out of the weather.…”

Sent by Jon Kalish

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Abandoned Home Near Independence, Oregon

Nicely designed old home. Note the way the plane of the roof extends to form the porch roof. A stairway led to two upstairs bedrooms. There was a brick fireplace.

When I go inside places like this, I can feel the lives that were lived within.

Old homes designed like this show the cluelessness of almost all homes designed these days by architects.

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