"I started building almost 50 years ago, and have lived in a self-built home ever since. If I d been able to buy a wonderful old good-feeling house, I might have never started building. But it was always cheaper to build than to buy, and by building myself, I could design what I wanted and use materials I wanted to live with.
I set off to learn the art of building in 1960. I liked the whole process immensely. Hammering nails. Framing delineating space. Nailing down the sub-floor, the roof decking. It s a thrill when you first step on the floor you ve just created.
Ideally I d have worked with a master carpenter long enough to learn the basics, but there was never time. I learned from friends and books and by blundering my way into a process that required a certain amount of competence. My perspective was that of a novice, a homeowner rather than a pro. As I learned, I felt that I could tell others how to build, or at least get them started on the path to creating their own homes.
Through the years I ve personally gone from post and beam to geodesic domes to stud frame construction. It s been a constant learning process, and this has led me into investigating many methods of construction I m interested in them all. For five years, the late 60s to early 70s, I built geodesic domes. I got into being a publisher by producing "Domebook One" in 1970 and "Domebook 2" in 1971. I then gave up on domes (as homes) and published our namesake "Shelter" in 1973. We ve published books on a variety of subjects over the years, and returned to our roots with Home Work: "Handbuilt Shelter" in 2004, "Builders of the Pacific Coast," and "The Barefoot Architect" in 2008.
Building is my favorite subject. Even in this day and age, building a house with your own hands can save you a ton of money (I ve never had a mortgage) and if you follow it through you can get what you want in a home." Lloyd Kahn