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The Owner-Built Home Paperback – October, 1975
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Top customer reviews
I had no idea it was a collectors item.
I got my original copy in 1973
I studied it like the Bible
My copy is almost worn out from use.
I built two houses using it as my guide.
It is true that you would need to consult local building codes, but it is a wonderful way to examin what you want, there is a list of questions in the back, that would help you decide what you want, and would be a great thing to review before you talk to a builder or architect
In the Ken Kern
"Owner Built Home"
He says if someone wants wall to wall carpet, they should get carpet slippers.
Another thing I remember,
There are two classes of world travelers.
Those with no money and those with a lot of money.
And little in between.
The most inexpensive houses are made of adobe.
And the most expensive houses are made of adobe, and little in-between.
Same thing with gravel driveways.
He traveled the world and studied all building methods.
He proposes living in a trailer and building in stages, and then removing the trailer.
He has a good section on color and the psycological effect of color.
I chose room colors based on his ideas 22 years ago, and I have not changed them, and I like them.
These days I'm well into a writing career, but am refurbishing a century-old home into some semblance of "green." Kern's book is in the next room, beside my tool bag. His advice still rocks.
One cautionary note: Kern finally, apparently, went too far outside the box and died when an experimental structure he was building collapsed in a wind storm. We lost a good'un.
Schools need a class on Kern and the Kernistas. Most of my other heroes are very political and theoretical, but Kern is just so pragmatic, so American. In a time when charlatans hide behind talk of family values and desecrate democracy, my frustration rises and I need to get grounded. I've just Finished Scott Nearing's The Making of a Radical and I'm all primed to act locally, to act responsibly. My angst and apathy is finally turning back to the constructive, and I'm fortunate to have the inspiration of Ken Kern. Yeah, a lot of things bother me, but I'm going to focus on what I can do to make things a little righter or rather lefter.