The Owner Built Homestead — Free Form Architecture

Free-form house by Andre Bloc
Free-form house by Andre Bloc

“Ken Kern, author of The Owner-Built Home and The Owner-Built Homestead, is an amazing fellow and everyone interested in decentralist, back-to-the-land, rational living should know of his work. Back in 1948 he began collecting information on low-cost, simple and natural construction materials and techniques. He combed the world for ideas, tried them and started writing about his experiments.

Read more

More Ken Kern Building Ideas

Ken Kern traveled the world in search of innovative building ideas and reported his findings and ideas in The Owner Built Home. In my previous blog post about Kern, I said I would highlight more of his ideas. Well, here are three more ideas in addition to the Plunger Pile Floor System. Imagine hundreds of … Read more

Plunger Pile Floor System

An inexpensive option to thick concrete floors. The diagram below is from the 1972 book “The Owner Built Home”, by Ken Kern. In this discussion Kern describes a lightweight 1″ thick fiber reinforced floor system that had been tested extensively in India. The system starts with a flat earthen floor surface that has been loosened … Read more

The Owner-Built Home – Ken Kern

As one of the top natural builders who influenced the direction of my life, we’ll be discussing more of Ken Kern’s building ideas. This is the stuff that fueled my imagination and passion for affordable housing when I was a young man. It was obvious to me 35-40 years ago that modern building materials are … Read more