A Carpenter's Life as Told by Houses and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Start reading A Carpenter's Life as Told by Houses on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

A Carpenter's Life as Told by Houses [Audiobook, Colour, DVD-Video] [Audio CD]

Larry Haun
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 35.99
Price: 31.98 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
You Save: 4.01 (11%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it Monday, 14 July? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 9.68  
Hardcover 16.99  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, Colour, DVD-Video 31.98  
Audio Download, Unabridged 15.75 or Free with Audible.co.uk 30-day free trial

Book Description

15 May 2012
From one of Fine Homebuilding s best-loved authors, Larry Haun, comes a unique story that looks at American home building from the perspective of twelve houses he has known intimately. Part memoir, part cultural history, A Carpenter s Life as Told by Houses takes the listener house by house over an arc of 100 years. We learn about the sod house in Nebraska where his mother was born, the frame house of his childhood, the production houses he built in the San Fernando Valley and the Habitat for Humanity homes he devotes his time to now. It s an engaging listen from a veteran builder with a thoughtful awareness of what was intrinsic to home building in the past and the many ways it has evolved. Builders and history lovers will appreciate his deep connection to the natural world, yearning for simplicity, respect for humanity and evocative notion of what we mean by home.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Spend 30 and get Norton 360 21.0 - 3 Computers, 1 Year 2014 for 24.99. Here's how (terms and conditions apply)
  • Audible.co.uk, an Amazon Company, is home to more than 100,000 audiobook downloads. Start a 30-day free trial today and get your first audiobook for FREE.

Product details

  • Audio CD: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press; Unabridged edition (15 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600854893
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600854897
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 14.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,206,716 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description


If the best writers draw from their own experience, Larry Haun is as much a historian and philosopher as he is a 60-year veteran carpenter. Larry's memoir would be equally at home on the bookshelves of home building and architecture enthusiasts as anyone on a spiritual journey. -Brian Pontolilo, Managing Editor, "Fine Homebuilding "Magazine

If you are lucky in your life, you are fortunate to encounter people who are passionate about their lives. Joseph Campbell is quoted as saying; 'People always say what we are looking for is a meaning for life...I don't think that's what we're looking for. I think what we're looking for is the experience of being alive.' Larry Haun is very alive, and has shared with me his passion for building, his passion for community, and his passion to serve. All of us at Habitat have been blessed by Larry's energy, enthusiasm and commitment to his trade. --Bert Green, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte Drawing on a life spent building ho

About the Author

Larry Haun began his building career on the Nebraska prairie, where at 17 he helped to build his first house. In 1950, he began framing in Albuquerque, N.M. and in 1951, he joined his older brother in a Los Angeles building boom that brought about rapid change in tools, materials and building methods. Retired now in Coos Bay, Ore., Haun builds houses for Habitat for Humanity, wheelchair ramps for poor people and backpacks in the High Sierras, the Rockies, and the Andes. He is the author of How to Build a House, with three companion videos on how to frame a house. You can catch up with Larry s latest thoughts at his new blog A Carpenter s View: http://www.finehomebuilding.com/blog/a-carpenters-view

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
5.0 out of 5 stars
5.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars epic man 29 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Would have been a pleasure to meet this gentleman. He book is amazingi and well written, shame I cannot read it on my android tablet as kindle not compatible
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
By Jill Meyer TOP 500 REVIEWER
Larry Haun, who died in September, 2011 at the age of 80, was a "carpenter's carpenter". So strong he was able to hammer nails in two swings - "one to set, one to finish" - he worked on all sorts of houses and other buildings in his life as a master carpenter. He tells his life story with a review of the houses he had built. Larry Haun was born on the plains of Nebraska in the depths of the Depression. The fourth of five children, he describes living an early life of poverty made bearable by having a loving and active family life. He left home at 18, roaming the US - and the world - building both homes and a philosophy to live by as the years passed.

Larry Haun, like architect Sarah Susanka, had a problem with the big, wasteful houses - "McMansions" - being built without regard to need and ecological ramifications. He was very much a proponent of the "green movement" in home building in the United States. Too much shopping and too much "stuff" make up our lives these days. "Born to shop" was definitely not Larry Haun's mantra. And, okay, there's where some slight ethical questions will sneak into my review. I am not a shopper and I detest the huge, soulless houses I see being built everywhere, BUT, a lot of people do like to shop and do like to live in those behemoths. Is it my right to criticise them? Was it Larry Haun's right? Of course, I doubt many people described above would buy and read Larry Haun's memoir, so maybe I shouldn't worry about "hurt feelings" by those in big houses with fast cars.

If you're looking for a good book about life on the Plains and New Mexico and California and Oregon - among other places - while living in "soddys", quonset huts, adobe, strawbarns, and other local buildings, then you'll enjoy Larry Haun's writing. I just bet that if he were still with us, he'd be marching with the "OWS" group, carrying a sign saying, "Tax the Rich". And that's okay; he had the creds to do it.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just a well-written history 7 Sep 2011
By S. Winkler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"A Carpenter's Life" is a first-person account of both an evolution of dwellings told with intimate nuances that could only come from someone who lived through the times described and, most importantly, a witnessing of the loss of connection to the basic pulse of life that the speed and rush of modern times, with all its gadgetry and novelty, has so efficiently removed from our experience. And in the telling of the stories, there is healing. Larry's style of writing is basic, simple, and direct--it is not only a pleasure to read but it also connects powerfully with an earthy wisdom that feels welcoming to the soul. The stories contain in them the comforting voice of sanity that is too often missing in the world today, and they are potent. They have the potential to not only change how we see our world, but also how we might live in the world. This book is good medicine and a welcomed input into the stream of our busy lives. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

- Steve W, Portland, OR
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ode to the common man 10 Oct 2011
By Kathleen J. Burke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Read a bit of this book every day and think back about who we are and how we got here.
Read it to your kids. Please read it to them. These are recollections of a truly unique man, a man as common as dirt, a plainsman. As Dylan wrote about Woody Guthrie, "there's not many men done the things that you done". I guess I'm a sucker for these American folk heroes. We are of another time, and maybe another culture, and yet, this is our saga. This is who we are. Larry Haun is who the bleep we are.

Ralph Davis. Tiburon, CA
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing and meaningful read 20 Sep 2011
By Cherrie Clarke - Published on Amazon.com
This is the first time I've ever written a review and am doing so because of how good this book is. You don't need to be a carpenter to enjoy this read. The stories are well written and fit into everyone's lives through descriptions of life inside and around the dwellings that we make into our homes. The writer has a superb way of using words and in a such a down to earth manner that I felt as if I was visiting an old friend or special family member. The author has a compelling way of sharing life experiences that you easily relate to your own. This is the best book that I've read in a long time as his descriptive stories left me feeling good and with much to contemplate. Reading this was an uplifting breath of fresh air. The author must be sensitive as well as intelligent to be able to put down words that touch your soul when you read them. Thank you for a great book! Cherrie Clarke, Fremont, Nebraska
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Larry Haun: My Grandather, and Greatest Teacher 11 Sep 2012
By Jonathan - Published on Amazon.com
While I was growing up I had the honor of being able to say that Larry Haun was my grandfather. This man taught me everything I know about being a man and I can't thank him enough for everything he's done for me. This book was the last thing he gave me before he died. I remember as he was beginning to write it he told me that it was going to be unlike any of the books he's written before. Over time I soon understood what he meant. This book is his life story told through his life work. It's been almost a year since he passed and as I read this book it's as if a little bit of Larry still speaks to me through it. When I saw it here on and read all the positive reviews for it, I couldn't help but smile. In short, all I can say is that I love this book, and I love the man that wrote it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Our Life, A Carpenter's Life 29 Nov 2011
By Instructor Too - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Larry Haun is an old time carpenter and contractor that has written dozens of articles in various trade magazines through the years and has produced many excellent carpentry videos and books.

A big departure from a standard technical or trade instructional manual, Larry lately wrote a book entitled, "A Carpenter's Life". This is not a book about the methods of construction or building, rather it's a book about the lifestyles and habits of the people who live in different types of houses. The book describes the organic process of living in a unique geographical area and how people adapted to using the materials that the land had to offer for their shelter. Larry then goes further and describes much more including the trials and difficulties associated with the different lifestyles; and he discusses the earlier more primitive technology that our ancestors worked with in order to "make a living".

Part sociologist, part ethnologist, and part master-builder, Larry Haun rolls these many perspectives seamlessly into a story to tell. By his writing and insights the reader discovers that Larry is a decent, hard working man who sees the world through the ethics of the building trade, that of honest hard work and square dealings. There's no need for myth or tall tales in Larry's writing, there are no Paul Bunyon's or Blue Oxes in the story, just plain-living working folks earning their bread and living in different housing styles depending upon chance, and their time and place in history. Larry weaves these stories into an interesting tapestry that's both educational and entertaining with lots of dry humor and local colloquialisms thrown in.

Larry's book views the world through the practical design of home and hearth, and this works as a literary perspective for Larry's writing because he loves and understands the world of design and structure, and this is the medium he uses to tell his stories. Larry gives a voice and color to all the many houses we see all around us, structures created by the hands and ingenuity of men through sweat and blood, with no little effort. Larry Haun brings these buildings, and the people who live in them, to life.

What I like about Larry is he's able to project himself into the lives of those he's writing about and he's able to discuss the lifestyles and habits of earlier generations without prejudice or criticism. What I also like about old Larry is he's a poet, and his writing takes on a sing-song warmth while he writes about homes and those who abide within them... In a nod to Will Rogers, Larry Haun could probably have written that, "he never met a house he didn't like."

While writing this review of Larry's book, we learned about Larry Haun's untimely demise. We are saddened to think that so insightful and dynamic a voice is now silenced, he was an interesting man. Fortunately, Larry Haun leaves his book behind for us to enjoy. Thanks to men like Larry Haun, none of us have to sleep in the rain... Thank you, Larry, and thanks for your book. Hopefully you too will enjoy it.
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category