Never Let Them Tell You It Cannot Be Done




Modern construction methods and materials have become standardized. Everybody sells the same materials and builds the same way. Tradespeople know these methods well and are resistant to alternative techniques, often saying “It can’t be done”.

Timeless construction means usually NOT building things the modern way. It means hand-building things to fit perfectly the spaces they were designed for. Do not compromise your designs because some construction expert tells you “it’s not how it’s done”


If you are getting design or construction assistance, especially paying for the labor of skilled tradespeople, you need to be assertive of your goals. Simply put, it is your house and you want it built the way you want it built.

Timeless construction purposefully avoids many standard building practices. It uses natural materials, often including recycled wood, doors, and windows. Such ad-hoc construction requires the ability to improvise, to think hard and find ways to make things fit. If your hired help is incapable of adapting to such work then perhaps it is time to find some new help.



If you hope to build your own home, there will be forces that try to thwart you. However you propose to build this house, there will be naysayers. Whenever anyone says “It can’t be done” – Ignore Them.



Gary Zuker is a Senior Systems Administrator at the University of Texas, Austin. In 1989 he built a house outside of Austin. Inspired and guided by "A Pattern Language", he developed 12 new patterns during the process of building his house.
Gary Zuker

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