I recently asked my friend Michel Couvreux of TransMineral, USA to write a guest piece about lime and the many confusing aspects of choosing and/or working with the right material for a straw bale house.
It’s pretty obvious that they are differences between a straw bale house and conventional homes. What is not so apparent are the differences encountered during the construction process. For example, the order of operations and thus inspections is different for a straw bale house.
Here’s a great use for any left over bags of natural hydraulic lime you may have from your straw bale plastering job.
Many of you know that our friend Curtis has been selling some delicious lime putty in Wichita, Kansas. He is now down to his final drums of lime putty for sale and needs to move them before he is left with no option but to throw them away. It would be a shame to see […]
I know that the topic of metal in straw bale wall assemblies is a contentious one, and that is precisely why I want to bring it up and talk about it with you all. I have been saying for years that the use of welded wire mesh and plaster lath is essential to a quality bale house, and that sentiment has not changed. I want to quickly share my thoughts about using metal mesh and lath, and then hear from those of you who either agree or disagree with the practice.
There is no question that the more elaborate your design, the more expensive it will be to build; however, there are ways to find that sought after balance that will please both your senses and your finances.
Most of us don’t have a commercial plaster spraying machine lying around, so we can’t just run out to the garage and turn it on. That said, if you have access to a commercial sprayer, it’s an incredible machine that will speed your process up dramatically. You have seen me post in the past about sprayers that we as consumers can use with great effectivity. I am still a big fan of these sprayers and highly recommend them; however, the commercial sprayer shown here, and others like it, is a big step up in power and production.
Plastering straw bale window and door wells can be difficult, but the end result is beautiful. Learn some important tips on how to do it in this article.
One of the most artistic expressions of a straw bale wall are the niches that are carved into it. I have laid out a step-by-step process for the most common niche I see in straw bale homes: the arch top.
Watch a video on slaking quick lime to make lime putty. You can also contact Curtis in Kansas through this blog entry and buy high quality lime putty that has already been slaked for 4-5 years.