Here are some questions I got from a client yesterday. I think they are worth sharing. Q1. How much force is required to tie the bales tight. (my elbows are killing me) A: The knot that I use, the Miller’s Knot (although I have been told that the name might be incorrect) is so strong […]
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My name is Andrew Morrison and welcome to my straw bale building site dedicated to anyone interested in building their own straw bale house. If you are brand new to straw bale or are a straw bale construction specialist there's something for you at StrawBale.com.
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Where welded wire mesh is used as the structural shear of a building, it is very important that temporary braces be used to secure the building before the mesh is applied. This is a common practice with conventional construction as well. 2×4 braces are used to support the walls and maintain a plumb line until […]
I recently received the following questions regarding Natural Hydraulic Lime (NHL) plaster: =========================================== As always, we appreciate your response. We finally ordered the lime, it is arriving this morning. We are scheduled to start tomorrow. Just lining everything up today. Some final technical questions. In the formula you call for 4 different grains of sand. […]
I was recently asked about the viability of retrofitting an existing structure with straw bales. I get that question a lot and figured it was time to blog about it. Any structure can be wrapped with bales, it is simply a question of how much extra work will be required to make that structure function […]
Dear Andrew, We had quite a few days applying the “Scratch Coat” to our straw bale structure. It is so true that the whole process is really about having one stage done as completely before the next stage. But you are the best advocate for this. Having applied the “Scratch Coat” there are a few […]
Greetings. I have a farm in Trinidad, Colorado (although I live in Denver) and on it is an old house that I want to tear down. I would like to build a house that is so energy efficient that I can leave it with no heat in the winter and have no problems with freezing, […]
This is often he most difficult part of becoming a professional bale builder. There is no book of standards out there from which to pull a “man-hour” rate for baling. So, how do you bid a house without gouging your client or digging yourself a financial hole? Experience is the best resource for any estimating […]
It is important that all wood surfaces be covered with roofing felt to separate them from the plaster. If you do not do this, the plaster will adhere to the wood and will be prone to extensive cracking as the wood dries and moves over time. a typical house has a lot of wood members […]
When adding a straw bale addition to an existing straw bale house, you have to be sure to create a connection between the two walls (old and new). One way to do this is with dowels or rebar embedded into the old wall and laid in place in between courses of new wall. This allows […]
Do you live in a Tropical Rain Forest? I am a big believer in the merits of straw bale construction. That’s probably obvious by now; however, there is one major drawback to working with bales: climate conditions. Bale homes are ideal for dry and mostly dry climates, acceptable in wet climates, and difficult to deal […]