Over the years I have seen the interest in tiny homes grow and grow. During that time, one thing has been consistent, the design and detailing of the structures. I would imagine that many of you have seen an image of a tiny house on a trailer by now. Wood siding, gable roof lines, tiny front porch, you know the look. The buildings have charm, to be sure, yet they tend to carry a similar look for the most part.
I have been party to several straw bale structures that could certainly fit the description of tiny. For example, the Mountain View Cabin is only 200 SF of interior living space. Even smaller, the Sunset Cottage has its 200 SF measured on the exterior. There’s also the Applegate Cottage which boasts a whopping 570 SF, not including the sleeping loft. All of these structures have their place in the world of tiny construction, but I found a new one during the Montana straw bale workshop.
The owner Dale explained to our group that the structure we worked on will be used to build cabinets and wood kayaks, yet none of us could let go of the potential for the building as a home. At 470 SF, the organic shape lends itself to a feeling of open space and comfort. There is ample room for a bathroom, kitchen, living and sleeping areas, and several long bench seat options as well. The high ceilings help open the space up and make it feel bigger than it really is. I think that if Dale was allowed to (he is restricted by local building codes from building another home), he would gladly leave his existing home and move into this amazing space that we created together.
If anyone ever wondered if living tiny is possible while living in a straw bale structure, wonder no more. There are several options available to you and your imagination is the only limit of what might be possible. I would not suggest that one build a tiny straw bale house on a trailer as that would simply be difficult to make work due to the thick and heavy walls; however, if you plan to build on the ground, straw bale is a great option.
You get a building with superior insulation value, soundproofing, and fire resistance AND you get something that looks and feels unique and natural. I am a firm believer in loving the space in which I live. I think you will find that loving a straw b ale structure is easy to do, and it will love you right back! How will it do that, you might ask? By keeping you warm, cool, quiet, and calm within its walls. I hope you will take a few minutes to look at some photos of straw bale homes and consider what might be possible in your own tiny bale abode.
What’s more, building a straw bale home, whether it be a tiny home or a “regular-sized” home, is a lot of fun if you get together with others to do it. Each year I work with several hosts around the world on their projects and bring in a workshop full of fun and interesting people. The experience we all share is one of connection, learning, sharing, and growing friendships. I hope you will consider joining us at a workshop soon so you too can get connected!
About the Author
Andrew Morison is a specialist in straw bale and green construction. He has shown thousands of people how to build their own straw bale projects through his comprehensive series of instructional straw bale, concrete foundation, and plastering DVDs, as well as his hands on workshops. You can check these out at www.StrawBale.com/store.
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