Whether you’ve ever tried to talk through a straw bale wall during construction or not, you’ll immediately see the value in this quick tip for simple and clear communication.
I’m not a fan of a slow economy, but I do see bright sides to the situation. If you have been thinking about buying land and/or building a straw bale house, now may be the perfect time to get started.
Baling with jumbo bales, by which I mean the REALLY large bales that require pretty substantial machinery to place, is possible. However, there are multiple considerations that need to be addressed to determine if the extra cost in foundation materials, plaster and roofing materials make it worthwhile. In this Straw Bale Minute, I address each […]
Last year’s straw bale construction workshop season started with a huge project: the 5300 SF Eco Learning Center at Ferncliff outside of Little Rock, Arkansas. In this article you can check out some mind-numbing facts of some of the “behind the scenes” numbers that go into building a house. Some of them are truly amazing.
If you plan to build your straw bale house with angular walls, instead of using common right angle intersections, this post will give you a simple, fast, and effective way to build strong, structural corners.
Water is enemy number 1 in straw bale construction. The good news is that with proper design and construction details, your straw bale house will stay dry and moisture issue free. The key to installing plumbing in a bale house is to create ‘water isolation walls’. I describe how to do this in the latest […]
A myth lurks still that somehow running electrical wiring through straw bale walls is more dangerous than running it through a conventional wall system. That is complete nonsense and I’ll tell you why and how to install wiring in a bale wall in this latest issue of “The Straw Bale Minute”. Click on the image […]
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.
One of the most stunning aspects of a straw bale home is the shape that window and door openings take. The gentle curves flood light across the room and lend a sense of calm and peace to the occupants. These very same curves that bring so much joy and serenity can also drive home owners crazy. That sounds unlikely; however, when the curves are not properly built, they can cause all kinds of problems as the home is finished.
A consulting client recently asked me what the best practice is for removing rotten straw from an existing straw bale house. Whether you need to replace a small amount of straw or an entire section of bales, the process is pretty much the same. Below are the steps to replacing rotten straw in an existing house. Although each specific location may have subtle differences, the basic steps are still the same.