My Straw Bale Consulting Services

Andrew Morrison straw bale teacherI have had more and more people ask me recently if I would review their construction drawings, or if I am available as a consultant for them during the construction of their home, and several other requests. The answer is yes. I am available for all kinds of straw bale consulting work and have simply remained somewhat quiet about it over the years. I really enjoy consulting with owner builders as I get to meet a lot of wonderful people and I get to share the expertise I have collected over the years.

I offer all kids of services from the very basic, one time consult to full project consulting. Some examples of recent jobs I have completed are as follows:

1. General consulting about straw bale home applicability in specific regions.
2. Initial plan review for basic layout and function.
3. Construction Drawing review with full blown inspection for all straw bale aspects and design considerations.
4. Project consulting with building department intervention and assistance.
5. Monthly consulting for homes under construction.
6. Package consulting covering the entire scope of the job from start to finish.

I offer straw bale consulting in a number of different options.

1. By the hour with a minimum of 2 hours on each job.
2. Project Packages. These packages allow you access to me on an on going basis over a period of:
a. One month
b. Three months
c. Six months
d. One year

The one year straw bale consulting package is the most economical way to go if you are actually building a home because a full year of my consulting helps you walk through the design and construction phases with an expert at your side. I have had very good results with my past clients. Here’s what some had to say.

I wish I had brought Andrew on earlier in the process. Once he got on board, things smoothed out tremendously.
Eric G. -Oregon

The help I got from Andrew was great. What started as a simple plan review ended up saving me thousands of dollars in the long run. The number of mistakes on my plans was crazy, even though I had an architect do the drawings.
Sarah P. -California

I worked with Andrew during the construction of my home. I acted as my own contractor. The support I received from him was priceless. His technical knowledge of straw bale construction was why I decided to work with him, but I really feel like the personal support he offered me throughout the process was what helped me succeed in building my own house.
Janet F. -Arizona

8 Responses to My Straw Bale Consulting Services

  1. Avatar
    Jane Evanson Tue, August 6, 2013 at 6:18 am #

    I just moved to Glenwood Springs,CO- about 40 miles from Aspen, and purchased a strawbale home 7000ft up in the Rocky Mountains. I had an inspection done, but would like a consult with Andrew so I know exactly what I need to fix and he proper way to do this. it could be a 4 to 8 hour job including review of the building plans. The previous owners built the home in 2005. please let me know if you can come out before winter sets in! I of course will pay your airfare, hotel and other charges. Thank you, Jane Evanson 970-945-5339.

  2. Avatar
    Tiara Aponte Wed, December 9, 2015 at 2:03 pm #

    Hi,

    I manage a student housing in Cambridge, Ontario that was recently bought by my boss and needs some renovation. It was built in 2008 by a co-op.

    I have two questions that I need help with. How much do you charge per hour?

    1. We need to install a range hood. Can we make a hole in the straw bale and pass the duct through or do we need to insulate somehow the duct?

    2. If the interior side of the straw walls were painted with regular paint, is this a problem and if so, how do we fix it?

    Thank you,
    Tiara Aponte

  3. Andrew Morrison
    Andrew Morrison Wed, December 9, 2015 at 3:40 pm #

    Hi Tiara. Thanks for your message. I am happy to answer these questions without any charge. If you want to discuss further details of the project and require help with that, please let me know by emailing me directly at Andrew@StrawBale.com. My answers are below.

    1. You can cut through the bale wall to install the vent. I suggest you cut a large enough hole to allow you to insert a frame that can then be insulated to isolate the vent from the straw while maintaining the insulation value of the wall. This will stop any condensation from impacting the bales.

    2. Paint can be fine on the interior; however, I would not want any on the exterior unless it is a silicate paint that allows the walls to breathe.

  4. Avatar
    Tiara Aponte Wed, December 9, 2015 at 7:07 pm #

    Andrew, thank you so much. I will let our contractor know.

    Tiara

  5. Avatar
    Dave Harrell Fri, May 31, 2019 at 5:59 pm #

    My daughter is attempting to purchase a straw bale home near Perry, Kansas that was repossessed by Freddie Mac, but the local bank they contacted has balked at a loan because of not having experience and/or comps. Do you know of any lending institutions that might be viable sources for financing?
    Thanks Dave

  6. Andrew Morrison
    Andrew Morrison Sun, June 2, 2019 at 11:28 am #

    Hi Dave. You might try contacting Cheryl Jenkins in OK. Her online site for a loan application is http://www.cjenkins.firstunitedteam.com. I don’t know if she can lend in Kansas, but she financed a straw bale home for the Leland family in OK so understands straw bale loans. You can also tell your local banks that straw bale homes have been covered in the International Residential Code (IRC) since 2015 and are a viable, acceptable form of construction within our national building code as a result.

    Thank you again for reaching out on this. I will try to find someone in your area as well that may be able to do at least the construction loan portion for you.

    Best,

    Cheryl

  7. Avatar
    Dylan Mon, September 9, 2019 at 10:03 pm #

    Hi Andrew,

    I’m a student in Australia who is thinking of designing a sustainable house within a budget of $100,000 as a part of the school curriculum. I was wondering how thick the walls of a house would have to be in order for the straw bales to work effectively? How much would it cost to build a tiny house using straw bales for the outer walls?

  8. Andrew Morrison
    Andrew Morrison Fri, September 13, 2019 at 4:19 pm #

    Hi Dylan. Good for you! If you stack the bales on edge, you can get an excellent Rvalue with 17″ thick walls. Baling on edge is a bit of a pain, so the most common approach is to bale on the flat and have 21″ thick walls. Cost is hard to say as it varies so much by location and design.

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