Plastering a straw bale house is a skill that marries both art and construction techniques. There are so many details to keep track of when plastering your strawbale home and this article will give you one more piece of the puzzle. The focus is on the application direction of lime plaster, or any plaster for that matter. Mistakes here can cause plaster failure so it’s worth getting the process right. Furthermore, the plaster is what people see when they first view your straw bale house, so making it look good really matters.
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Last weekend in Denver, Colorado I held my first ever 2-day Straw Bale Design Seminar. I suppose it would be silly for me to try and share the group experience via a blog post. We simply covered too much ground and had too much fun to sum it up in a few paragraphs. I’ll do my best, nonetheless, to let you in on it as best I can. I started my workshop by hugging old friends and saying hello to new ones. I think there is something about starting a workshop that way because the smiles seemed to be contagious. I think they came from knowing that the room was full of like minded people willing to share their questions and experiences to help the group move forward. The simple format of the weekend allowed us to discuss the inner workings of straw bale construction in great detail. We covered the construction details of building a straw bale home and how to properly represent those details on the construction drawings. We talked at great length about working with building departments, banks, insurance companies, and more. We dove into managing subcontractors, budgets, and time lines. We reviewed the plans that participants brought with them and offered feedback and guidance on each set.
The efficiency of straw bale homes would be a wonderful thing to share with those living in extreme climates and the existence, or lack there of, of local modern baling machinery should not deter people from making this happen.
The Hastoe Housing Association has plans to build four straw bale homes, at Millfield, High Ongar in Essex, Great Britain. These straw bale houses will be the first ever straw bale housing development built in Britain by a housing association.
Using a lime finish coat over a base of clay plaster is a recipe for disaster. I have heard of far too many failures when using this technique. Please read on and do not try this technique on your project.
Some people tell you to add dry lime to your stack of straw bales before you build your straw bale house. I disagree.
People often talk to me about testing the moisture content of the bales in their walls once their straw bale house is complete. The best way to accomplish this is to utilize the space behind the electrical boxes throughout the home.
Proper framing techniques will speed and simplify your process. Follow these simple steps to get your frame erected quickly and much more easily than standard post and beam framing practices.