Tag Archives | strawbale

Conversations on a Plane

Gabriella and I have noticed a recent surge in new subscribers to StrawBale.com and many who have signed up have contacted us to let us know they are brand new to the world of straw bale construction. We want to welcome all of you here and we figured it would be helpful to give you an introduction to what it’s like to build a straw bale home.

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Watch The Curves

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.

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How Much Does It Cost?

This is without a doubt the most common question I am asked about straw bale construction. The problem is that answering this question is not easy. In hopes of reaching more people who might have the same question, I’ve outlined five things to consider when trying to get a handle on what your straw bale project might cost below. I’ve also included two examples of straw bale projects (the Applegate Residence and the Mountain View Cabin) and the material costs associated with them.

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Replacing Straw in an Existing Straw Bale House

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.

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Properly Wet Your Plaster

There is far more water used in the preparation and curing process than in the mix itself. If you have a limited water supply, be sure to account for this extra water requirement. Follow these steps to make sure you have the best plaster job available. Be sure to protect your walls from wind, rain, and direct sun by hanging tarps.

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Straw Bale and Steel Framing

Special care must be taken to protect straw bales from condensation when using steel framing in a straw bale house. Without isolating the steel from the bales, the risk of long term damage to the structure is high. Don’t take that risk. Instead, follow some simple work arounds to protect your bales and your investment.

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