Trula is doing 42 things including…

build a straw bale house

22 cheers


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Trula has written 8 entries about this goal

more info

Floor Plan

Originally for our house I was thinking of a one floor structure that has 4 bedrooms, an office/library, a bathroom, a utility/laundry room, with the kitchen/dining/living room being all one big great room. Now I want to simplify it even further, with 4 bedrooms, a bathroom, and the kitchen/dining/living room being all one big great room. Instead of a seperate utility or laundry room, I just want a washer and dryer right in the kitchen. I saw a neat small pair where the dryer is right on top of the washer. And instead of a seperate office, I’ll have my computer and office stuff on the curved wall, like in this pic:


I want an attached greenhouse, something like this:

2 Doors

The salvaging has begun. My one friend is not tearing down her current house until spring, at which case we’ll be able to salvage a lot of stuff from it, but I have 2 doors right now from another friend. He and his wife took them down at their house and never planned to use them again and weren’t sure how to dispose of them. Then he heard em talking to her about my straw bale house plans and said we could have the doors! woot-woot!

First Step

I guess the first step would be to buy some land. I could kick myself because the area we live in has gone up in value. Lots are selling now for 3 times what they sold for just 5 years ago when we moved here. Drats!

I love

this curved wall here:


Using recycled and salvaged is not only good for the environment but cuts your costs way down. We’re aiming for $30,000 not including land, but budgeting for $35,000. Land costs I could kick myself over because land in my city has tripled in price in the 5 years we have moved here. We’re far west of Cleveland. We are using a real architect, who thank god is an old friend of ours from back in the college day and is charging us nada. He built a SBH himself a few years ago (lost it to his ex-wife though) and is just modifying his plans for our house. Our basic (non-solar) windows and doors are all donated and salvaged; I have another friend who inherited a house and can’t stand it due to bad memories. She’s knocking it down and building a new regular house and is letting us have the windows, doors, kitchen cabinets, and whatever else we can use. Also scrounging tools off of everyone we know. I was too surprised to find out how many folks we know who have for real carpentry materials just sitting in their garage, like circular saws, cordless drills, cement mixers, shredders, hauling wagons, trowels (ok I had the trowels, lol).

Labor will be basically free, us and our many many family members and friends, but we will feed everyone who helps so that’s a cost too. Our major housing construction costs will come from the services of an electrician/electric supplies, permits, plumbing/tubing and gas line stuff, roofing materials, carpentry we can’t do, cooling system, rental equpiment (like a backhoe, trencher, panel lifter), solar panels for the roof and front, lumber, other insulation, straw bales, etc.

Very early planning stage

I’ve been wanting a house like this for a while. I think the earliest we could do this is spring 2007. Maybe next year we could buy the land for it, which is the major cost. Some interesting info:

Even cheaper ‘starter’ straw bale home:

For our house I am thinking of a one floor structure that has 4 bedrooms, an office/library, a bathroom, a utility/laundry room, with the kitchen/dining/living room being all one big great room. I adore porches so I want a big porch, maybe even a veranda. And a greenhouse either seperate or attached to the main house.

Some more info/pics on SBHs:

This woman and her two teenage sons have built a small, load-bearing straw bale house in the Sonoran desert near Tucson with earthen plasters and an earthen floor. She wrote a book about it! sheck out her house pics, her house is really pretty, especially the kitchen.

Trula has gotten 22 cheers on this goal.


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