My wife and I have been interested in natural building for a while but haven’t quite had the time or motivation to figure out the first steps. How do we get started? We’ve lacked the motivation mostly because we’ve been moving around because of my wife’s education and we’ve been renting all the while. She’ll finally be done in a year so I think it’s time we start looking into the possibility of building a straw bale house again. We still don’t know where we’ll end up, where she’ll be able to get a job, but I want to start looking into the process of making our dream a reality. 3 years ago
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For the longest time I’ve wanted three things:
1. My own place
2. To build something completely from nature, completely by myself
3. To impact the environment as little as possible
A few months ago I found a book on building with strawbales at the library and I pretty much fell in love. 4 years ago
I’d love to build a straw bale house, but My 1st choice would be a dugout…. maybe id build it with straw bale walls. can you do that? xoxo 5 years ago
I built a straw bale house 10yrs ago and have lived in it since. I love it and would do it again. At the time I built it, I had no experience building homes. It took 18mos to complete and through the process I learned enough to start my own construction company. 5 years ago
After years of wanting to build a straw bale house, and after buying numerous books and even a DVD, I’ve decided to build with stone instead. Straw bale is really better for other environments. If I move to the west, or a less humid environment I’ll consider it again. Most people who build with it here have mold issues. Also, I don’t think the straw is as available here than in some areas..and it can be used for mulch and such. Rock is simply more plentiful here, and it’s a free material. It just makes more sense. 5 years ago
I’m taking my time on this goal..I keep on coming up with new ideas for my perfect home lately. I’ve decided to either build a model out of lego’s, or use the Sims to design the house, or both. It’ll be fun, and I’ll finally have a model which I can work with until I finally decide it’s “complete”. I think the house plan will be the most important thing to me, not money. To be in a home that I’ll love in every way is a life goal, and will uplift me more than living in just any house. 6 years ago
After what seems like years of red tape, we’re almost ready to start building. We have the property, we have our plans, we have financing. Now we’re waiting for the DEP to approve our sewage proposal. Once that happens, we’ll be ready for excavation!!! 6 years ago
This makes so much sense and maybe I am part like one of the three little pigs but this is in many ways the solution. Even for preventing house fires. The outside of the straw briefly burns but since there is no air to fuel the fire, it goes out. 6 years ago
I started watching a PBS show called “Building Green” that is featuring a straw bale house under construction. I DEFINITELY am sold on the idea! 6 years ago
It’s either Nevada or Colorado. So, once we decide where to buy our 40-80 acres of land, we’ll begin the process of building our straw-bale home. We are toying with designing the home in the arts & crafts/craftsman style or going with a traditional adobe look. Alas, those decisions will likely be dependent on where we end up. 6 years ago
I love to get dirty and have been told I have a feel for mud. There’s a lot more to building a straw bale house than the mud but the rendering is what is most appealing. I remember day dreaming in my ideallic 20’s of making everything in my house….throwing the clay for the dishes, sanding the wood for the furniture, growing the food I eat, spinning the hair of my dogs to weave blankets and rugs…hahahahahah 7 years ago
If you want to build your own straw bale house, http://www.armofthespiral.com/ is a good place to start. By pursuing your dream, you will be helping me to live mine. Thank you for your support. 7 years ago
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: http://www.greenbuilder.com/sbat/2001_Home_Tour/Off-the-Grid/In-1-OG.jpg 7 years ago
I love the adobe look. I want a home with a central courtyard.
Straw Bale ca do both… AND I could build it myself 7 years ago
I want an attached greenhouse, something like this:
http://www.thenaturalhome.com/planterbed2.htm 7 years ago
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! 7 years ago
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! 7 years ago
this curved wall here:
http://www.greenbuilder.com/sbat/2001_Home_Tour/Off-the-Grid/In-1-OG.jpg 7 years ago
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. 7 years ago
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: http://www.solarhaven.org/StrawBaleHouseBudget.htm
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.
http://www.ahouseofstraw.com 7 years ago