Strawbale House

This blog is intended to chart our progress through the self-build process, from half-hearted plot-hunting through to completion of the build. The twist is that we're building the house from timber and straw (hence the blog title).

Click on the image at the end of each post to see that day's photos.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

September 5th - No going back!

A big and significant day on the build. After 3 months the house finally moved from being a standard timber frame building to a strawbale structure. Jack and I joined Mal and Melvin (the fab four reunited at last) in glorious sunny weather and put in a hard day. The three lads beavered away indoors on the sub-floor, insulation and flooring while I took the bull by the horns and started putting straw in the walls. The bales are about 2" wider than I anticipated, and don't fit in the cavity lying on their bases. Turned up on edge, however, the go in very nicely with a gap of about 4" behind. Mal suggested stuffing this gap with loose straw, which as soon as he'd said it was obviously the logical way forward. I discovered that by packing the loose straw in behind the bales with a foot, stading on it to compress it, the solid mass of straw is absolutely rock-steady, retained by the OSB on one side and the external frame on the other. I built up to about 6 courses on the west end of the house, with frequent breaks to take a bit of shade in the house. During one of these breaks I made up lead trays for a couple of the windows to sit on in their frames.
By day's end the house was looking significantly different, with half of the ground-floor now floored and one end half-stuffed with straw.
I've got three of four volunteers lined up for the weekend, and if this weather holds we should get most of the baling done.
Took some lovely pictures today, but left the camera at the plot, so you'll have to wait till tomorrow...

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