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.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

September 8th - Baling with volunteers

My appeal for volunteers a couple of weeks ago bore fruit, and I had four hearty and willing helpers for today's wall-stuffing. JD arrived from Cambuslang last night, and Emma, Mark and Jason all arrived mid-morning from Cumbria. After a quick chat about the house and a demonstration of bale splitting, we tore into the north wall. The first few rows went in very quickly, until we were above easy access height. After that progress was slowed by lifting bales up and into the cavity for placing. Anne arrived with a lunch fit for a king, or rather a swarm of kings (what's the collective noun for kings?), which went down an absolute treat. Mal had brought Boston, and Anna and our boys were on site for most of the day. Michelle also turned up briefly in the afternoon with the rest of her brood, so all in all, it was a very busy site. Mal spent the day closing up reveals around the windows to make sure the walls were ready for stuffing.
Towards the end of the day when we were approaching eaves-level, access in the cavity became cramped and uncomfortable and progress slowed again. Here the team came into their own, working brilliantly to fill all the gaps in a very methodical and good-humoured fashion. Emma was in the wall for a good two hours without a break, with the lads keepping her supplied with straw. I busied myself measuring, cutting and stapling the breathable membrane around the building to make sure all the straw we'd put in stays dry. I also fixed some membrane on the roof, which was flapping loose. Water ingress through the roof to the straw at this stage (or at any point in the future) would be a bit of a catastrophy.
We packed up just before 6pm, knackered and chaffed, but the guys all seemed happy, and there was a lovely relaxed atmosphere around the dinner table for spinach and cauliflower soup and a quickly-rusled up pasta dish, washed down with Emma's delicious home-made wine.
Some tired bunnies around. Anna lasted till 9:15, Mark and Emma till almost 10, and as I write, JD is reading and I'm doing this (obviously). More of the same tomorrow...

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