Birder’s Paradise – Straw Bale Home for Sale in California

Written by Dainella

straw bale home for sale in california

“We built with straw bale because we didn’t want to owe our first born to the utility company,” shared the owner-builder of this California straw bale home for sale. And, they 100% achieved that goal but it didn’t happen accidentally and they crafted much more than just energy efficiency into their homeplace!

For over two years they attended straw bale construction trainings with CASBA, researched, studied the site, and worked with PG&E’s California Energy Design Assistance Program to customize the home design for energy efficiency. 

straw bale home window
straw bale home niche

As a final step of the program, an architectural model of their design was evaluated using a heliodon. This allowed them to assess shading impacts and sunlight penetration into the home throughout each day of the year. After some final tweaks to extend the overhangs a bit more and slightly reposition the home, they arrived at an optimal design. One that accessed shade at the right time and planned in local weather patterns to capture the cooling power of evening Delta breezes.

straw bale home niche

Combine those design decisions with bale walls, R-50 insulated ceiling, and a whole house fan, and the need for heating and cooling is greatly reduced.

“We were scared to not have air conditioning [during the design phase], but we haven’t needed it. The whole house fan at night and windows are enough.” said the owner when asked about recent hot weather conditions in their area.

straw bale home niche

As the first straw bale home built in the area, inspection day often drew 4 to 5 inspectors interested in seeing their progress. Having built two conventional construction homes prior to this one, it took the owners by surprise to have such a party arrive but they had a terrific time working with all of the groups.

straw bale home niche

While touring straw bale homes early in their research, they had fallen in love with the organic feel of the straw bale homes and wanted to bring unique touches into their own build.  

In addition to custom-shaped windows, niches, and a truth window; the exposed redwood beams and mantle are timbers reclaimed from the San Francisco shipyard piers after the 1906 earthquake.

Carefully saved for a special, unknown future purpose by the owner’s father; they now pull their own history into the living spaces and naturally lit dining area just off the kitchen. 

straw bale home dining

Each bedroom gives new life to the original doors from the famous Senator Hotel of downtown Sacramento of 1924, which hosted Buster Keaton, Martin Luther King Jr., Ronal Reagan, and Jimmy Carter among others. Oh, if only the doors could talk; what tales could they share?

straw bale home
straw bale home bedroom

Once the build was complete, they were able to turn their attention to the land. In collaboration with a landscape architect, the property was transformed into an example of native vegetation and wildlife habitat.

Over 300 trees have been planted on the property, including three groves of redwoods, pear, crab apples, ash trees, lilac chastetree, manzanita, live and red oaks. 

straw bale home

The trees and half acre pond have created an oasis that attracts birds of all shapes and sizes; Hooded and Common Merganzers, Wood Ducks nest each Spring at the pond, Red Shouldered Hawks chase frogs, Great Egret, Belted Kingfishers, Great Blue Herons visit and mix with the Cranes that are commonly seen enjoying the water.

It is easy to forget that you’re only 20 minutes outside of Sacremento with the country feel!

straw bale home garden

The light-filled rooms, custom touches, and exceptional energy performance has had the owner hesitating to part ways with this property. But it is finally time for them to downsize to a smaller home and acreage.

Living in this home has been everything they were promised it would be at those straw bale meetings; they are content knowing that this home will provide that organic-living feel for a new owner just as it has for them.

Scroll down for a video tour of the property!

Custom Finish & Home Details

  • 3 Bedroom, 2 1/2 Bath 2,626 sq ft custom home finished in early 2004.
  • Post and beam construction with straw bale (rice straw) infill wall system.
  • Built for fire safety with a non-combustible steel roof.
  • Whole house vacuum.
  • 9-foot ceilings throughout the entire home.
straw bale home niche
Office and workspace
straw bale home
  • Cat-5 hard wiring to office, entertainment center, and bedrooms.
  • Four solar tubes for additional natural light.
  • Attic space with pull-down stairs.
  • Master Bedroom Suite includes a sitting room, dressing area, and bidet in Master Bath.
  • Vaulted ceilings in the Great Room and Master Bedroom.
straw bale home bathroom
straw bale home window seat
  • Window seats in each bedroom.
  • Remote-controlled solar sunscreens on south-facing windows.
  • All bedroom windows have Duette honeycomb bottom-up/top-down blackout blinds.
  • KITCHEN – Maple with porcelain glaze kitchen cabinets with cherry trim, dental and crown molding, two leaded glass uppers, pot, and pan drawers.
  • The wonderfully large kitchen with counter space and pantry is a canner’s delight and perfect for hosting gatherings.
  • Custom tile backsplash on kitchen counters.
  • Harvest is made easier with a veggie sink in the kitchen’s waterfall island, plus trash compactor and a dedicated instant hot water dispenser.
straw bale home kitchen
straw bale home patio
Wildlife watching in comfort.
  • Large covered back patio with water feature and custom concrete detailing to match the organic feel of the home. Best spot for bird watching!
  • Six-person, 30-jet spa just outside the master suite.
  • Outdoor ceiling fans on front and back covered patios.
  • Gutters connected to French drains around the perimeter of the house
straw bale home porch
Anyone up for a morning beverage on the front porch??

Additional Structures Include:

  • 485 sq ft 1 Bedroom/1 Bathroom Bungalow includes a kitchenette with a 2 burner induction cooktop, microwave, refrigerator, and dishwater to make meal prep easy.
  • Single-car garage with power, water, automatic door opener, and storage. Attached to the bungalow.
straw bale home
  • 30′ x 36′ multi-use metal Quonset-style utility building with 900 sq ft concrete floor.
  • Bonus storage included with a 40′ shipping container.
  • Need another ADU or outbuilding, such as a mobile home? Water and power are already in place for the back pasture. (Up to 2 ADU’s are allowed on this property!)

Property Features Include:

  • 4.8 acres, zoned Ag 5. 
  • Half-acre pond designed as wildlife habitat.
  • Over 50 mature trees on the front half of the property provide shade for the home and offer refuge for wildlife.
  • Lawn-free, natural landscaping includes a custom automatic drip system to conserve water.
  • Septic and well are in good working condition.
straw bale home

Energy Efficiency Features & Highlights:

  • Straw bale (rice straw) infill exterior walls R-30+ and a ceiling insulation of R-50
  • A radiant barrier was installed on the roof decking.
  • Double-paned Low E windows, wood interior, and aluminum clad exterior, double hung and casement.
  • 39″ deep overhangs to provide shade for windows as per heliodon testing results.
  • Efficient tankless domestic water heater.
  • Ceiling fans in every room.
  • HEATING – Radiant in-floor heat with a dedicated tankless heater.
  • COOLING – Whole house fan (current owner hasn’t felt a need to add AC! Got to love a thoughtfully designed straw bale home performance.)
  • FOUNDATION – Poured concrete. Stamped and colored interior finish.

Video Tour

straw bale home

Wilton, California
Listing Price


For more information, please contact:

Rachael Bauer

Keller Williams
Johnson & Bauer Real Estate Group DRE#02029743

[email protected]

Birder's Paradise
Straw bale home for sale in California

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