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woman applying finish plaster
Construction Details

Finish Plaster Texture Options

There are a lot of finish plaster texture options available for your straw bale home and knowing which one is best for you can be difficult. The best decisions are based on understanding the combination of application-technical difficulty, personal aesthetics, durability, crack hiding ability, and material availability.

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Installing Roofing Flet
Construction Details

Simplify the Installation of Roofing Felt Behind Your Plaster

I wanted to share a few great tips as a means of simplifying the installation of the roofing felt needed on wood that lies behind your plaster. As you know (or may be learning…right now…) you have to cover all wood that will end up behind plaster with roofing felt or an equivalent product.

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straw bale house Dining Room
Codes and Building Officials

Scheduling Subcontractors and Inspections on a Straw Bale House

It’s pretty obvious that they are differences between a straw bale house and conventional homes. What is not so apparent are the differences encountered during the construction process. For example, the order of operations and thus inspections is different for a straw bale house.

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Lime Putty Buckets
Helping Each Other/Personal Stories

Final Drums of Lime Putty for Sale

Many of you know that our friend Curtis has been selling some delicious lime putty in Wichita, Kansas. He is now down to his final drums of lime putty for

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Electrical Boxes in straw bale wall
Construction Details

Metal In Straw Bale Wall Assemblies

I know that the topic of metal in straw bale wall assemblies is a contentious one, and that is precisely why I want to bring it up and talk about it with you all. I have been saying for years that the use of welded wire mesh and plaster lath is essential to a quality bale house, and that sentiment has not changed. I want to quickly share my thoughts about using metal mesh and lath, and then hear from those of you who either agree or disagree with the practice.

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straw bale house exterior
Construction Details

The Impact of Design Details

There is no question that the more elaborate your design, the more expensive it will be to build; however, there are ways to find that sought after balance that will please both your senses and your finances.

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plaster sprayer on straw bale wall
Contracting and Consulting

The Benefits of Using a Commercial Plaster Sprayer

Most of us don’t have a commercial plaster spraying machine lying around, so we can’t just run out to the garage and turn it on. That said, if you have access to a commercial sprayer, it’s an incredible machine that will speed your process up dramatically. You have seen me post in the past about sprayers that we as consumers can use with great effectivity. I am still a big fan of these sprayers and highly recommend them; however, the commercial sprayer shown here, and others like it, is a big step up in power and production.

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Man and Baby in front of a wall niche
Construction Details

Step By Step Guide To Creating Niches

One of the most artistic expressions of a straw bale wall are the niches that are carved into it. I have laid out a step-by-step process for the most common niche I see in straw bale homes: the arch top.

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plastering straw bale wall
Plastering

Properly Wet Your Plaster on a Straw Bale Wall

There is far more water used in the preparation and curing process than in the mix itself. If you have a limited water supply, be sure to account for this extra water requirement. Follow these steps to make sure you have the best plaster job available. Be sure to protect your walls from wind, rain, and direct sun by hanging tarps.

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