It’s not every day that I suggest that tens of thousands of people tell me what to do. After all, I try hard to stay ahead of the game and get valuable information out to you via the blog and our newsletter; however, sometimes, it’s best to ask YOU, the readers, exactly what you’re looking […]
Our Straw Bale Minute video series provides answers to many, if not all, of your straw bale construction questions in short, snippets. We all have a minute to spare to improve our understanding and skills. After all, a minute or two a day could improve the quality of your project and save you thousands of dollars (and minutes) on your straw bale build.
It’s important to understand the glossary of terms for straw bale construction framing. If you don’t know what something is called, you’ll have a harder time ordering the right materials from your suppliers. In addition, if you don’t know the right terms, you’ll have a harder time discussing things with your contractors, even if you’re […]
It’s the million dollar question you’ve all been wondering about: is it enough to have just gravel in your toe ups or do you need something more? Okay, it may not be a question worth a million dollars, but making a bad decision here can indeed cost you money. In some cases just a little […]
As the workshop season continues on, you may be wondering what it’s like to experience a seven day, hands-on workshop. This new video will give you a delicious taste of what it’s like. As I’ve heard many times from participants: “It’s so much more than just a workshop.” I hope you will join me at […]
This is a must watch if you are interested in attending a straw bale workshop. In fact, even if you are not planning on attending, this inspiring straw bale workshop video is worth watching anyway. The video really sums up the workshop experience and the potential for life changing relationships that are born there.
Mistakes are often made in contracting when reading plans. Make sure you know your plans well and know how to read them to catch any potential mistakes.
In this article I discuss using American Clay plaster over a Natural Hydraulic Lime plaster, making sure that cure times are accounted for.
Plastering has a lot of challenges to it from mixing recipes to application techniques. Some challenges may not be obvious from the start, so be sure to spend some time learning what you need to know before you jump in. Today I spoke with a client who had spilled Natural Hydraulic Lime (NHL) all over their […]
It may sound obvious, but learning how to build a house, of any kind but especially a straw bale house, is a good thing to do before you actually start building. Ask yourself the following 15 questions and if you cannot answer them with a high level of confidence, you would be best served to gain some more experience before you start building.
Ever wonder what one of my straw bale workshops is like? This video will give you a taste. For starters, we have a ton of fun, learn mountains of information, build someone’s dream, and make friendships that last.
I was recently interviewed for How 2 Build Green: The Sustainability Podcast by Adam Fries, the podcast’s host and creator. I hope you will take a listen.
This past October I was invited to Colorado Springs to give a TEDx talk on tiny house living, living within one’s means, and living a deliberate life that supports one’s joy and wellness. The subject matter will be a natural carry over to the straw bale community (who is comprised of so many amazing people looking for a […]
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.
Baling with jumbo bales, by which I mean the REALLY large bales that require pretty substantial machinery to place, is possible. However, there are multiple considerations that need to be addressed to determine if the extra cost in foundation materials, plaster and roofing materials make it worthwhile. In this Straw Bale Minute, I address each […]
Water is enemy number 1 in straw bale construction. The good news is that with proper design and construction details, your straw bale house will stay dry and moisture issue free. The key to installing plumbing in a bale house is to create ‘water isolation walls’. I describe the best plumbing practices in straw bale […]
Do you love straw bale construction? Do you love tiny houses? Do you like what I have to share (you know…for the most part??) Then listen in while I am interviewed by Ryan Mitchell of The Tiny Life and Macy Miller of MiniMotives! We have really enjoyed getting to know those two and love what they are […]
A myth lurks still that somehow running electrical wiring through straw bale walls is more dangerous than running it through a conventional wall system. That is complete nonsense and I’ll tell you why and how to install wiring in a bale wall in this latest issue of “The Straw Bale Minute”. Click on the image […]
We are having a sale on everything in our store including workshop tuitions (up to $200 off!), all of our How-To DVDs, my new book: “A Modern Look At Straw Bale Construction,” and two sets of professional construction plans for small or tiny houses. You’ll even discover that I have created discounts on the three most popular ways to work with me directly. You can get my help with a construction plan review, have me come to your site and train your baling crew for three days, or get both of those plus a year of consulting and more.
A video of pure inspiration. Anything is possible.
If you’ve been wanting a How-To guide to Framing Video to add to your collection, the wait is over! Straw bale construction is a wonderful building technique whether you are building a tiny house or standard size home. It offers walls that are not only three times more fire resistant than standard construction but also […]
Building with bales over wood floors is an option that’s often overlooked in straw bale construction. Building a straw bale house on top of a concrete slab is certainly the most common system employed; however, it’s not the only way to go. If you have reason to build a raised floor system, you can. In […]
I was recently invited to do a straw bale radio interview on Jefferson Exchange, a popular morning talk show here in Oregon and California to discuss straw bale construction. The program is an hour long and covers many aspects of building with bales. The first fifteen minutes or so is primarily a conversation between me […]
On November 16th, I wrote a blog entry about how to retie straw bales, the new way! The new way is to use the Miller’s knot instead of the trucker’s hitch which has been used for years. In the first half of this two part entry, I showed you the basics of how the knot […]