Moving a Straw Bale House

Written by Andrew Morrison

Many People Carrying a HouseI just got an email from a man who wanted to know what I thought about moving a straw bale structure. He plans to use more modern techniques, but I imagine the same concerns would apply with either technique. My concerns are laid out below. I’d like to hear if anyone has experience with this or thoughts on the matter.

Here are my thoughts and/or concerns about the process.

1. The structure will be heavier than a conventional house. The bales weigh about 35 lbs each and you can expect to stack them seven courses high. That’s about 82 pounds per square foot of floor plan at seven courses high just for the bales, no frame or anything else included.

2. The plaster will be more likely to crack than drywall will. That said, if you use lime plaster it will be more flexible and able to handle more movement than cement based plasters. If you use clay plaster, you can easily patch any cracks with simple patches, not whole wall skim coats.

3. Load bearing structures would likely be harder to move than a framed structure because of the way the windows and doors are attached.

With these things in mind, I think it would be very possible, especially if you use a qualified company and don’t try and do it yourself, even with a back hoe and some rope! 🙂

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3 Responses

  1. hi i remember seeing on trademe.co.nz (our version of ebay) a while ago strawbuilthomes had a couple of transportable holiday homes admitidly they wernt much bigger than a mobile home (easy single lift for a truck)& they use cement plaster i guess they were loadbearing. my suggestion is not very ‘eco’ but if you wrap it in shrinkwrap it should travel well

  2. Hi there, i would love to use the image you have with the villages picking up and movin the house on your web site. Would love to here back from you regarding any licencing attached to it. Many thanks Andrea

  3. Andrea. I found the picture on several websites and could not find anyone who knew about the rights for it either. I chose to use it as is. Sorry I can’t help with that. I always try to find the right person to credit as well, unfortunately, I was not able to in this case.

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