Are you excited about the idea of living in a straw bale house but unsure of how to make your dream a reality (or are flat out terrified to even get started)? Join us at our seven-day, hands-on workshop!
Our workshops are designed to meet the needs of both the novice builder and experienced contractor. Andrew’s grasp of construction technology, with over 20 years as a professional builder, comes through in his ability to explain each detail in a way that benefits all participants. Our goal is to prepare you with a truly well-rounded educational experience so when it comes time for your build, you have the confidence to handle anything that comes up from construction hiccups to personal stress management.
So, come and join us…we would love to have you with us! Our workshops are rewarding, engaging, highly informational, and an absolute blast! Truly, much, much more than just a workshop!!
IN THE HOSTS’ OWN WORDS:
Our 13-acre property is located in the beautiful rolling hills of Northern KY, just 30 minutes south of Cincinnati, OH. We run an organic vegetable farm on our flat hilltop acreage and love to cook and share good food, so we look forward to being able to create some fantastic meals for you while you’re here.
This area is semi-rural, semi-suburban so we are just about 10-15 minutes from grocery stores and other conveniences, and a 30 minute drive from CVG airport. The property is a mix of fallow pasture, vegetable fields, and a few wooded acres too. We’ll have a nice combination of campsites available near the edge of the woods and deeper into the woods if you’d like to wander further or have a bit more privacy.
Our family of five currently lives in a small home near the road at the bottom of the hill, but we have have dreamed of building a straw bale home set just into the crest of the hill close to our vegetable fields. We have a sloping site on top of a south-east facing ridge. Our plan is for a two-story walkout with a simple rectangular footprint. On the bottom floor, the north and west sides of the foundation will be buried into the hill and as much of the south and east sides that are exposed will be straw bale walls. The top floor would be completely wrapped in bales. We’ll have a metal hip-roof with deep overhangs to make the bale wall details simpler. The roof will extend to cover a porch/deck on the north and east sides and will include solar panels to power both our home and farm.[/caption]
Plenty of wide south-facing windows will make sunny bench seating in several rooms and offer long views of the forested ridge across the creek from our hillside and closer views of rainwater gardens and wildflowers on the hillside. The top floor will be a large open area consisting of the kitchen, dining, living rooms. One bedroom, one bathroom, and storage or utilities will take the remaining space. The bottom floor will be bedrooms for the children, another bathroom, a family room, and storage or utilities. We will try to design in flexibility so that the lower floor could be a future independent living space for aging parents or renters or farm interns.
The protected south side of the house provides a microclimate for planting grapevines on an arbor to block the summer sun from the lower windows, as well as cold-hardy figs and spring flowering trees. A main entry door for visitors (and children running down the hill to catch the bus) in the middle of the bottom floor will lead to stairs and a passage back to the family room. The house along with the garage and a newly built ‘packshed’ (pole barn) used for vegetable washing and storage will create a positive space that will be useful for farm events.
Kentucky itself is at the intersection of many different regions of the US. The south-face will appear very much in the colonial-style with symmetrical windows and simple details, while the north side with walk up porch and low hip roof will be more reminiscent of an Appalachian homestead. The elevated covered porch to the east might evoke the coastal southern US and the space to the west between the house and garage provides a midwestern patio gathering space for grilling. While this may sound like a jumble to some, the simple rectangular form, continuity of the hip roof, and all that beautiful lime plaster will tie it all together. We think it will look right at home at the edge of our vegetable fields.
If you are interested in exploring the wider region, Cincinnati is a charming river city that has seen a lot of growth and development in its urban core over the last 10 years. There are wonderful river parks, great restaurants and museums to explore if you are so inclined before or after the workshop. We’ve also seen a lot of growth and interest in cycling in the Greater Cincinnati area, with many group rides coming right past our house!
We hope you’ll join us at our workshop and that we can create something wonderful together!
What’s Included in Your Tuition?
All workshop participants receive the following with their registration…
TOP NOTCH INSTRUCTION FROM ANDREW (Priceless!!!) PLUS…
• 3 HEALTHY MEALS/DAY
• CAMPING SPACE
• SHOWER AND BATHROOM FACILITIES
“BE YOUR OWN CONTRACTOR” INSTANT DOWNLOAD VIDEOS ($34.99 Value)
22 PAGE STRAW BALE DETAILS INSTANT DOWNLOAD BOOKLET ($20 Value)
Cincinnati 7-Day, Hands-On Straw Bale Workshop!
Is This Workshop Right For Me?
It is if…
You don’t want to be that person that says “How hard can it be?” and then becomes the cautionary tale amongst your friends and family.
You’re an experienced builder but want to learn all the nuances & ins and outs of straw bale construction.
You’ve already designed your home, or even started to build. Now you’re running into a lot of questions and challenges and aren’t sure how to move forward.
You want to save money by building your own straw bale house but also want to make certain that you avoid costly mistakes.
You’ve never built anything before and don’t know if you’re insane for even considering building your own straw bale house.
Bale Stacking Details
Create strong and durable walls by learning the techniques used by master balers.
Retying and Resizing Bales
Master the fastest knot tying system to save time and money on your project.
Andrew’s framing system speeds your construction and lowers your budget.
Learn how to simplify the incorporation of electrical wiring in your bale walls.
Create gorgeous curves and sexy transitions to create an inspiring home with the art of bale shaping.
Windows, Doors, and HVAC
Keep your house moisture & mold free with proper ventilation and window/door installations.
Include pockets of beauty in your home with the installation of straw bale niches or “nichos”.
Cabinets & Special Installs
Master effective strategies to install cabinets, partition walls, and other special installations.
Plaster Prep Techniques
Build a strong foundation for your home’s plaster and ensure years of protection for your investment.
Learn the art of plastering in order to create a beautiful and durable finish for your home.
Financing and Insurance
Navigate the confusing world of paying for and insuring your straw bale home.
Endless Q & A
Ask me anything related to your personal project or general straw bale construction. ANYTHING!
Your Mentor is Andrew Morrison
Andrew has over 20 years of professional construction experience and in that time has done everything from design and build his own house, work as a licensed contractor and developer, give a TEDx talk (and numerous other presentations), co-author a national building code, to host several step-by-step instructional videos on contracting and building houses, and much more.
His greatest passion is teaching others how to build their own dream home and inspiring them to reach the highest level of their own greatness. Since 2006, Andrew has personally taught over 3,000 participants at his workshops. Through his kindness, sense of humor, and ability to teach complex concepts in easy-to-understand terms, his workshops are a mega-hit amongst his graduates. Make sure to bring your questions, curiosity, instruments (if you play any), and let’s have some fun while we build with bales!
Cincinnati 7-Day, Hands-On Straw Bale Workshop!
Here is what fellow workshop attendees are saying…
Karen Pope says…
“You truly are an inspiring teacher. All who are lucky enough to be your students receive the great gifts of your expertise, your humor, and your belief that we can all make a difference one home at a time. It was such a great pleasure to meet you and to be guided by you. I hope to be able to repeat the experience in the future.”
Mary Bushman says…
“Based on the information on the website and in the resource materials at strawbale.com I came to the Corvallis workshop with very high expectations. After a week of fabulous instruction and wonderful fellowship I am happy to report that my expectations were far EXCEEDED. Andrew is a teacher of rare talent. I will carry the lessons forward and am excited for the opportunity to use the new information to build our own straw bale heaven!”
Sharon Waldie says…
“GO TO THIS WORKSHOP! I’ve been learning about straw bale buildings for years, and I can honestly say that Andrew is a natural teacher. He deals with real issues that any home builder might encounter, and handles it with actual how-to answers. Great motivation to continue in my quest to become a resident of a straw bale home! Thank you so much.”
Reid Heimbeck says…
“What an awesome experience. It was truly hard to leave and go back home. I realize that this workshop was so much more than just learning about straw bale construction. I met 40 amazing people and gained several close friends from it. You personally are an inspiration to me, a role model as someone who has intentionally created a fun and fulfilling life. Thank you greatly for that. All my best my friend.”
Joy Wagner says…
“It truly was a wonderful week of hard work, hands on learning, and infectious fun. I so enjoyed being a part of the process: making new friends, learning additional skills, and experiencing camaraderie which strengthened as the week progressed. I treasure the overall experience and look forward to having a building workshop on our 5 acres someday. Thank you for being our cheerful and fearless leader!”
Theresa Coleman says…
“It is not only your experience that makes these workshops successful but your spirit and outlook on life. I was so impressed by how you can get a group of people to work so smoothly on a construction site, then at the end of the day still want to be around each other laughing and sharing. Once again thank you for such a great experience. Best Regards.”
Jim Ogden says…
“Andrew Morrison is an extraordinary teacher, a trusted leader, and a pioneer. It is through his passionate and enthusiastic approach, that he is setting new standards and raising the profile, credibility, and the global appeal of straw bale construction. All while sharing his love of life and his humor with us, the workshop participants.”
Leslie Arellanes says…
“Wow where do I even start? That was one of the best weeks of my life. I think Danielle and I are going to be your Straw Bale groupies. Thank you so much for creating such a magical workshop. Cheers!!!!”
Doss Palmer says…
“I have you to thank for the monumental shift in my life and honestly attending your workshop has been the best decision I’ve ever made to better myself.”
Clint Pinder says…
“This class literally PAID FOR ITSELF in the first day. The amount of knowledge that Andrew shared along with his ability to explain complex details in simple, easy to understand language made the educational aspect of this workshop amazing. AND, we had a blast!!!”
Jen Paulson says…
“A 10 day break from media and glowing screens, unplugged, submerged in a community of love and support is a life changing event. I am so fortunate to have had the privilege to experience this twice. Thank you.”
Robert Roach says…
“We would not have had the confidence to try this project or to plan our house build without knowing and learning from you.”