Adding a Straw Bale Addition to an Existing Straw Bale House

Written by Andrew Morrison

straw bale house hallwayWhen adding a straw bale addition to an existing straw bale house, you have to be sure to create a connection between the two walls (old and new). One way to do this is with dowels or rebar embedded into the old wall and laid in place in between courses of new wall. This allows you to leave the existing plaster in place and still accomplish a connection.

Another way is remove the plaster from the existing wall and then use plaster lath on the top of each new course that is bent at 90 degrees and pined to the old wall surface. Use landscape pins on the old and new walls to attach the plaster lath. You will want to offset the new walls in either application so they are not in line with each other. In other words, add a right angle turn from the old wall and offset the new wall by at least one foot.

This will help when you plaster because it gives you a stopping point (the corner). Without it, you will see a large plaster scar or will be required to plaster the entire wall (both old and new) to a corner. Keep these points in mind while creating a straw bale addition and you’ll be in great shape!

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2 Responses

  1. How practical is it to do this as a way to build a house over time? We would like to build a tiny house now on some inherited farmland so we can enjoy the property on vacations and use as a creative retreat. Over the next 10 years we would put on additions to create a small home we can retire in.

    Is that impractical? Is it better to just make it happen in one fell swoop?

  2. Hello nancy. It’s possible to build the house in stages over time. If you take this approach, be sure to plan where the points of expansion will go in the future so that you can build to make those additions as easy as possible in the future. That said, it will be more expensive to build it in stages as you’ll have waste and demo costs added to the new construction bill. If you can wait and do it all at once, it’s a better approach.

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