Another Amazing Straw Bale Workshop

entry doors on timber frame straw bale house

I recently returned home from another amazing straw bale workshop in Arlington, Vermont. This was truly one of the most fun workshops I have had in years. The building will be used as woodworking shop, home brew facility, pottery studio and forge. It will certainly provide years of fun and creativity for the hosts: Tara and Tyler.

Strengthen Your Walls

straw bale Wall Compression

For me, the extra work of compressing your straw bale walls is more than worth it in the end and the quality of the overall job you will get as a result of this step is measurably better than working with soft or loose walls.

Metal In Straw Bale Wall Assemblies

Electrical Boxes in straw bale wall

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.

The Impact of Design Details

straw bale house exterior

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.

Straw Bale Home is Cover of Fine Homebuilding

Fine Homebuilding Small Homes Cabins and Cottages

For those of you who have been wondering what it will take to help straw bale homes become more mainstream, this may be a part of the answer. David Arkin and Annie Tilt (Arkin-Tilt Architects) have received many awards over the years and their straw bale homes have at least twice graced the covers of Fine Homebuilding Magazine, this time in the fall 2014 edition of Small Homes Cabins and Cottages.

Minimizing Construction Costs in Straw Bale

Architectural Plans

When designing a custom home, it’s important to know you can actually afford to build what you design. These seven tips will help you hit your target and successfully build the home you have dreamed about without breaking the budget.

Baling Angular Walls

Octagonal straw bale house exterior

If you plan to build your straw bale house with angular walls, instead of using common right angle intersections, this post will give you a simple, fast, and effective way to build strong, structural corners.

Step By Step Guide To Creating Niches

Man and Baby in front of a wall niche

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.

We Have a National Straw Bale Building Code!

ICC Approval Hearing

This is perhaps the most exciting day in straw bale construction history. The proposed appendix on straw bale construction was approved at the International Code Council (ICC) Final Action Hearings in Atlantic City on October 4, 2013! As a result, we now have a national straw bale building code!

Conversations on a Plane StrawBale.com

United Airlines taking off

Gabriella and I have noticed a recent surge in new subscribers to StrawBale.com and many who have signed up have contacted us to let us know they are brand new to the world of straw bale construction. We want to welcome all of you here and we figured it would be helpful to give you an introduction to what it’s like to build a straw bale home.

Watch The Curves – StrawBale.com

straw bale house hallway

One of the most stunning aspects of a straw bale home is the shape that window and door openings take. The gentle curves flood light across the room and lend a sense of calm and peace to the occupants. These very same curves that bring so much joy and serenity can also drive home owners crazy. That sounds unlikely; however, when the curves are not properly built, they can cause all kinds of problems as the home is finished.