How do you select straw bales for home construction? Bale type, size, moisture, straw length, and more all factor in to save time, labor, and budget.
I met Paul and Sara in 2015, long before they moved into their very own Applegate Cottage, at my seven-day, hands-on workshop in La Grande, Oregon and was immediately struck by what an awesome couple they are. They had a work ethic like I’d not seen in years, and were always full of smiles and […]
“…My neck is stiff, my voice is weak, I hardly whisper when I speak. My tongue is filling up my mouth, I think my hair is falling out. My elbow’s bent, my spine ain’t straight, My temperature is one-o-eight. My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear, There is a hole inside my ear. I have […]
If you’re looking for an engineer in New York State to help with your straw bale build, please read on. Touson Saryon, the architect of the most popular home designs that we sell, recently gave me a recommendation for an engineer in New York State that I want to share with you all. It can […]
A reader wrote in some time ago about a hole saw he created to drill through an existing straw bale wall for a vent pipe for a new hot water heater. The wall had been in place for eight years already, so the plaster was hard and fully cured. He needed the hole to be […]
This is the last call for 2020 straw bale workshop hosts. If you hope to host a workshop on your project, please get me your application soon. You can find the application by reading this article or visiting the hosting page on the website.
If you’re like most people in the world, something is missing in your life. You may not know what it is, or may not have even identified with “missing something” until just now; all the same, you can feel it. Don’t believe me? Sit quietly and ask yourself: “Is there something missing? Is there a […]
It seems clear that the frequency and size of wildland fires is growing across the US and abroad. One thing that we know for sure is that they are devastating and that sometimes, there is absolutely nothing that can be done to stop them in their path. In those moments, all the preparation in the […]
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 […]
Having built hundreds of straw bale houses over the years, I’ve learned that bale stops do an incredible job of both strengthening and simplifying a build. I use them in every bale structure I work on. The most common placement for bale stops is at the top of the wall so that I can compress […]
When most people think about building a straw bale house, they might not think about changing the world. That’s exactly what’s possible though, and on more levels than you may have first considered. Most people who have done their research will be well aware that a straw bale house is beautiful, energy efficient, sound proof, […]
The fire resistance of straw bale walls is superior to that of conventional construction. Learn why that matters and how it’s possible.
Avoiding plaster burn marks when building a straw bale house is important and easy if you know what causes them and what to do about them.
It’s the official last call for 2019 straw bale workshop host applications. If you want to host in 2019, now is the time to get your application in. Read on to see how to enter your host application today.
CASBA is offering a weekend workshop on clay plastering in Vacaville, CA this September. Read on and check out the flier to learn more.
Adding utility lines to your wall after plaster has been applied to your straw bale house is not as hard as you might think. The sooner you realize your mistake (leaving out the utility line) the easier it is to fix. If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, consider this: You raise the bale walls […]
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.
I recently asked my friend Michel Couvreux of TransMineral, USA to write a guest piece about lime and the many confusing aspects of choosing and/or working with the right material for a straw bale house.
Y Innovations is looking for a lead straw bale builder for a nonprofit housing project in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. They are building straw bale homes as affordable housing for low-income families in need.
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 […]
We have announced the 2018 straw bale workshop locations and have initiated our annual fall sale. Sign up today and save hundreds of dollars on your tuition. I look forward to meeting you at a workshop soon!
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 […]
Before I head out to Oklahoma to teach, I wanted to give you all a chance to learn a little about the workshop hosts. We hope you will join us in Choctaw, OK for the last workshop of the year…It will be a BLAST!!!
The bales you choose may be the most important decision you make on your house. In fact, the quality of your bales can literally make or break a project. There are several things to look for in a quality bale, which I’ve outlined in this article.