The Ultimate Hole Saw for Drilling Through Straw Bale Walls

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 […]

Bale Stops Strengthen and Simplify Your Build

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 […]

Avoiding Plaster Burn Marks

Plaster Burn Marks

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.

Hanging Pictures on a Plaster Wall

Tools for hanging pictures on a plaster wall

If you’re like most people interested in straw bale construction, you’ve likely wondered about hanging pictures on a plaster wall. How do I do it? Won’t the plaster crack? Will I make a mess? Can the picture be moved and the hole patched? These are some of the most common questions I’m asked all the […]

Adding Shingles to Gable Walls

Reshingle a Gable Wall 18

Adding shingles to gable walls may not seem like a straw bale specific topic at first glance. That doesn’t mean it’s not an important skill for you to learn for several reasons. First and foremost, a lot of straw bale houses use shingles on the gable end walls. They do so to add a complementary […]

Adding Utility Lines After Plaster

Install the Lath to utility line

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 […]

Hiring the Right Contractor for Your Build

contractor working with couple

Hiring the right contractor for your straw bale construction project could be the most important decision you make along the path to creating your new home. This decision is more important than the size of the house, the layout of the floor plan, the finish materials you choose, and any other choice you make along […]

Contracting Part I: Know What You Are Getting Into

Building Permit

It is important that you fully understand what will be expected of you as you embark on the contracting of your home. It is easy to say that you want to contract the construction, but there is a lot to the process and perhaps the biggest pitfall is not knowing what will be asked of […]

Plastering Tip for Straw Bale Walls

Dash Plaster Texture

Plastering has a lot of challenges to it from mixing recipes to application techniques. Some challenges may not be obvious from the start, so be sure to spend some time learning what you need to know before you jump in. Today I spoke with a client who had spilled¬†Natural Hydraulic Lime (NHL) all over their […]