How to Construct
a Straw Bale House

DESIGN - PLANS - CONSTRUCTION PICTURES
ADVANTAGES/DISADVANTAGES - HOMES OPEN FOR VISITING
BUDGET- REFERENCE MATERIALS

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And
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FEATURES:


- Two bedrooms
- One and a half bathrooms
- Living room and dining area
- Enclosed kitchen
- Wheelchair accessible (3' wide doors)
- All natural, nontoxic materials used (primarily recycled)
- Square footage:
interior (1025), exterior (1200) (not including 36" roof overhangs
)
- "Load-bearing" design (see below)



 

 

 

 

 


PICTURES OF ALL PHASES OF CONSTRUCTION

 


 

Suggested Plans and Budget for Building
a Simple 480 sq. ft. "Starter"
Straw Bale Home
or Guest House


- $15 per square foot to build
- ultra energy efficient



"Straw Bale Houses-An Evaluation"
by The Big Bad Wolf

"Well... no way could I blow down that hay house.
No matter how hard I huffed and puffed and huffed".

And by Jim and Mindy

THE BIG PLUSES:

- STRONG - like a fortress particularly after the bales are plastered, but even before (we would never have known from inside our straw bale that the winds we got one summer when we first started to build reached 85 mph)

- SUPER INSULATED and therefore highly energy efficient - warm in Winter, cool in Summer -- big savings on the utility bills

- QUIET - a stillness and peacefulness like no other house

- INEXPENSIVE TO BUILD -a truly affordable house if you have the patience and time to do a good deal of the work yourself and/or with the help of friends

- DEEP WINDOW-WELLS - some of the best on the planet for potted plants and cats and curling up to take a nap in

- EARTH-FRIENDLY - living as we do in a world with increasingly scarce resources, doesn't it seem the sensible and responsible thing to do to build a house with a waste material which is typically burned in the fields after harvest rather than cutting down more forests to build a wood-framed house -- which is in fact less energy efficient, less comfortable, and more expensive as well!)


A FEW POSSIBLE MINUES:

- BANKS ARE LESS LIKELY TO LEND MONEY on a straw bale house, however this is rapidly changing, see sbregistry.greenbuilder.com/mortgage.straw for a list of financial institutions which have now loaned on straw bale homes

- A FEW CRANKY NEIGHBORS may view your house as "unconventional" if not downright disreputable (see PROBLEMS-PROBLEMS for our troubles with these attitudes and also the unfortunate results of not thoroughly understanding local zoning and building code regulations)

- SOME LOCAL BUILDING CODES may not permit the building of a straw bale house or may impose expensive, time-consuming requirements

 

-

"LIST OF STRAW BALE HOMES
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC TO VISIT"

(741 in the United States - a total of 1612 in the world as of August, 2013)

- click here to search the list -




LISTEN TO:
"Straw and Clay" by Frank Meyer

(mp3 - 3.5 mb)

This wonderful song was composed by straw bale builder and folk singer, Frank Meyer, in 1995. It has been sung at many a straw bale wall raising ever since. It says better than we can what buiding with earth and straw is all about.

(Used by permission of Frank Meyer, Thangmaker@aol.com -- buy the CD!)


BOOKS ON STRAW BALE HOUSES



- and there is MORE information on our main web page -

© 2002-2014 by Jim Phypers