Anyone live in a Straw bale house?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Ariel, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. Ariel

    Ariel Active Member

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    It seems like every MEN has an article about strawbale houses. Do any of you live in or know someone who lives in a strawbale?

    Also have you noticed that over the years MEN has gotten a little farfetched in some of their articles and now have very few articles of any substance for a real homesteader?
     
  2. Yukon Mike

    Yukon Mike Well-Known Member

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    I don't know of anyone, but I did look into it and I am concerned about the concept and longevity of the structure. My thoughts are, if you build a "home" then the home should be able to outlast your living there, without constant repairing etc. I just don't see that happening with straw-bales..

    As for MEN, it has gone Yuppie, and therefore useless.
     

  3. Old Jack

    Old Jack Truth Seeker

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  4. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have built 5 SB homes and am currently living in a 3200 sq ft one. I love it.
     
  5. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    I must say, this intrigues me.

    Since you have built 5, you seem like the person to ask a few questions to. So, here goes! :) :D

    How modernized were these homes? (Electric, plumbing, heating etc.?)

    What location(s) climate-wise?

    Why did you leave the homes that you built?

    Did you live in all 5 homes? (Some of that may have been answered in the above question)

    Did you sell any of the homes? If so, what kind of return did you get on them?

    I hope that is not too many questions!
     
  6. Bluecreekrog

    Bluecreekrog Well-Known Member

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    I have not lived in or built a SB house, but from what I have read, they are most suited to dryer climates. Humidity and contunious rain would make them inpractical for the SE USA. They would be idea for the west and plains states. I have toyed with the idea of trying a SB chicken house to see how well it holds up here in Oh. I understand that a high foundation and deep overhangs would be vital in this climate.
    Rog
     
  7. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Built 4 for others - various sizes, all in either the Hill Country of texas and West Texas. They have been successfully built on the Olympic peninsula of Washington State. There are numerous ones around me in the Hill Country, in fact the largest SB building assoc. is in Austin, TX.

    If you build by the method called Modified Post and Beam the houses can be Southwestern looking, but have all the conveniences of a regular home including normal cabinets hanging on the walls in the kitchens and baths. Mine is fully air conditioned and heated, and has cat 5 electonic cableing throughout the house for home theater, surround sound, computers, etc.
     
  8. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My youngest son works for a friend of mine building straw bale, super insulated, and other types of energy efficient "green" homes. People are VERY pleased with the comfort, low heating and cooling cost, etc. The bales have stucco on the outside, plaster on the inside, and the houses have a wide roof overhang to prevent much rain from directly hitting the walls. They are built with lots of attention to detail and the ones that I have seen are luxurious, as they had money in the budget for lots of nice details due to the reasonable cost of the basic shell of the house and the low cost heating and operating costs.
    I would certainly consider straw bale if I build another house.

    Jim
     
  9. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Living in NE Ohio, we are very regulated on our building code. So for me to understand this, there are general contractors/builders out there building in this fashion now? And people are buying these homes? And insurance is insuraning them? Is this correct?
     
  10. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In a word-- "yes" to all of your questions.

    Jim
     
  11. COUNTRYDREAMER

    COUNTRYDREAMER Member

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    I have read MEN for several years and agree that it has gotten somewhat 'off track' of where it began. Recently I found Countryside magazine and absolutely LOVE IT! I have even bought back issues off ebay! Just wanted to offer my 2 cents!
     
  12. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    Countryside Magazine is great! Did you realize that was where this forum started?

    Kathleen
     
  13. Lisa A

    Lisa A Well-Known Member

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    We live in a straw bale house, done two years ago; there's some local guys
    here that specialize in straw bale building who did most of the work, and it
    just breezed past county building dept; they even have a straw bale code here.
    Insurance was tricky but we finally found some.

    The house is 1600sqft, we love it. This is a dry climate, except for rainy
    winters, and windy enough that when it does get wet it dries off pretty well
    (even with 8ft. porch overhang, in storms it gets wet all the way to the top
    of the wall...) Best part is we don't have any A/C and in here we can survive
    long periods of 108 degree summer weather...

    Lisa in Ashland Oregon
     
  14. snoozy

    snoozy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We live in a strawbale house in the rainy Pac NW. We built it in 1998, and have been living in it ever since. We were even living in it for 3 years with the bales unplastered on the inside. I have posted to many threads here about strawbale -- do a search on this forum and see what you get. I do love my house. It is immensely strong, very quiet, solid, better fire and earthquake rated than pindly stickbuilt houses. Built to code and insured -- just like a real house :haha: . We heat it with a radiant slab (sounds like a glowing side of pork, don't it?) and a small certified woodstove.