Earth Bag Building

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by shelbynteg, Mar 26, 2004.

  1. shelbynteg

    shelbynteg Well-Known Member

    Jul 31, 2003
    Beasley, Tx
    My husband always wanted to cover a mobile home with strawbales, rather than building a strawbale home from scratch, but now we're in south Texas with so much humidity, that doesn't seem very do-able. We want an intern or apprentice on our place, but providing housing and utilities is necessary, and old mobile homes are horrendous wasters of a/c and heat.

    So, I wondered if anyone had explored retrofitting an old mobile home with the earthbags? This is essentially sandbagging around the perimeter of the home, including the skirting area, then plastering to protect the integrity of the bags. Anybody done anything like this? Hopefully it would provide a more pleasing appearance than a cruddy trailer, provide an earth barrier of insulation, with minimal cost.
  2. j.r. guerra in s. tx.

    j.r. guerra in s. tx. Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    Hopefully, this web site has a few ideas to help you out.

    Check out several of the pages - pretty much describe the process.

    I'm interested in building a sandbag dome myself as a hunting cabin on our property. Want something that doesn't stand out as a building (vandals / illegal alien traffic), is super insulated (no utilities to the site) and can be built on site without equipment. This type of construction fits my parameters pretty well.

    I hope this helps.

  3. Hi.

    I have land in NE TX. I would love to build a strawbale house, and maybe outbuiling(s) of cob.

    Do y'all know anything about the building cods and how receptive the powers that be are to these kinds of buildings? Do I have to have permits and multiple inspections on a structure I build in rural Texas? This is not in any city limit.

    Thanks for any facts or thoughts you can share.

  4. OD

    OD Well-Known Member

    May 25, 2004
    I live in NE Texas also, & the county that I live in has no restrictions & requires no permits except on sewer systems. It might be different in other counties, though.
  5. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    May 20, 2004
    SE Missouri
    Hi humidity does not mean you can't do straw bales. You just need to make sure you have a good foundation and a good overhang from the roof. I think they would work really well to do a mh retrofit. You can use earth bags for your foundation or earth packed tires and use posts to keep the new roof up. I've thought about doing this when I was in a mh so I did a bit of research. Be sure you add plenty of insulation between the mh roof and the new roof.
  6. John_in_Houston

    John_in_Houston Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2003
    Same for Nacocdoches county. No rules except for sewer, and I was told that if you are building a traditional septic system on a plot of land over 10 acres, you don't even need a permit.

  7. Thank you both. This is great news...I am so excited. The [possiblities are limitless. :)

    A in NE TX