Thursday, December 6, 2012

Straw Bale Walls - Phase 1 - Done

During the last week we have continued stacking bales and the first phase of the walls is done.  Bales are stacked up to the bond beam throughout the whole house and plastic has been stapled to the rest of the exposed outside walls.  We are ready for winter!

One of the things I wanted to incorporate into at least one wall was colored bottles.  I have been saving square olive oil bottles for a while.  They're a lovely dark green and I thought they would look cool in the straw bale wall next to the big adobe wall.
First I taped two bottles together with duct tape.

Then, to give them some rigidity I taped flashing around them.

They were then placed between two bales.
You can see their placement in the photo below. I'm not sure how much light will shine through as they are so dark, but I like the way they look and I think they will be lovely once the walls are plastered.

This is a panorama.  I'm standing in the NW corner of the living room.  Bedroom, kitchen, bath to left. Studio and office on the right.

Here's a view from the attic above the garage.


A few things need to happen next. First we need to construct boxes to go above all the windows and doors on which bales will rest.

Second we need to decide just how and where the internal walls and ceilings will go. Since the footings for the internal walls have not been dug (a winter project) we will lay them out so that we know where they are going. Once we make those decisions, we can start stuffing bales between the roof trusses and above the bond beam. We will leave the areas where there will be ceiling joists attached open. Once the internals walls are framed and up, we can then finish those areas.

The other thing that needs to be done is the wall between the house and garage needs bales all the way up as does the gable end.

In addition to establishing the internal walls and digging footings for them, we also must dig trenches for the plumbing. Tasks that can be done while the winter snows fly.

And - oh yes - the electrician is scheduled to start wiring the house next week!

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