Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Winter Has Arrived

After a very mild fall, winter has arrived cold and dry. While we do have 3 or 4 inches of snow on the ground, it's a lot less than normal.  It has, however, been colder than we're used to - lows below 0 and highs below freezing.  We've been staying very close to home and praying that our pipes don't freeze. So far so good!!! The good news is that the plastic we wrapped the house in is doing a great job of keeping the walls safe and dry!

We have had some days, though, that have warmed up into the 30s and I've tried to take advantage of them by working at least two or three hours on the house. I have begun working on Phase 2 of the straw bale walls.
Here is the window above the trombe wall in the garage.  There will be two double hung windows here.  Still have to hang the box above the windows for the straw.

The north wall in the house with boxes installed above the windows ready for more straw.

We still have to hang the ceiling for the bedroom and bath so straw is up to the bond beam. Once we get the internal walls up and the ceiling hung, we will finish the straw on this wall.

Window on the north side of the garage ready for more straw.

Day one....

One more course to go!

Straw on north wall of garage done!

This phase is turning out to be very labor intensive. We at first thought a full bale might fit vertically between the trusses but that space is 22" give or take, and a bale is 18" wide so the bales have to be split and loose straw stuffed between them to fill in the cracks. And while half a bale is much lighter than a full bale, it's still challenging to get the half bales up there and in place. At the end of a couple of hours, I am totally covered - inside and out - with straw!

The forecast for the coming week is for highs to get back into the 40s, which is normal for this time of year. With any luck, I'll be able to get a lot done before the next cold snap arrives.

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