Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Proof We Have a House Made of Straw

This week was definitely one of the most exciting moments in construction thus far. My dad and his good friend Kevin came down for the week to help with the house and we saw the first straw bale get stacked into place.

We are using the infill method of straw bale construction, where bales are cut and notched with a chainsaw to fit in between stud walls. The notches in the bales varied in size depending on the studs they fit into and several bales needed to be made smaller by restringing the straw with a special needle. Bales are stacked and tied into the studs with twine and will later be stuffed with loose straw to fill in any gaps or inconsistencies.

With sore fingers from tying and re-stringing bales, lots of cursing from temperamental chainsaws and lots of tiny scratches and cuts later, we were able to stack almost 100 bales onto the north and east walls. The windows and doors will have to get boxed out before we can complete the rest of the two sides, but boy are we excited about the progress.

It was a real treat to have family and friends help out with the process this week and we're thankful for everyone who stopped by to lend a hand. We look forward to continued construction and more work parties in the coming weeks.

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