Inglewood straw bale

We are finally over all of the setting up challenges and have started to build the Inglewood straw bale house. As part of the design changes due to the meter box location we had already put in place the hurdles to establish the outer bounds of the house. Consequently we are ready to simply mark out the stump hole positions based on those hurdles and start building. We got to site only to realize that one of the locals decided that it would be fun to kick off one of the cross bars of one of the hurdles.  This was no big deal as they had only removed one crossbar. As it happened it was the easiest to replace taking about 10 minutes to fix.

Given the interference with one crossbar we checked the other hurdles which were all OK. It only took a couple of hours to mark out the stump hole positions so we took the rest of the day off.

Inglewood straw bale house begins

Inglewood straw bale house begins

When you are ordering a digger, carefully check the engineer’s specification to establish depth and diameter. In addition, if you have silt stone or weathered rock you may be required to bore into it. If this is the case you need to book a digger capable of doing the job. A standard auger is fine for soil but not rock.

This sounds costly, but it is really no big deal in most instances if you get the right machine. On an average house you could expect the post hole digging to cost around $1,500 instead of $300 – $400. If this is the case we would design your house with bigger bigger spans for the bearers and floor joists to reduce the number of holes, there-by reducing the overall cost.

The Inglewood straw bale house has now officially begun. Before I close off I should mention that we arranged construction insurance prior to starting the work. In addition to standard insurance we took out extra cover for volunteers as we will most likely have family and friends help at some point.

 

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4 Comments

  1. Roberta

    Hi Brian glad you have started I will be following your process with interest! Just wondering if you chose the curved roof for aesthetic or cost purposes or both? I am planning a second small shed (cum studio hidey hole) this time in straw bale. It will be around 3X5.4 m internal measurements…looking to build it as simply and cheaply as possible..

    • brian@anvill.com.au

      Hi Roberta,
      the primary motivation in building the Inglewood house with a curved roof and ceiling was aesthetic, however it has turned out to be quite cost effective. Whilst cost should always be considered it is important that you end up with something that your are proud of at the end of the construction. Like my dear old departed Dad used to say. you only remember how much you paid for a short time, but you have got the product for a very long time.

      Regards

      Brian

  2. Fiona

    Hi Brian, I have been slowly renovating my old weatherboard home but have not started on Te exterior and still yet a long way to go on the interior. As my dream of building a Strawbale home does not look to be on the horizon I started wondering about retrofitting the farmhouse Strawbale style. It is on stumps and I live about 1hr away from Inglewood, would love some information about the realities and possibilities and planning.

    • brian@anvill.com.au

      On several occasions I have done designs that include a new part of the home with a retrofit on an existing home. It is easy and cost effective, and if you follow our guidelines you cannot pick it from a new straw bale home. You get all of the same benefits for insulation and appearance. It is simply a matter of extending the foundation with additional stumps and floor to support the straw bales. The primary complication is regarding the roof as it is often necessary to extend the eaves of the house, but this is not really too much of a problem either. Obviously there are other issues to address, but if you want to pursue it further you should give me a call on 0428 246 868.

      Best regards

      Brian

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