Straw Bale Home Construction

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Learn how to build a straw bale house

Step 1 - Layout and Foundations
Establish corner locations, erect batter boards and string lines, install “rough” plumbing and electrical and create the foundation for walls.
Step 2 - Window and Door Frames
Fabricate all frames and attach door frames to foundation.
Step 3 - Raising the Walls
Waterproof the foundation, stack the bales, install window frames and install lintels, where necessary.
Step 4 - Roof-Bearing Assembly
Straighten walls, install roof bearing assembly (ladder) and fasten ladder to the foundation.
Step 5 - Adding the Roof
Build roof framework, surface roof framework, install electrical boxes and wiring for ceiling fixtures and install ceiling and insulate.
Step 6 - While the Walls Compress
Finish flooring, create interior partitions, install electrical boxes and wiring in bales, install finish plumbing, secure frames, install windows and doors and trim bales at corners and openings.
Step 7 - Surfacing the Walls
Install expanded metal lath inside and out, install stucco netting on outside, plaster the outside wall surfaces and cover the interior bale walls with plaster.
Step 8 - The Finishing Touches
Finish electrical and pluming details, finish carpentry details, finish painting, staining, tiling, etc. and make the house a home.

Straw Bale House Construction Resources

Bruce King, Buildings of Earth and Straw: Structural Design for Rammed Earth and Straw Bale Architecture (Sausalito: Ecological Design Press, 1996).

Paul Lacinski and Michel Bergeron, Serious Straw Bale: A Home Construction Guide for All Climates (White River Junction: Chelsea Green Publishers, 2000).

Matts Myhrman and S.O. MacDonald, Build It with Bales: A Step-by-Step Guide to Straw Bale Construction (Tucson: Out on Bale Publishers, 1999).

Athena and Bill Steen, and David Bainbridge with David Eisenberg, The Straw Bale House (White River Junction: Chelsea Green Publishers, 1994).

CASBA—California Straw Building Association
www.strawbuilding.org

DCAT—The Development Center for Appropriate Technology
www.dcat.net

EBNet—Ecological Building Network
www.ecobuildnetwork.org

The Last Straw Journal
www.thelaststraw.org