Thursday, October 30, 2008

Daydreaming...

The past couple days I have been spending spare minutes popping on and off the computer, looking at the same bookmarked web page. What am I looking at?? Let me back up a bit. For years, John and I have been planning to build a house. It's been put on hold until we find a good place to settle down, land we like and can afford, etc. But this house we want to build is not just like any house. Over the past couple years John and I have been researching and learning about building a straw bale house. I can hear those of you who have never heard of one saying, "What?!?!" and picturing some little shack on a deserted island. They are actually amazing structures! They would have a frame like a normal house but the isolation is actually made of straw bales. What's the point? Well, it's "green" first of all. You use local materials and limit the amounts of plastics. It is also cheaper. I've seen people build beautiful houses for $50,000. And it is also such good insulation that the average electric bill is around $20-$35 a month! We have a guy here in Montezuma who is willing to sell us straw bales for $1 a bale! That's some cheap building material!! But, I'm not quite sure we'll be building our little dream house here. So we will just keep dreaming for now. As I was looking yesterday I was really amazed at how many different styles and floor plans there were! I found a few that I really love. Several years ago we lived in a house that had one big common room. The kitchen, dining room and living room were all one big open space and the bedrooms were rooms off the sides of that. We really loved that. It was very family-time conducive and that's kind of what we are going for. We'd like to have maybe 5-10 acres of land and get a little farm going. Some cows, chickens, sheep (okay, maybe not sheep but I think it would be so cute!!), we'd like to grow most of our own food. It may sound kind of out there for you city folk but people down here do it all the time. We just haven't got there yet! So, of course, I must include some pictures so ya'll won't have the "Tahiti shack" image in you head anymore. :) This is the house that we like best so far. Enjoy!






Running the race,
~A

7 comments:

carmen said...

Love it! We are familiar with the building technique and have dreamt about it ourselves! May your dreams come to fruition some day soon.

Marvin, Erica and Calvin said...

That is really cool. I had heard of this type of insulation before but I had never seen any pictures. Does this type of construction last a while? Do the bails decompose over the years? It sounds like a great little plan I hope you find that perfect piece of land at the right price.

Marie said...

You'll get there soon...
I do think you should have started by posting a picture of a literal straw house and then saying "Just kidding!" and then posting the real thing. People like to be freaked out. Anyway, in the meantime, there's nothing wrong with doing a little dreaming.
Hey, maybe we could have farms next to each together, except I wouldn't want to eat my actual animals. They'd be more for eggs and milk and stuff. And pets.

Amanda said...

This type of construction lasts for a LONG time! There is this special plaster that is put on both sides of the straw and it makes it water-proof, fire-proof,keeps the straw from decomposing and basically makes it rock solid. It's pretty neat! John knows a good bit more about the construction process than I do. I just like to look at house plans and things! :)

Em said...

very cool! I've never heard of such a thing! so are the straw bales just insulation? I think the houses you posted are beautiful!

niKnox said...

Awesome! We heard a little about this while studying design and construction at ksu... so glad you guys are looking into it! I am a huge fan.

ladyintraining said...

Wow! The pictures of this straw bale house are absolutely beautiful!!!

By the way, my name is Debbie (a.k.a. LadyinTraining). I am a friend of Jeni Friend and linked to your blog from a comment you wrote in regards to her recent homeschooling blog. I was interested to learn more about you after you recommended "Family Driven Faith" by Voddie Baucham (a book that I wish I could buy a million copies of and give to every person and church that I know:) Anyway, I would love to add you to my blogroll if you wouldn't mind. God bless you and your family for being such a wonderful example to others by trying to live according to God's Word rather than according to the cultural norms of our modern society. You have been such an encouragement to me, and I'm sure so many others as well!