Tag Archives: strawbale

Slow, Broke March. Chin up!

Jeez. We thought January and February were tight… March is watertight.

But we are making progress, albeit slow.

Widson has been putting in some extra time for us, cobbing the exterior and filling in some more sections with fencing and wattle.

Here are some pics of our progress as of beginning of March 2014.

I have also started experimenting with final cob plaster layers in the main bedroom, using a 25%red clay 25% horse manure ( yes, I shall build with poo!) and 50% fine sand mix.

Horse manure is a perfect substitute for finely chopped straw as it contains superfine grass for binding and some enzymes that aid in giving a smooth and easily applied, flexible when wet, plaster. If that makes sense.

Basically, it is just perfect!

It only has a feint odour when wet and by the time has half dried and set, there is no sign that you’ve been mucking about!

Anyway, here are some photos…

Note the kid’s handprints, I love it it, this is now turning into a home!ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

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Where we are today.

So, we’ve got the roof on, we’ve thrown a cement floor throughout, we have the basic fireplace, water tank and feed done, now we are busy boxing the walls, filling them with wattle and cobbing them in…

Next will come the electric points, db boxes for the solar, home rebuilt solar geyser with rocket water heater, internal walls, skylights and eventually ceilings (eventually love…not now!)

18th Jan 201420140126_180306 20140202_173048 20140201_081452 20140118_140000 20140202_173048 20140202_173157 20140205_224833

“Life is what happens while you’re making other plans…” So here’s the plan…..

IMG-20121230-0107818th Jan 2014
After a few years and a lot of life, we (dad, mom and the 3 little people) have decided to build a cob house.

We were originally going to buy a standard house in the suburbs and become what we didn’t really like. Suburbians.

-Nothing wrong with that, but my wife and I have never been conventional. She is an inspired artist and I am something of an artistic soul too.
(Altough we are both rather disgruntled artists as kids, bills, work, building, money and life like to bubble the pot!)

So. We looked at conventional houses in the suburbs. My wife ran away screaming to the hills. I followed her.

We found a beautiful wooded plot just out of town that a friend of ours was wanting to sell off. Perfect!

We jumped at it!

Well, it has not been smooth sailing by any stretch, having to clear trees, fence, build, wait, pay, wait, change plans, correct title deeds, wait, pay…. all another story!
But, seeing our house take shape is really exciting now.

This blog is about how we are building our little house out of natural and recycled materials to be free of grid electricity and most importantly:
To be free of a mortgage.
We are trying to do everything without taking loans, so progress is slow.

It is quite funny how our new home has morphed and warped from where it was just going to be a little workshop for me (dad) growing into a fully fledged offgrid, living grass roof, skylighted, 3 bedroom home capable our keeping us 5 cozy and happy!

We had no training or experience in building alternatively before starting here, everything was learnt by studying the internet, watching YouTube videos, looking at pics and mostly:l lots of trial and error.

I’d like to dedicate this blog to all the wonderful people of the world who have posted their findings and ideas and shared their knowledge on the net.
It is a wonderful brotherhood of barefoot builders that helped us shape our ideas and we’d like to give back to those who also want share in the joy of the Hand Built home.

Well, here is our lovechild…