Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Here is a short progress report on the straw house. I have run city water and the septic system up to the house under the rubble trench. I am pretty pleased, because the plumbing was one thing I thought I would have to hire a professional to do. One of our local plumbing companies here was nice enough to talk my plan over with me at their shop. I bought the pieces I needed then went home and installed it all myself. The water line was easy enough as well. With that done, I filled in the last wall of the foundation with rocks. A friend loaned me a tamper to pack all the rock down. Now for the last two days I've been building above ground! I started building the forms to pour my footer. Once the footer is done, I can start building the walls and it will start taking the shape of a house. Originally I was going to lay down earth bags of rock with a six inch concrete slab on top of them for my footer. After having a play with the rock bags I don't fully trust them to hold up my house. I know they have been used before, but I think I will go with a concrete footer. I still won't be using much concrete as I am not pouring a slab, I am going with earth floors on the inside of the house. Also to save on concrete in my footer, I am thinking of laying a ground layer of football sized rocks for the length of the walls, then pour the concrete over them. If anybody has a better idea on this please contact me soon. I am trying to minimize the use of concrete, but still have the house stand up. It's all coming along now. I am very excited to move away from shoveling earth and rocks to working with wood. We now have all the doors and windows needed for the house. I found a building recycle center close by, and got some sweet deals - happened to catch the center on a day they were offering 50% off their usual low prices. Four large double paned windows (that will go across the front of the house facing south) were $17.00 each. I can't see anything wrong with them. I got beautiful heavy french doors for $60.00. We also bought several pieces of furniture right across the lake from my Mothers antique shop. Needless to say, she gave us some good deals. I look forward to seeing the final cost for this house.