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Goin' up the country!

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#1 Guest_dead_*

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Posted 13 January 2004 - 08:03 PM

I'm getting ready to move out of the big city and move out to some land I have owned for about 20yrs. I need to put a house on it , but I can't decide between a loghome, a-frame or just get a manufactured home. I'm trying to keep my cost under $75K. Anyone have any suggestions? Anyone familiar with the pros and cons of these types of houses? This is a big mid-life crisis move for me. I'm so far back in the woods I can't even get cable LOL. Back of the property borders a huge wildlife sanctuary so there are lots of critters aroundPosted Image I counted turkey, deer, bobcat and racoon tracks just on my two acres. It's as busy as grand central station there. And I'm right in the middle of cow country...y'all know what that meansPosted Image

#2 Guest_hippie3_*

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Posted 13 January 2004 - 08:25 PM

many folks start off by putting a trailer/mobile home on the lot to live in while they build their dream home

#3 banjojo



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Posted 13 January 2004 - 08:49 PM

The most inexpensive home you could possibly build would be strawbale. I have been in strawbale houses in Missouri and they are sweet and for less than a dollar a bale. I walked into one in 95% weather and instanty felt a relaxing cooling sensation. There were no fans or air conditioning, they just leave their windows open at night and close them in the day. The straw has very good insulative qualities and can hold a steady temperature in the house for a long time. Check out and take a tour of their houses, although you don't get as good of an impression as seeing them in real life.

#4 Guest_sweetness_*

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Posted 13 January 2004 - 09:36 PM
<font color="0000ff">Don't know everything about this particular company but I found this site and others a while back and I think they're so economical.
The strawbale is a great idea Banjojo.</font>

#5 Guest_roo_*

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Posted 13 January 2004 - 10:27 PM


Cool! I just wished I lived somewhere warmer so I could live in it year round. Its -7 F outside right now... Including the wind chill it feels like -20F, COLD! It would make a nice summer house.

(Message edited by roo on January 14, 2004)

#6 ridder


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Posted 13 January 2004 - 10:30 PM

i've seen some of t hose straw bale houses on tv banjojo.. pretty cool shit.

#7 Guest_sweetness_*

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Posted 13 January 2004 - 10:33 PM

<font color="0000ff"> </font>

#8 Guest_dead_*

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 11:52 AM

I was looking at the straw bale houses, But I don't know how it would hold up in a high humidity environment. Would they start to rot? Would shrooms start to grow out of my walls? Even though I'm in the middle of nowhere, it's still a deed restricted airport community and they wont allow used trailers but maybe I could get an exemption for a temporary job site trailer?

#9 Guest_hippie3_*

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 12:17 PM

remember the lesson of the 3 little pigs.
straw houses aren't as good as brick.

#10 banjojo



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Posted 14 January 2004 - 12:18 PM

A lot of people are afraid of that, but It doesn't happen unless you don't take proper care of it, or if you leave you let your bails get wet during construction and you use them anyway. If you plaster properly and be sure to keep the bails dry you shouldn't have any problems. The bails should be the tightest you can get, and most straw bailers usually take pride in getting their bails nice and tight. Having help so that you can get the bails stacked reasonable fast, don't rush it, but keep mind of rain during construction. You can tarp it in any case and should be fine, the bails repel moisture for the most part because they are compressed straw.

The trick with the plaster is it has to breath. The plaster I have seen in action is clay and straw done in two coats, and a couple coats of lime over that. Breathable paints are recommended for the walls.

(Message edited by banjojo on January 14, 2004)

#11 Guest_hippie3_*

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 12:20 PM

are you trying to tell me that a straw house will last at least the 30-50 years it needs to do to be considered permanent ?

#12 banjojo



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Posted 14 January 2004 - 12:52 PM


page 5 history:

"Strawbale buildings were first constructed in the USA in the
late 1800s, when baling machines were invented. The white settlers
on the plains of Nebraska were growing grain crops in an
area without stone or timber with which to build, and whilst
waiting for timber to arrive by wagon train the following spring,
they built temporary houses out of what was, to them, a waste
material - the baled up straw-stalks of the grain crop. They
built directly with the bales as if they were giant building blocks,
where the bales themselves formed the loadbearing structure.
This is known as the Nebraskan or loadbearing style. The
settlers discovered that these bale houses kept them warm
throughout the very cold winter yet cool during the hot summer,
with the additional sound-proofing benefits of protection
from the howling winds.Their positive experience of
building and living in strawbale homes led to the building of
permanent houses, some of which are still occupied dwellings
today! This early building method flourished until about 1940,
when a combination of war and the rise in the popularity and
use of cement led to its virtual extinction.Then, in the late
1970s, Judy Knox and Matts Myrhman among other pioneers of
the strawbale revival, rediscovered some of those early houses
and set about refining the building method and passing on this
knowledge to an eager audience of environmental enthusiasts.
Through the green and permaculture movements the ideas
spread very rapidly, with most of the new buildings being this
self-build, Nebraska/loadbearing style. (see page 8 for more
details). Before long, new techniques were developed to
improve the building method and 'The Last Straw' journal was
founded in Arizona to
disseminate ideas, promote good practice, and provide a forum
within which owners and builders could network.
The first straw building in the UK was built in 1994, and today
approximately 1000 new structures are being built annually all
over the world.There are about 70 in the UK and 10 in Ireland
at the present time, some with full planning permission and
building regulation approval. Amazon Nails has been involved in
approximately 40 of these."


"Straw bales were first used to construct homes by early settlers in the sandhills of Nebraska in the late 1800s. Faced with no trees to mill and soil too sandy to use for sod homes, they turned to the abundant supply of prairie grasses and their recently invented baling machines. Many of these turn-of-the-century homes, schools and churches still stand today.

Modern straw bale construction uses the same basic principles applied by the Nebraskan pioneers, but updated to meet current building code requirements.

Straw bale homes offer insulation values of R-40 to R-45, more than double that of standard frame homes. Straw bale walls are also less expensive than wood-frame ("stud") walls. Environmentally, the use of straw bales replaces the majority of the framing lumber, manufactured insulation and plastic barriers with an annually renewable, agricultural waste product.

Straw bale homes consistently use less than one half of the heating and cooling energy required by standard frame homes."

"There are building code approved examples of both load-bearing and post and beam straw bale homes in Ontario. Many have received bank mortgages and regular home insurance. Much testing has been done on straw bale wall systems, and all tests to date show that they outperform the standard 2x6 frame wall. Fire tests show a burn time more than double that of a frame wall, and structural tests show similar advantages. The CMHC has been responsible for some of this testing, and they are generally supportive of straw bale building.

To date, most building inspectors have required either an architect's or engineer's approval of drawings for straw bale buildings before issuing permits. Reactions from building inspectors have ranged from enthusiastic support to strong skepticism and resistance. Until straw bale building becomes part of the Ontario Building Code, bale projects must be approved on a case-by-case basis."

(Message edited by banjojo on January 14, 2004)

#13 Guest_i_am_me_*

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 12:55 PM

I would build either an A frame house of a loft style log house. A frames are awesome because of the high ceilings and simple layout...but I would really want a log house with a loft just big enough to be my bedroom.

#14 Guest_dead_*

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 06:41 PM

I like the look of a-frames but the useable floor space is kinda limited, The high ceilings are awesome though. I'm looking at loghome plans and some of them are very inexpensive if you just get a shell home and do the finishing work yourself.

#15 mossback



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Posted 14 January 2004 - 06:49 PM

there's a lot of that strawbale construction around here. its awesome totaly costeffective and so energy efficient, check out mother earth news, they have many good resources available on this subject. or try backhome magazine.

#16 Guest_mushroom_*

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 09:27 AM

I was going to suggest a dome house but couldn't remember the link. I'm going to build one in the woods eventually...

Here's a cheaper alternative but still dome... Will post the link to the other when I get it.

#17 Guest_geoffrey_*

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 12:07 PM

LoghomePosted Image
Do you plan on doing any farming?

#18 Guest_hiker_*

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 12:50 PM

Have a southern exposure? Check these out, made from old tires!

#19 banjojo



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Posted 15 January 2004 - 12:58 PM

Yes you should definitely incorporate passive solar heating into whatever home you decide to build. It is very nice to have the sun warming you throughout the winter.

#20 maliki



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Posted 29 February 2004 - 06:50 AM

O a man affter me own heart. Sounds like your moving to my neck of the woods ...
Any way one of the affordable effincent sturdy simple and pleasing homes I have seen and heavaly researched are Geodesik Domes. Heres a few links and a pic or 2 to wet your appetite.Posted Image
Posted Image
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Structural Integrity & Flexibility...
Since Geodesic Domes are factory manufactured to exacting standards using triangular networks forming hexagons and pentagons, this method provides for a free-span, self-supporting structure requiring no internal supports, such as roof load-bearing partion wall. This allows for maximum flexibility of roof floor design, utilizing or interior space, and future expansion. Domes are stronger and safer homes , and have proven to withstand tornados, hurricanes, and earthquakes far better than ordinary, conventional box homes. All the space you pay for is usable, providing complete flexibility for placement of interior partitions, fixtures, and furniture...100% effcient.

Energy Efficiency...
Domes are highly energy efficient in two ways. First, compared to a common rectilinear home of equal floor space, a dome home has` approximately 30-50% less roof and wall area exposed to the elements. This reduction in surface area results in a reduction in energy costs for heating and cooling. Second, the spherical shape of the dome facilitates natural air flow yielding more even temperatures, reducing air stratification, minimizing cold spots, and maximizing overall interior comfort.

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