Treasure Hunt

We have begun our hunt for materials.  In building our house we are hoping to use salvaged material as much as possible.

The internet is being utilized to help in our search.  We’ll see what results that yields.  I am optimistic.  I will be reporting on this as things progress.

We are planning a 900 square foot house. In addition there will be a 150 square foot screened in porch.  Concrete foundation.  We want to timber frame the walls and put the roof on first.  The walls up to the roof will be infilled with straw bales.  Over the top of the bales will be a stucco finish inside and out.  You can Google straw bale house and find all sorts of info on this type of building.  Click here to visit StrawBale.com

So-  we need framing materials and straw bales.

For framing we are keeping our options open.  We have considered rough cut timber and salvaged lumber.  The frame will be bearing the weight of the hip roof.  We will probably purchase metal for the roof.  We are actively looking for old barns, buildings, houses, timber, etc for sale or to be moved.  We’d like to get our hands on a variety of left-over or salvaged bricks and stone.

Straw?  Yes, walls made of straw bales.  Not hay, but rather the stem parts of crops such as wheat, rice, oats.  Absent of the seeds and/or leafy parts.  I think many farmers around central TX may put the straw into HUGE bales…I’ve seen them being loaded onto trucks at certain times of the year.  We don’t want them that big!

As I understand it bales come in essentially a small or larger size based on available equipment that does the baling.  The small ones are about 18″ wide, while the larger ones are 22″.

We would prefer 18″ bales as they will be lighter and easier to work with, but we’re not ruling out any size (other than those huge ones).  Uniformity, good compaction, and dryness are essential.  These  will be used like giant bricks to fill in the walls.

If anyone knows where we could possibly obtain any of the above mentioned materials….suggestions are welcome!

I will be looking on line and making inquiries at feed stores and the like for the straw.

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