Moving Into an Incomplete House (p.s. We’re in Strawtron!)

by ziggy on October 15, 2012 -- 3 comments -- Follow

Straw Bale House Interior

Pug waits for the base plaster to dry

It is with somewhat reluctant, but inevitable feelings that we have just recently moved into our new straw bale house. I say ‘reluctant’ because really, the house is not complete. However, it has always been our intention to move in for winter, before the house is finished. Generally speaking, however, I highly advise people against moving into incomplete shelter, if they can avoid it.

Why Not To Move Into an Incomplete Home

It is all too common for folks to move into their homes-in-progress, only to later stall on wrapping up work. Finish work takes longer to complete (if it ever does get finished), details get nixed, etc. Things just take a lot longer when you’ve decided to settle in, and move in a bunch of furniture and belongings, which are difficult to shuffle around to get to the work you need to do. It’s not an ideal scenario. It’s why I try to recommend against it.

Given our circumstances, with a cob house that has potentially been the cause of health problems for us (because of a cold and moist living situation), we absolutely wanted to get into our straw bale house for winter, even if it meant it wasn’t fully complete. It’s a compromise, but a good one, I think.

Also, we are able to move into our new home without moving everything over into it. We have brought what we need for winter, and are storing what we don’t need in Gobcobatron. That makes the situation more acceptable to me, as well.

But anyway, I gotta admit, it is really exciting to be inside and using the space, even though there’s only base coat plaster on the walls, the upstairs area is still very much a construction zone, etc. It’s really comfortable, and really homey. It’s already more comfortable than Gobcobatron, even in its incomplete state.

I am hopeful that once spring rolls around, we will be able to rearrange the space to be able to wrap up interior work. There are enough indoor spaces (and covered spaces, with the porch), to be able to move things around comfortably, to be able to get to the walls, etc.

It’s gonna be a good winter.

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  • I know about moving in during construction. Before I found out about natural building techniques, we built our home. We hired out anything that had to pass code- plumbing, electric, etc… and basically moved into a gallery of 2x4s. I had to do the insulation, sheetrock, ceiling, floors, and trim by myself, moving dozens of boxes out of the way every morning. All the while helping my VERY pregnant wife take care of our 2 year old and working full time in town. I got very tired. And now, 9 years later, the house is almost done.

    You have a good idea keeping most of your stuff at your old house while you finish up the straw house. I wish we had had that option.

    Best of luck in your new home Ziggy!

  • Jan Zandvoort

    Hi Ziggy, here a few lines from Holland.
    Been following you for quite some time, can imagine you don’t want to move in really in a unfinished house. Is it the dampness of the cobhouse the reason you move in that quick??
    What is the reason for Cobatron being damp?? Is this lack of proper ventilation. I’m actually thinking about building my own cobhouse so thought you might have some tips to prevent a damp home.

    Keep up the good work Brian!
    Kind regards,
    Jan Zandvoort
    Noordwijk
    Holland

  • Brian Toomey

    Long live bird couch!

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