Our Timber Frame & Straw Bale House Building Timeline

by ziggy on November 28, 2012 -- 0 comments -- Follow

Straw Bale House2012 was a whirlwind of a building season. Organizing and running two natural building workshops, building a timber frame house with hand tools, meeting deadlines, unbelievable heat…

Despite all of it, we accomplished an amazing amount of work. Again, huge thanks to our awesome building workshop crews, and every volunteer that picked up a hammer (or a really heavy timber) in our crazy journey. Here I present a recap of our 2012 Strawtron building season. In the coming weeks I will ‘fill in the blanks’ where I have not provided online documentation of our timber frame & straw bale house, so look out!

The Strawtron Building Timeline

In winter of 2011-12, the timber frame design is in progress, and workshops are planned and promoted for summer 2012.

Pier and Beam FoundationIn February 2012, the house design is completed. Timber frame plans are settled, and a timber spec sheet is ready. Order for timbers is placed with local mill.

In early April, the foundation is laid out, and the concrete pier foundation is poured and completed. The first timbers are milled and delivered.

In May, all of the timbers are acquired, and framing the sill beams is complete.

In June, the floor joists and platform assembly is finished, and the tongue and groove subfloor is laid over the main portion of the house, just in time for the first building course: the Timber Framing Workshop.

Timber Frame WorkshopDuring the Timber Framing Workshop, framing is begun, the first bents are raised, excitement levels are very high. Much is learned.

In July, straw bales are delivered and stored in the “wedding tent”. Framing the porch, balcony, and roof is continued and completed with Tom Cundiff. Roof decking is installed mere days before the second course, the Straw Bale Workshop. Pond liner is raised over upper roof, is blown off, and raised again in one day. Other preparations are made for straw bale work, including construction of window and door bucks, and toe-up.

The Straw Bale Workshop begins in late July, and…

Straw Bale BuildingIn August, 95% of bale wall work is completed, exterior lime plaster and earthen plaster, and interior earth plaster are begun during 10 day Straw Bale Workshop. Ponder liner is raised over lower roof once decking is finished. During massive wind storm, upper pond liner is blown off once again; thankfully, walls are spared any damage. Truck straps ordered immediately to hold down pond liners. Post-workshop, remaining bale work is completed, all walls are trimmed, additional plaster is applied.

In September, more lime plaster is applied. Balcony deck is installed. First soil is added to living roof. Interior window trim is completed, and more earthen plaster is applied to walls on first level.

Living Roof PartyIn October, the wood stove is installed, homemade balcony door is constructed, floor platform is insulated with blown cellulose. Oh, and we move in!

In November, we take a break, and think about plans for the winter, and 2013…

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