The 57 acres that comprise Cedar Ridge Farm are located in the beautiful rolling hills of South Central Kentucky. My wife, our four children, and I are on a homesteading adventure as we work toward increased self-sufficiency. We grow much of our own food and enjoy being in touch with the agrarian roots of our lives.

One of the major projects we have undertaken is the building of our own home. The house we're building has three major distinguishing features: 1. we're building it without incurring any debt; 2. it is a timber frame structure; and 3. the exterior walls will be plastered straw bales. We live debt and mortgage free, and building our house with that approach makes perfect sense. Large timbers in a home possess a beauty and project a sense of strength, stability, and warmth that we want in our home. Straw bale walls provide insulation and make ecological sense. This blog is a record of our home-building project.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Video documentary of this project?

I’ve been toying with the idea of creating a documentary about our house project. In building our house, we’re doing something that is special for us, and we’re learning a lot in so doing. Quite a few months ago, I purchased Ted Owens DVD documenting the building of his hybrid home (Building With Awareness). This is a great resource – very interesting and very well done. I’ve really appreciated the information included on the DVD, and I continue to refer to it. I’ve not purchased the guidebook that goes along with the DVD, but I imagine it’s quite good too.

Early last week I received two more DVDs that I ordered from Andrew Morrison at The two I received are “Building with straw bales (post and beam infill)” and “Plastering with natural hydraulic lime (NHL).” Andrew has a lot of resources available to help individuals interested in building with straw bales.

Recently, my wife Anne and I watched a documentary on Youtube about a family’s attempt to develop a homestead and live off of the grid. I don’t remember the name of it, but we cringed and shook our heads a few times at some of the things they were trying to do and how they were going about it. Not quite how we would have approached similar problems.

Anyway, it would have been great if I had had and implemented my idea of creating a video documentary of our house-building project from the beginning. However, as we’re entering into the phase of the project after the timber framing portion, there is still a lot to be accomplished. I’m just a regular guy tackling a big and innovative project. I would like to be able to share some of the things I learn and how I approach some of the challenges and problems that are part of it.

If you think there might be some interest in such a documentary, let me know. I’m seriously thinking of doing it even if there isn’t much interest, motivated by many of the same desires that have led me to this blogging endeavor. At the very least, such a documentary would be neat for my family to have in the future.


Anonymous said...

Hey Darryl, check out this site. They had some issues with exterior cladding.


dp said...

Hey, Wade. Interesting that you mention the Stonehouse blog. I was just reading it a few minutes ago. I read with interest their issues with the coat of lime plaster over the clay plaster on the exterior. They ended up doing what I'm planning on doing -- wood siding. I want to keep water off of the walls. There will be wood siding, a vented airspace, nearly an inch of plaster, and then the straw bales, not to mention a porch protecting most of the exterior walls (and overhangs for the rest). This system should make using clay-sand plaster doable -- I like it for several reasons.

Anna said...

I think video would be great. It would be a nice thing to have for yourself and your family, like you said. And if it can help someone else, even better.