Introduction

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.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Another week’s worth of work is done

It feels good to get things done on the house. We are on schedule for being ready for the straw bales by the end of July. If our progress is good next week, I’ll call the guy I’m buying them to arrange for delivery sometime during the last week of July (which isn’t far away).

This morning we continued putting up vertical stringers on the west side of the utility room and mudroom. We got the north side of this section done on Wednesday. Having done the other wall of stringers, this wall went quickly. Once we had rafters up, we were able to frame the end walls with the vertical stringers.

I was glad to see that the length of the north wall above the root cellar and the west wall above the root cellar (and past it) were the same. I actually find this remarkable because the rooms here are the result of different sections of foundation built at different times coming together. I feel blessed.

At lunch time, it was beginning to rain a little bit. The rain didn’t continue, though. So, we were able to continue work in the afternoon.

We framed the kitchen with the vertical stringers for these bale walls. There is a door on the west wall that will lead into the summer kitchen. There is a six foot wide by 36” tall window on the south wall that will be above the sink. There is a 36” by 36” window on the east wall. We’ll be building the bucks for the doors and windows later. When they’re installed, things will look different.

west wall of the kitcheneast wall of the kitchen

the kitchen from inside the house

We put up all of the rafters above the sewing room/study, utility room, mudroom, and kitchen. I’m planning on buying some more 2x6s from the local guy who I’ve bought other lumber from. I bought two exterior doors from him yesterday. One will be the front door and the other will exit from the sewing room/study onto the back porch.

I also picked up the roofing metal I ordered for the porch. I have some 10’ pieces of metal, but they wouldn’t allow for enough overhang. So, I ordered 11’ pieces of ‘rainbow’ metal. Out of the 50 pieces I received, two are black and 48 are galvanized.

Next week, we should be able to get the porch posts up and the header that goes between the posts put on. Then, we’ll put on the porch rafters and, hopefully, the purlins so we can put on the roofing metal.

The house

2 comments:

curdy said...

Looks great! Really making some very nice progress! What are the dimensions of the kitchen again?

When is the goal to have the exterior done by?

dp said...

Hey, Curdy!

The kitchen is 9 by 12. My goal is to have the exterior done before fall. I haven't specified a particular date or month yet, but as soon as possible. That will allow me to do a lot on the inside over the winter and early spring months, hopefully finishing it so we can move in by next summer.