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.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Finishing the floor framing

The floor is almost all framed. We lack installing the short sections of 2x6 along the back that will support the straw bale wall.

2x6 porch floor joistsLast week, we only worked on the house Monday, getting all of the 2x6 floor joists installed on the porch and the first three 4x6 joists as well. first three 4x6 joists 

Anne and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary on Wednesday. She and I took off Wednesday and Thursday for some time out together – the children stayed with my parents.

On Friday, I mowed hay, and we baled what I had previously mowed on Tuesday afternoon. So, there wasn’t time to get back to work on the house as I had hoped.

We got at it this morning and put in a full day. We completed putting in the rest of the 4x6  floor joists on the porch. Then, we installed the floor joists for the kitchen, the west side porch, and the mudroom. The next thing was to put in the short 2x6 joists that frame the floor upon which the straw bale walls will be placed. This process went well, but the day was done before we could get the section on the back of the house done. We’ll complete that on Wednesday.

View from the back of the house floor framing on front of house framing on west side of house kitchen floor from inside the timber frame

I have to figure out how to proceed from this point. There are several tasks to be completed before we can begin stacking straw bales, including building the framework to hold the windows and exterior siding, framing the summer kitchen, putting up the porch posts, roofing the porch, installing the first floor subfloor, and screwing on the porch floor.

Three years ago I bought 300 bales of straw for the house which have been stored in the barn since then. I should’ve waited. Several of them have not faired well for a variety of reasons. I also wanted some better straw. Last week I made a deal to purchase 300 more bales of good wheat straw. The guy I’m buying them from will deliver then when I’m ready for them. We’re working to be ready by the end of July.

1 comment:

curdy said...

First, congrats on the 20th anniversary!

Sorry to hear about the older straw bales not doing well. If its any consolation, its a lesson we can learn from, I'd guess there are still plenty of other things that straw can be used for around the farm. Just think if you had bought a comparable amount of fiberglass insulation and it was unusable?