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.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Upstairs bale walls

Today, I didn’t work much on the house. I put some plastic up to protect the bales that were exposed. Just as I was finishing, it began to sprinkle. It didn’t amount to much, but it was good to get them covered. Tomorrow, I hope we can get all of the walls pinned. The idea is to have them ready to be plastered during the mud party on Sunday.

I took a few photos of what we accomplished yesterday so that I could share them. It’s really neat to see the house with the walls stacked.

northwest corner

The stairs will come up near where the ladder is in the next photo. There is a small landing at the top of the stairs between the two upstairs bedrooms. We’re planning a cozy, little reading area by the window on the landing. 

Looking across to the west bedroom, there will be a wall between the two posts making a storage area under the eaves. There will also be a wall on the near side of the room where the ladder is leaning.

Looking toward the east bedroom, you can see that the windows on the back of the house are set quite low. They are one bale height above the floor which will make them really cozy with the built in window seat. There will be closets on either side of the back window in each bedroom, making the window feel more like a dormer.

The west window in the west bedroom. All of the large windows in the house, like this one, will have wood sills making comfortable window seats. You can imagine how nice it would be to sit in the window with a good book on a sunny winter day.

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