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, November 1, 2010

Upstairs plaster and windows

We had a few friends make it yesterday to help with the second coat of plaster. The objective for the day, which we achieved, was to finish the second story walls. We had six people applying plaster and two more mixing and delivering the plaster to the other workers. Everything went very smoothly, and I am very pleased. I can’t express how grateful I am to all of the wonderful people who have given of their labor to help out on our house project.

There is only one small section on the front kitchen wall that still needs the second coat of plaster, maybe four square feet. I should be able to apply that tomorrow.

After we finished the plastering yesterday, I recruited some help to move the sliding glass door from the barn to the house. It’s been stored in the barn for the last three years. It’s an eight foot wide door, and it’s quite heavy. windows and door on east side of houseSo, it was really nice to have some help moving it. I’m not sure that Dad, Danny, and I could have moved it successfully by ourselves.

This morning after I went into town to run a few errands, Dad and I set it in place in the house.  It’s on the east side of the house leading from what will be the master bedroom onto the porch. Thankfully, the door fit in the framed opening with little difficulty. We spent a little time cleaning it after installing it.

After lunch, Danny helped us move the remaining five windows from the barn, clean them, and install them upstairs. Cleaning the nearly five years of accumulated dirt off of the windows took longer than it did to carry them up ladders and install them.

upstairs windows on back of house west side

So, we now have all of the windows and doors put in except for the small windows that will be above the wood cook stove – I have to cut and put in a new piece of glass. Hopefully, I can do that tomorrow. We also will swap out the kitchen windows with new casement windows when they arrive, which should be by this coming weekend.

We should be able to start installing siding this week. It looks like we’re on schedule to have the house closed in by the end of next week. That’s my goal, anyway.


kentuckyagrarianwannabe said...

I know you have to put on siding but I like the look the way it is. Getting it dried in will be a big relief as well.


Wade said...

Darryl, I really like how the windows have made it look like a house. Fabulous job as usual. I can't thank you enough for sharing the process.
Once you have the house closed in do you think you will take a break or continue through the winter?


dp said...

The clay does look nice, but I still don't want a stucco-type exterior. We started on the siding yesterday. I'll have a post about it with some photos tomorrow morning.

Wade, thanks for the compliment! It does look good with windows, and the siding changes the look even more. Once it's closed in, I'll take a short break to hunt and maybe take a trip for Thanksgiving, but I plan to work on the inside over winter. It'll probably be spring (when it starts warming up a bit) before I do the interior plaster work. I hope to get it finished by next summer sometime.