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, December 24, 2010

I worked on the house a little today

It’s been a while since I posted. At least one person let me know that he’s experienced withdrawal symptoms because of the lack of updates!

We spent Thanksgiving in North Carolina with family. It was a good visit. Once we got back home, I focused some time on getting my classes taken care of. I teach a Social Foundations of Education course online for a university. I’m redesigning my class for the Spring semester which requires some time and attention. I also had to finish up this semester’s class.

The result has been that I’ve not spent time working on the house. There are, of course, plenty of things to work on, I’ve just focused my time and efforts elsewhere.

This morning I decided that I would see about putting up an interior wall, though. It felt good to actually get back to work on the house.

I laid out the location for one wall of the pantry and took measurements. Malchiah helped me get materials ready and put the wall together. 003It went smoothly. We built the wall on the floor and then raised it into place.

The pantry will be 64 inches wide inside with shelves at least 15 inches deep around three sides. There will be several rows of shelves, exactly how many I don’t know yet. We ought to have plenty of room for storing all of our canned goods and some other food supplies.

I also want to put a trap door in the floor to allow access to the crawl space from inside the house. The crawl space might be a good place to store vegetables that like cool (but not cold) and dry conditions.

After I get some more 2x4s, I’ll build the other wall of the pantry and other interior walls. I also have stairs to construct, window sills to install, electrical, and plumbing installation, etc. As I said, there plenty to do. I’ll endeavor to keep you updated on my efforts.

7 comments:

kentuckyagrarianwannabe said...

Merry Christmas to you and yours.


Tim

curdy said...

Merry Christmas!

Tyler Donoho said...

Hey darryl this is tyler donoho from bowling green that you got the straw from. Found your link today in my wallet. The house looks great i am blown away. If you ever need an extra hand i would be glad to help anytime just give me a call 270-535-6372. Hope you and your family had a great christmas and good luck with the house GOD BLESS

dp said...

Tyler, it's great to hear from you! We are thrilled with the progress we've made on the house. I'll keep you number and give you a call when we can use some extra help. You will definitely have to come and see the house again, anyway.

Ian said...

Could you tell me if you attended any timber frame schools. If so which one and did you think it was worth the money.

dp said...

Ian, I did not attend a timber framing school or have any previous timber framing experience. I decided I wanted to build a timber frame, read about it, and believed that I could do it. Granted, I didn't tackle any really complicated joints or designs, but I figured building a timber frame was kind of like making a really big piece of furniture. I had a little wood working experience (not much, actually) before starting. The main thing for me was understanding the basic concepts and having confidence that the task was not beyond my ability.

Garden Forum said...

Thrilled with the improvement made on the house.Hope to finish it soon.