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.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Interior wall framing is finished

Yesterday and today I worked on framing the last walls that needed done inside the house. These included the interior wall on one upstairs bedroom, the walls for both storage rooms, and framing for the upstairs closets and the linen closet.

I bought several 2x10s a couple of weeks ago and a few 2x4s. My guy didn’t have many 2x4s. I figured that if I ripped a 2x4 out of a 2x10 the board left over along with an unripped 2x10 would make 15” shelves in the pantry. It works out that way, too. No, I haven’t built pantry shelves, but after ripping out the first 2x4 I measured the leftover and an uncut 2x10.

My only problem is that I didn’t buy enough 2x10s. I needed more 2x4s than I thought. 028So, I’ll have to get some more to have enough for all of the pantry shelves.

Yesterday, I framed the interior wall for the west upstairs bedroom. It didn’t take too long, and I didn’t have too much problem fitting it in place.

I was also able to frame the wall for the storage room in the east upstairs bedroom. I actually did it in two pieces, leaving the door way in the middle. 014As sometimes happens, I had to take it out after putting it in to move it. I don’t always see exactly how things need to be done to get it right the first time, but I do try.

Today, I put in the wall for the other storage room which is in the other bedroom. 023This one went faster since I’d already figured out what to do on the other one.

After getting this wall in place, I began on the upstairs closets. We’re going to use curtains rather than doors on them. 008So, the design is just to run a wall out straight from the window. This sets the window on the north side of each bedroom back a little, kind of like a dormer. It makes for two nice closets in each upstairs bedroom, too. The closet walls are only as high as the beam above the002 front of them. This leaves a ventilation space between the top of the closet wall and the ceiling.

The last walls to frame today were for the linen closet which is downstairs near the main bathroom. It is about 14 inches deep – it’s located at the end of the bathtub and is accessible from the hallway at the bottom of the stairs. There’s also a cabinet framed into the wall above the closet. When the children came down this afternoon, they had to climb into the upper cabinet.

After finishing all the framing, I swept all the floors in the house (except the laundry room). My next task is to get the rest of the electrical boxes installed and run some wires.

5 comments:

Dave said...

Love the timber framing, I have to ask about the hay or straw, insulation?? Never seen that before.

dp said...

It's a timber frame straw bale house. Instead of using SIPS or traditionally framed walls, we have straw bale walls for enclosing the home. The bale walls are plastered on both sides (inside to be done this summer), and we also put siding on the outside.

Dave said...

I'm a firefighter so that scares me a bit. Really cool though.

dp said...

Dave, you can find info about straw bale building online. One of the things about it is that when finished (plastered on both sides) it is actually more fire resistant than a regular framed house. Although straw is combustible and will burn readily, when compressed into bales and sealed in with plaster it does not ignite or burn easily. It's kind of like trying to burn a phone book encased in plaster -- not easy to do.

Dave said...

Very interesting. I will look it up. Thanks.