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.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Material accumulation

One of the things I’ve been doing recently is accumulating material for tasks to be completed on the house. Earlier this spring, I hauled some boards to a friend for him to plane them and tongue-and-groove them. These boards will become the finished floor in the house. A couple of weeks ago 015I took the rest of the boards to him and picked up the first half which he had gotten done. They’re now stacked inside the house awaiting the time when we’ll be ready to put them down. I’m sure I’ll have to move them a time or two as dictated by other jobs in the house before we actually begin installing the floor.

The flooring is oak and beech. The beech has a lot of character, including some spalting, in it. The oak overall is nice. The second set of boards to be done appeared to be of better quality than the first set. I also purchased about 300 square feet of maple flooring from a family that had some left over when they had new floor installed in their house. You can see the stacks of flooring in the photo to the left. The oak is in the living room and the other is in the kitchen/dining area.

Another item now residing inside the house is 20 bags of number 6 tile kaolin clay to be used for the finished plaster on the interior walls. You can see some of the bags stacked near the flooring in the kitchen/dining area in the photo above. I wasn’t sure how much I would actually need, so I ordered 2,000 pounds of it. I figured it was better to have too much than too little. I ordered the clay from Kentucky Mudworks which is located in Lexington. They have a special deal for in-state shipping. I met the truck in town to get the pallet loaded with the 20 50 pound bags of clay.

Several weeks ago I also bought bricks, mortar, and clay liner for building the chimney. I have yet to construct the chimney, though. The brick and flue liner are still on the trailer which is parked near the house. The bags of mortar are stored on the porch where they will not get wet.

I also have paint for painting the house. I needed to get some for painting the fascia boards before gutters are installed. So, I purchased enough to paint the whole house when we can.


(Examples of the flooring: beech in left photo, oak in right.)


Jessica said...

I'm a materials gatherer, too. I'm not building a house but I like to have materials around for lots of projects since I never know what I'll start when. Plus if I find a good deal for something I know I'll need at some point I buy it. It's all restricted to one room in the basement but if it starts taking over the house I might have to rethink things.

claygirl said...

Howdy! I have been trying to find what mixture you used for your inside plasters. Did you use the "Discovery" for first coat like the outside of your house? Also, what was your second coat ratios? I have been thoroughly enjoying your blog and am glad you are so discriptive in words and pictures!! Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences :)