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Finally, Some Pictures!

January 10, 2012

After all the word heavy posts, I’m finally going to share some pictures of what we’ve been up to.

first off, a creek update:

We’ve been having freeze-thaw cycles that lead to some really beautiful ice formations on the creek. First, it freezes and forms the ice. Then when it thaws, the water either runs under the ice, or in this case over the top. 

Next, appliances! I just have to keep hugging these even though they aren’t operational yet. Sears was having a huge post-holiday sale and we were able to save around 45% on appliances. I read once that part of successfully remodeling (or building) your home on the cheap is being able to take advantage of deals when they come up. We picked up the W-D immediately so we could place the dryer vent and outlets, and we’ll get the rest once we have some strong folks to help move them.

The main task since we’ve been back is electricity. We’re nearly done with the mesh on the exterior, but we have to put in the electrical boxes for exterior outlets and porch lights before we can finish. That means we need to put in the interior bale-wall outlets, switches, and figure out the electrical. That means that we needed to actually finish wiring in the main circuit breaker box, well pump, and floor heat. We ended up hanging drywall behind everything (doesn’t it look pretty?):

Here is a picture of our entry way with its outlet boxes:

The other thing we have to do pre-mesh is install 2 x4 where heavy objects are going to hang on a wall. In our case this is only in the utility room (behind the pressure tank), and in the kitchen where shelves are going to hold dishes. Below is an example of where the wood is going to go:

The horizontal lines are going to be 2 x 4 with the 4 side facing out. They are held in place by attaching them to the exterior mesh with baling twine. This is the traditional straw bale house method (at least one of them). I’ve seen examples of putting a ladder between two courses of bales, and using spikes. The vertical lines are Mr. B’s newest idea. For these, the 2 x 4 faces 2 side out, and is attached to the top and bottom toe-up/header with brackets. We used this method in the utility room to hold up the water pressure tank, and we decided to use it on this wall to add some stability. No matter how many times we stuff the top gap above these bales the wall keeps being loose. I was getting concerned that the weight of dishes, plus time, would eventually pull it out of wack. These two “studs” added a lot of stability and really made the wall flatter, which makes me happy.

Finally, we also have been framing our window seat. Although the bales provide the depth and height for the seat, the videos we’ve watched suggested that an actual window seat (instead of window ledge) benefited from some interior framing to provide the plaster with more structure. This has already become my favorite place to sit and look at the creek even when it was just straw.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Mike Gibson permalink
    January 10, 2012 7:55 am

    This Mr. B. chap that you hooked up with is a very bright and talented fellow. Very creative in his approach. I am proud of him, and would love to meet his parents………(more likely than not, he got his brains from his mother…….).

    It really is looking great, you two have come so far. Keep the faith.

  2. Mom Jones permalink
    January 10, 2012 9:13 am

    It is harder to see the progress at this step, unlike seeing a wall go up, or a roof go on, but I can see you are making steps that will soon tie everything together. A house is forming and your visions will come true quickly!

    This house is definitely a work of love!

    Mom Jones

  3. Alex permalink
    January 11, 2012 5:35 pm

    Keep the faith, looks good – It’s about the time you can step back and say:
    “Hummmm so this is what it looks like”

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