Strawbale house

This is the log of my experience building my straw bale home. I am told the pictures do not do the actual finished product justice, however, I am pleased to share it with all who are interested on this site. The trials and tribulations in getting the permit could have brought the project to an abrupt halt, but I knew in my heart that this was something I was meant to do and giving in or quiting was never an option. Enjoy........ and feel free to share with your friends!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Landscaping begins....

Finally, just starting to landscape the front. I am using 16" cedar posts, angled on the top for drainage. This will mark my planting beds.
Plenty of grading and leveling to do!!
Eaves trough are in, so full steam ahead to work on the outside. It is so hot during the day (and the front is full southern exposure), that the only time to work is early in the morning and late afternoon/early evening.
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Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I would like to recognize and acknowledge some of my suppliers and people who contributed to this project.

Firstly, the crew at Orillia Home Depot............ I cannot Thank You all enough, you were always there to help out wherever possible, working with Pat from Havencraft and myself, delivering on time, and doing whatever it took to get the job done.
Bruce, Dan, Jo, all the folks in Shipping, plumbing, electrical and everyone else who came to share a happy smile and Hello with the 'Straw House Lady'! You are all a credit to your industry.

Jim Drury who perservered with me thru the trials and tribulations of getting the permit, and keeping my bales safe until I needed them.

Eric from Aquasafe Water - my lifetime plumber that is for sure! Visit him at

The crew from Camels Back Construction for the plaster; My Designer, Dale Brownson, who put up with many plan revisions and had lots of patience with me!

The Engineers: Blackwell Bowick and Slavish Steenhoff

Enzo at Anig Windows. Joe Consilla HVAC, who installed the HRV system. Dave Vinson Well Drilling. Direct Buy of Barrie. Steel Tile. Kent Trusses. Kemiko.

And last but not least, wonderful neighbours, and friends who have supported me through the whole process............ where would I be without you all?

finally............... Pat Marcotte and his crew from Havencraft Natural Homes who have left their legacy here for those who will come after. May our paths bring us together again in the future!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Hallway in the evening

Different lighting shots for the hallway in the evening.

I chose to use sconce lights, on a dimmer, which allows for various 'mood' and ambiance.

The stained concrete floors show well in the evening too.
This is one of the really unique spots in the house.

The posts were taken from the property and are poplar. Coated with a couple of applications of Tung Oil, to keep them as natural looking as possible.
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Saturday, July 14, 2007


Exterior of the house - no landscaping done yet - awaiting eaves trough and some more excavation to clean up before I can start laying out any flower beds.
The next step for the exterior is to treat the surface cracking (quite normal I am told) with lime wash and then Eco House Silica Dispersion Paint, which will in effect 'gortex' the whole house.

This will be done in the early fall, I extimate.

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The finished product!
The barrel vaulted ceiling was constructed using a combination of wood slats, newspaper and diamond lathe. Then, plaster was applied by hand, giving it a comparable 'rough' look to that of the exterior walls.

Posts are poplar, taken from the property last year (see the September archive).

The varied wood doors can just be seen on the left. Purchased from a Canadian supplier, they are a mixture of various woods: cherry, walnut, oak, maple and pine.

Floors are acid stained, using Kemiko product, applied directly to the concrete. The lovely 'mottled' effect is quite spectacular. The floor was coated twice with the stain and then sealed. Very low maintenance - I have found the best way to wash it is with water and vinegar!
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Windows on a cloudy day, no flash

Interior shots of the windows, on a cloudy day, with no flash. Light enters in a very different way from conventional style window frames. It tends to 'flow' more gently, being easy on the eyes and soothing.
The windows are produced here in Canada, in Scarborough, by Anig Windows. They are Low E Argon Solarban 60.
Prarie Grill accent.

Exterior doors are also from the same supplier and are made of steel.
Bedroom window
Living room - truth window barely visible on the right.
Living room overlooking the front porch.
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