How To Build A Straw Bale House

Looking for the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to create a beautiful home? According to Jon Jandai from Life is Easy YouTube channel, the answer is to learn how to build a straw bale house. And when you think about it, the idea makes sense. Here are a few reasons why building a straw bale house could be a worthwhile endeavor:

• Despite the first image that comes to mind, that of a house that looks like a pile of straw bales – the finished result can be a beautiful home – and once rendered / plastered, you would not even know that the home was made from straw bales!

• Straw bale is energy-efficient – i.e., it’s great for insulation. Depending on the thickness and placement of the bales, the R-value can be up to 0.94 per inch. This translates to a cozy home and low electric consumption (win-win).

• Straw bales are a relatively simple, safe and natural material to work with.

• When properly constructed and maintained, straw bale houses can last a lifetime. And when the time comes to take them down, you can simply plough the biodegradable material back into the earth.

• The thickness of the straw bales makes for a rather aesthetic house design with awesome features such as a window shelf/seat.

• From the price of the material, the construction process, to the energy savings, a straw bale house is very affordable.

• With the guidelines (e.g., the YouTube video linked above), building a straw bale house is not overly complicated — even for novice builders.

If you’re interested in an affordable and unconventional straw bale house, Jon Jandai offers a surprisingly detailed and illustrative tutorial. He narrates how to raise the foundation with concrete, how to place the straw bales, install the roof, plaster over the straw bale, and even apply some artwork.

Disclaimer: It’s crucial to keep the straw bales are dry as possible to prevent rot. And ensure you observe the applicable building regulations in your region.

How To Build A Straw Bale House
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How To Build A Rainwater Collection System

The idea of harvesting rainwater typically conjures images of cisterns in old farms used to water gardens and provide drinking water for animals. This YouTube video by the City Prepping channel teaches us how to build a rainwater collection system. Such systems can be viable in both urban and rural settings – providing a low-cost way to gather plentiful water and a possible survival supply of water in case the tap water fails for any reason.

Collecting rainwater is inexpensive (virtually free water), you get control over your water supply, it’s easy to maintain, environmentally responsible, reduces runoff water, is modular in nature, it ties in with the self-sufficiency narrative that drives us preppers and off-grid lovers, and as shown below, it’s not all that hard.

• Setting up the Catchment Area and Conveyance System: Rainwater collection system is largely made up of 3 parts; the catchment area (e.g., roof), the conveyance system (piping from the gutter to the tanks), and a storage system. With the gutter, ensure you have a leaf guard to keep large debris from dropping into your downspout and tank. Along these lines, City Prepping also recommends the installation of a downspout first flush water diverter to filter out any big particles that somehow pass through the leaf guard.

• The Storage Tanks: You can use any tank available — but ensure it is food-grade (so that the container itself will not contaminate the water). It should also NEVER have been used to store chemicals or gasoline. Food grade containers that were previously used to store food may be of no use also, as the odors of the food may be all but impossible to eradicate completely – as I once found out with food grade containers that had once been used to store pickled capers! As illustrated in the video, wrap the tank with a black plastic sheet to deter algae growth.

• Preparing the Foundation: The general rule of thumb is to have a firm, level, and stable foundation before installing any structure — including a rainwater collection system. In the video, City Prepping stack concrete blocks to support the tank – which also has the advantage that you can get a bucket under a spigot that is at the bottom of the tank, which is where it should be otherwise you will not get the last of your water out!

Long story short, a rainwater collection system can be a money saver, a crop saver and even a life-saver for daily / emergency use — and building one is not hard.

Note – there are some locations where collection of rainwater is restricted, so please be sure to check the regulations in your area before undertaking a project of this kind.

How To Build A Rainwater Collection System
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Amazing Modern Yurt Is A Design Marvel

Ever considered living in a Yurt? If not, peeping into Zach and Nicole’s idea of a yurt (via the Living Big in a Tiny House YouTube Channel by Bryce Langston) is likely to turn you into a believer! The incredible home is a blend of the traditional ‘yurting’ principles and modern amenities.

Yurts have their roots in Asia, where they served as portable homes for nomadic communities. In modern society, their appeal stems from a low environmental footprint that resonates with eco-conscious people, combined with their earthy charm and their low building costs. These are partly the reasons that inspired Zach and Nicole to build a DIY modern yurt in Oregon.

From creating a mobile studio from a used cargo van a few years back, Zach decided to take on a new challenge in the shape of 730-square feet yurt (diameter of 30 feet). The lattice interior supports and beams that form the domed roof hold true to the traditional structure of yurts. This is complemented with a modern take on home décor — giving the living space a captivating architectural and visual edge.

The yurt boasts of an open floor plan with cleaver zoning designs for the seamless organization and maximization of every inch. There’s a central unit that houses a bathroom and holds a bedroom loft above (accessed from a ladder), which is right underneath a circular skylight. On each side of the central unit, there are spaces for an office, the living room, and kitchen.

It’s fair to say that the couple is an inspiration for aspiring ‘Tiny House’ homeowners and DIY enthusiast to explore their own ideas! Ensure you watch the full video for more.

Amazing Modern Yurt Is A Design Marvel
Amazing Modern Yurt Is A Design Marvel – Images: