The Straw House Blog

Some Reflections on Building

We’ve come a long way this summer: excavations, footings, bracing, foundation walls, bracing, the slab, more bracing, and now the posts. We’ve done a lot more of this ourselves than we expected, and in some ways we’ve done less than we hoped. We’ve had the normal problems with (sub) contractors that don’t return calls or that cancel with little or no notice, and with materials suppliers that sit on cheques but don’t fill orders. And the scheduling! Oh man, the nightmare that is scheduling. The whole experience so far has been frustrating and exhilarating and maddening and exciting. We’ve learned so much, and really, we’re only about half way done.

I’m reflecting on this because we came up this morning and we got to see (in person) the posts standing (this week, like everyone else, we only got to see them in my Dad’s pictures). Now with the posts going up it’s starting to look like a house, you can see were rooms might go, and you can start to get a real sense of scale about the whole thing. But it’s a little depressing at the same time, this is the part of the process that I had hoped to be able to participate in, but my work is very busy right now and I’m just not going to be able to spare much time.

I’ve said before that we got lucky with our choice of builder, even if we got unlucky with his schedule, well we also got lucky with the guy doing our post and beam and truss installation. Jerry and his crew seem to be excellent. They know their stuff, they’re taking the time to do everything right, and I hope we can get enough of their time to take it right up to the steel roof.

This weekend we’re fixing a problem with our straw bale curbs, and we’re building the door and window bucks. These bucks are inserted into the bale walls as they are built and provide the openings for the windows and doors.