The Straw House Blog

We’re Bloggin’ Baby!

After a bunch of work, a fair amount of fiddling, and a reasonable amount of cursing the house blog is up and running. Look for updates on a weekly basis, or whenever I get up to the land.

For the geeky among you, this page is fully XHTML compliant (it validates) with CSS 2.0 providing the styling. Hopefully within the week the whole site will be 100% standards compliant.  Why should I care?



Construction has started!

We broke ground on Friday, and work has officially started. It turns out that unlike every other hill on the land the building site isn’t gravel, but a mixture of soil and large rocks. Here are two pictures of the building site after the bulldozer had started work. If you’ve been to the land, you probably remember the hay stacker that had been abandoned for so long that a tree had grown up through it. Well it had to go, here’s a picture of it’s final journey.


Laying out the foundation

Looks like we’re laying out the foundation this weekend, in anticipation of putting in the footings third week of August. Things are moving along.



So this Saturday, after the excitement of actually breaking ground, we found out that the guys who were going to do the footings went bust, the plumber and radiant floor guy quit (too busy), and the window company isn’t returning phone calls. Paul says I have to document these things so that I can look back and laugh…

On a plus, I have already replaced the radiant floor guy.


Put a Stake in It

Staked out the four corners Saturday. Foundations get dug next Monday. The house looks small to us, but the builders assure us that it’ll look pretty big once the walls go up. Hopefully we’re taking delivery of our straw bales next weekend.

Congatulations to Simon Boone, our renewable energy contractor, who got married this weekend.



600 Bales

We’ve got the straw. 600 bales to be precise. We bought it from a farmer in Millbrook and hired a local fellow with a float to help us transport the straw from Millbrook to our place. With the help of my parents and some very very good friends we got the straw stacked and covered by late Sunday afternoon. Much thanks to my parents, Ron and Donna, Ian (the only stacker who knew what he was doing), Tiff (our resident nurse), Jay (who wished he’d gone to the Baptism), Neil and Jen (who both had to chase Evan around to boot).        


More Pictures of Holes

Well we went up on Friday hoping to see concrete being poured, but unfortunately all we got to see were holes. Now they were pretty exciting holes, since they were dug to take the concrete forms for the footings, so we are moving forward. We’re heading up again on Monday, hopefully we’ll see concrete pouring then.



Ohhhh, more holes…

Alas, no concrete today, but the forms are in and the inspector will be inspecting tonight. I have been assured that the concrete will flow tomorrow. My father said he’ll go down to take pictures (holes with concrete!!)


We also met with the fine fellows from Generation Solar (Simon & JP) as well as our plumber (Andrew), they sync’ed up on the hot water stuff which was good. Then Simon and JP measured from the top of the back hill to the house 215m (670’). So it looks like we’ll be putting the wind tower at the back of the big hill. The only drawback is digging the 215m trench for the electrical conduit.



Real Progress!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Concrete has been poured. Hoo-ray! Excuse me while I do my happy dance.


Another weekend

Not much to report this weekend. We fixed a hole in the fence that had been reopened (for the second time!) by some goofs riding 4x4’s around our land. Simon loaned us a pump and some batteries to we now have running water - thanks Simon! Next week we’ll get the water tested, though it tasted fine to us. Next week the forms go up for the foundation walls.