Here are photographs and
the story of the Lisa's timber framed straw-bale home and how it was
"Built my straw bale house using your passive solar farmhouse design...it turned out beautifully...will pass along some pics.
house faces south (of course). The kitchen is on the south east side,
living room takes up the rest of the south side. behind it (to the
north) is a guest room (or an extension to the living room...I have not
and may not close it off).
The second floor is currently split
by a wall east to west separating the south living space from the north
storage space. a bit of the storage space on the west side is a 4
pc. bathroom. The main bedroom was designed to be two actually with no
real hallway taking up space. If a family ever moves in, there are
options for three bedrooms. The house is built on a slab on
grade and Legalett heated with electric forced air, but I heat 98% with
wood from my own property cut and split by me. I have an electric
on demand hot water system. I do not have a clothes dryer or an oven. I
cook a lot on the woodstove and have a cook top. The wide plaster
window wells heat up nicely on sunny days in the winter. I have the
verandah on the south and west sides. The bedroom upstairs gets a
little warm in the summer...I attach temporary blinds..don't like
window treatments very much. This is not exactly how you planned the
house but I loved your ideas and it works well for me so far."
The front wrap around porch.
Porch under construction - putting down the metal roofing.
Interior of the house showing the
modified stair and exposed beam and post interior supports.
Looking at the SW
corner of the interior. Note the braced timber frame elements and the
thick plastered strawbale walls.
Looking from the living room into
the kitchen. Great use of exposed timber work.
Looking into the
kitchen and the tall windows to the south. Windows and doors are
A view of the upper
There was a lot of customization of the intial plans to allow for the timber-framing and
strawbale. Credit for the results of this fine project rests largely
with the owner, the fine builders and others who assisted in its
Here are a few more details from Lisa:
is straw bale enveloped (hybrid...meaning north wall has box beam
frame) timber frame. 32.1 x 32.1 exterior measurements. bales are 18
- Passive solar orientation...angles were not precisely measured for maximum efficiency.
- Built pretty far North - in Ontario, Canada.
floor electric air heat for use as back up only (when I get too old to
cut and split my own wood)...Legalett engineered foundation reinforced
to take eventual weight of a masonry heater. Floors are natural
marbeled concrete...not stained
- Pacific Energy woodstove is main source of heat...use between 1.5 - 2 cords of wood annually.
walls left natural (plaster, cementious finish) same on outside and
inside. Exterior cracks filled with flexcoat acrylic parging.
- Almost no plumbing in exterior walls except for outside tap placed in conduit for safety from moisture.
- Electric on demand water heater.
- Second floor; One large bedroom and ensuite bath...under eaves storage.
floor: Den, kitchen, living area (pseudo dining area), 5 piece (incl
bidet) bathroom and laundry/mech room. One pantry and one closet.
- South covered verandah (8 X 36) and west side 10 x 32