Monday, August 9, 2010

My Beautiful, Cheap, and Simple House Plan

If our dreams/goals ever happen,
and we get to move onto THE LAND ...
we will build two simple 26x26 open-floor plan buildings
with a 26x26 screened patio between them.

The two buildings would open up to the patio
which would be the outdoor dining and kitchen.

We will build with strawbale, and seal with earthen plaster ...
place bales in the attic space, for further insulative values,
and cover with a shed metal roof for rain catchment.

Very beautiful, and very cheap.


By the way, I placed this entry on my website
but the drawings are small.
I know here on Blogger we can click on the pictures
to see a clearer/larger version of the image.

Sorry, these drawing are NOT by scale ...
just having fun sketching my dreams on screen ...
not real proficient with Paint, yet.



Build a simple 26x26 strawbale building ...
load-bearing ...
seal with earthen plaster, or papercrete,
or regular plaster or a creative mixture of all ...
the point is to let the walls breathe.



Acquire rain catchment containers or tanks,
and build a strawbale wall to conceal them and protect them.

In our case, I am thinking two, large above-ground swimming pools.
Those hold a lot of water! And they are cheap!
The shed roof can drain straight into them,
and covers are made for them to help keep junk out.



Build the second 26x26 building for sleeping quarters.
The idea is to have a six-foot wide hallway
with floor-to-ceiling shelving, and four 10x10 bedrooms in each corner.
Each bedroom will have a 3x10 closet for personal storage.
There will also be a 6x7-ish storage space at the end of the hallway.

Notice how the rooms will be set up ...
with the six foot hallway, and the three-foot wide closets,
every bedroom will be buffered from noise
from the other rooms.



Add rain catchment to the sleeping quarters,
and build a strawbale wall for concealment and protection.



Build a short strawbale wall between the two buildings,
and roof it, and enclose it in with screen.

This 26x26 area will be an outdoor dining/kitchen and living area ...
complete with chairs, couch, large tables, rocket stoves, and whatnot.

I am entertaining the idea of having a root/storm cellar
placed in the middle of this area for easy access
from both buildings
in the event of a storm ... or whatever.



Build a wooden fence
(preferably with branches from fallen trees on our property)
to enclose the garden straight off the indoor kitchen area.

This enclosed area will also house the little quail coops.



Build another wooden fence off the indoor bathroom 
to enclose the OUTDOOR bathing/shower area. 

I'magine I will also hang clothes out here,
and also have container gardens spotted here and there.



Build another wooden fence to enclose a privacy area
off one side of the bedroom building.
This area will have container gardens, and lounge areas.



Build another wooden fence to enclose the other side
of the bedroom building ... for a private lounge area.




Add flower gardens, and tanks for tilapia,
and all the rest of the little things
that will pull everything together to make
it a homestead!

What you don't see in these pics
are the chicken coops, and compost bins,
and fruit trees, and solar dehydrators, and solar ovens,
and everything else that is in my head.


That's it.
Real simple.
And I think it would be beautiful, too.

I know it would be cheap.
I've already found a wholesale strawbale supplier ...
I just went to a feed store
and asked where they got their bales from.

I can get 800 bales delivered for about $4200 ...
and that is more than enough
to erect two buildings, and add bales
to the space above the ceiling.

Why do I want to build with straw?

Well, first off, it is something I can do by myself ...
if I HAVE to.

Just stack them like Legos.

Plus it's natural, and it's sustainable.

And ... with two feet thick walls ...
not counting the layers of thickness
added from the plaster on both sides ...

I think of heating/cooling benefits,
pleasing-to-the-eyes benefits, 
sound benefits, storm benefits, and 
wildfire protection benefits.

Why wouldn't I want to build with straw?


P.S. Little Nani lost ANOTHER tooth today.
That's three in a week.
She lost the other top one.
She is only four, and that is now a total
of five teeth lost since she was three years old.
She not even eligible to start Kindergarten
until 2011 ... eek!



  1. I like your plans - that is a really large and comfortable layout. I also like the fact that all of your plumbing can be located on one wall for easier installation and future access. Well done!

    I am glad the locked car episode worked out too. I'm sure you're still Miss TFL's hero!

    Take care.

  2. Love the plan. Breaking it down into stages/parts helps to evision it and not be overwhelmed.

    I'm still torn between a hacienda style with the house around the courtyard and a ranch style with a large ramada in front. Either way I'll be going with rammed earth. This is the fun part.

  3. Thank you, Andy, for your nod of approval on my quirky design, and for your faith in my Mama status, and for stopping by.

    I don't know why, but I always smile when you come for a visit :)

  4. And thank you, Rose, too, for stopping by ... yes ma'am, breaking down the project seems to make it a little less daunting. I am glad you like it!

    Oh, oh, oh ... the courtyard style ... I have a drawing here somewhere for THAT, too ... I may share it someday if I can figure out how to re-draw it on Paint ... but anyway, THAT would be my dream home, for sure, it's just that if I force myself to be realistic with my dreams then I'd have to admit THAT would be a really tough project to tackle.

    Rammed earth ... sigh ... LOVE IT :)

  5. It's so nice to meet a true dreamer these days. I'm following you and invite you to follow me back.

  6. Have you designed the outside yet? even a sketch would be fun to see.... I am homesteading in Califonia and I grow apples... you can do it if you break it down a piece at a time and I kept my day job for a long time and lived in a small apartment with roomies... cheap... but my farm was my baby... and now I am full time! visit. And PLEASE do a little drawing... love design and hope you have considered making your walls 10' so you can put in transome doors and high windows... wonderful to find your site

  7. Yes, my walls will be 10 feet ... but you'll die when you hear what I want to do for windows!

    Not sure I can draw on Paint "what I see in my head" ... but I can try ... you can see concrete images of my "loves" over on my website under the wishlist :)

    Thrilled you found me, too, and I sure WILL come over to visit ... thank you!

    By the way, how did you find me anyway?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...