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Straw Bale Houses

The history of straw bale houses goes back to the end of the 19th century, when some settlers of Nebraska, faced with the problem of non-existent lumber in their area, decided to use straw bales by piling them one on top of another for building houses, churches and schools.

The idea was abandoned after the Second World War, but it began to regain attention in the last years as a natural building method. There are several benefits of building straw bales houses and below you can read about some of them.

Straw is a renewable resource and this is the main reason for which it has gained attention as an alternative to lumber. Moreover, the decreasing availability and rising price of lumber contribute to the increased need of alternative resources. Since straw is readily available in many parts of the country and it mostly goes to waste, the costs of this building material are lower than you might think.

However, you need to be aware of the fact that even if straw is a very cheap building material, this does not mean that you will be able to reduce the price of building a new home by more than 10 to 15-percent.

The Budget for a Bail Out ...

Actually, the costs of building a straw bale home is not much lower than in the case of conventional houses, mostly because of the budget you need to allocate for the roof, foundation, windows, doors and contractors. Some may think about the possibility of building such a house themselves, but in many cases you will find yourself in need of a contractor's help.

The main benefit of building and living in a straw bales house is related to energy efficiency. The straw bales that are used for building houses have plaster finishes, which means they possess a high R-value. This means that the straw bales will provide you with excellent insulation, keeping the heat out or in, depending on the season and your needs.

Over time, this will translate in reduced costs with heating and on top of that, you will also benefit from incredible soundproofing. Thus, if you are building a home located somewhere nearby a busy highway, straw bales would be a perfect solution for you.

The Disadvantages of Building Straw Bales Houses

There are few disadvantages of building straw bales houses and perhaps the most important of them is the way people see it as opposed to conventional homes. This type of building is still considered an experimental one by insurance agents as well as conservative banks and lenders and you may be faced with difficulties when dealing with them.

In addition to that, you may have a hard time obtaining all the necessary building authorisations and pass all the inspections. You can overcome some or all of these difficulties by hiring a consultant who will look over your plans and vouch for them with the officials.

 

Conclusion

The advantages of straw bale homes outweigh the disadvantages in regard to use of natural building materials, energy savings and soundproofing. Why not start stacking your house today?


 
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