Straw Bale Home
Colorado Rocky Mountains

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House Details

              


Needs Finish Work - Hard Work's Done





(30 Photos in Gallery)



The Main or Master Bedroom: The main or master bedroom (or Great Room) is 28' x 22' @ 600 sq. ft.; with plenty of windows for soft northern light exposure, has a sliding glass door, and a 12 foot cathedral ceiling.


The great-room/ bedroom can be subdivided to create additional bed/rooms or office combination. There is also ground to expand the house to the west (right as you look at the front) and east of the house that requires minimal leveling.


(Note: The master bedroom floor needs to be finished with brick, 3" earth-fill (or whatever material you choose), over a base of existing 4 to 6 inches of earth fill.


An open spaced, Loft/Bedroom, is 20’ x 12’ @ 240 sq. ft., above the kitchen and bathroom, and oversees the living room and out the windows to several acres of private the forest. This includes a storage area behind the board-paneled wall.



The efficient Kitchen space is - 9’ x 12’ @ 110 sq. ft. It has the rear entrance/exit to the house via an 8x8 Mud-room/Storage room with an added mini-loft for extra storage - 4x8. This Mud-room has a Dutch-Door entrance.


The kitchen has a one year old Whirlpool refrigerator - 21 cu. ft., at $1000. It has all the basic essentials and is fully functional. It has a functional kitchen set up in place; However, it needs a full cook stove (plumbed for propane), counters and cabinets, and a sink replacement to be a modern kitchen.


Radiant floor heating hose is installed in the earth-floor in the kitchen in conjunction with the earth-floor in the living room. A heat source and pump are required.

 

The kitchen opens up to the Living Room area - 20’ x 17’ @ 340 sq. ft., with a 14’ high cathedral ceiling, and is shared with the loft. The main entrance to the house is in the living room. The room has a bay-window with two opening windows, and there is a second large opening window.


One Bathroom - 9’ x 12’ @ 110 sq. ft.

A high-end, $1600+, Biolet Composting Toilet is installed, which requires no water - A savings of 20+ gallons per day. While it still functions properly, it may need an overhaul or replacement in a few years. Flush-toilet plumbing drain is installed in case you wish to install a conventional toilet. An efficient, manual flush, urinal has been installed. Shower/Bathtub, with a 7-gallon electric hot water heater is installed for short showers. Washing machine drain is installed. Septic tank is in place.

The Custom Entry Doors are simple and energy efficient. The doors are a unique 4 inches thick with an 18 R-value. This is at least 4 times better than conventional doors.

 

The Earth Floor is made of 6 to 8 inches earth clay and sand (adobe) and pumice. While the pumice in the floor mix contributes about a 10+ R-value to the floor, the earth-clay-sand elements act as a thermal mass which captures the ambient heat, radiating the heat (or cool in summer) back into the house.


In other words, it will keep your feet warm in the winter and the whole house cool in the summer. In addition to the earth floor throughout the living area and the kitchen, radiant floor heat tubing  is embedded in the floor. A pump and heat source are needed to make this operational. This will add substantially to the heat radiation and distribution throughout the floor and house. Heating cost will be substantially reduced.


Although, the living area and kitchen are carpeted, the floor has multi-layer coats of earth tinted (reddish brown) varnish finish and has a nice semi-gloss and looks very earthy (as seen in the pictures).

 

Heating: The energy heating efficiency of a straw-bale design for is not just an ecological concern. It is an economic concern when in our later years in life when we may need to have more control with our expenses as heating fuel prices go higher.

 

In the main living area (including the living room, kitchen, loft, and bath), you have a highly efficient ecological Englander Pellet Stove ($1200) as the main heat source (almost smokeless, $ 350/year to operate). 


Behind the stove, is a traditional earth-wall made of adobe bricks, for ideal heat retention & radiance. The wall is unconventional in that it is a completely interior wall; and it has a wood stove on the other side, in the master bedroom, adding whole house heating efficiency.


In the same living area as the pellet stove, there is an early morning quick warm-up, high-end, Rinnai Propane Heater, 30,000 Btu, $1,100, two-years-old


Add the Radiant floor heating in the earth-floor to the design and you are far ahead of any conventional home, low cost, ecological efficiency, and warmth in the coldest winters.


In the summer, no AC is needed, as the straw-bale insulation and earth floor construction (and all the pine trees) keeps the whole house cool on the hottest days.

 


POST AND BEAM CONSTRUCTION gives this house a strong building frame, which carries the load for the house. (This is not a straw-bale, load-bearing construction.) Each 8” to 10” post, throughout the house, is bolted to an anchor made of angle-iron (1/4” x 4” x 4” by 2 feet), which is embedded up to 4 feet of reinforced concrete.

 


STRAW BALE WALLS are an insulation infill between the posts of the frame providing an extremely well-insulated building. In fact, there is no other better-insulated house. The straw bale/wall, 20 inches thick, have an R-value of about 56 – which is 2 to 3 times the warmth of a conventional house. Most new conventional houses are rated as low as 19 R-Value.).


This house has the essential breathable lime plaster and stucco inside and out, throughout, which was traditionally applied by hand (which means securely bonded and creatively detailed. Windows: Double pane, insulated, windows are used in each window.

 

The Footer/Stem-Wall, which the bale sit on, is 18" wide and made of a Portland cement, pumice mix (no sand). This has created an unheard of 20 R-value for a concrete base. (Concrete/sand mix commonly used is R-3 and acts as cold-conductor rather than acting as an insulator.)

 

The ROOF and Cathedral Ceiling are a gentle 12/3 pitch which will help control the snow from sliding off the roof, and allow for capturing the water into an existing 1500 gallon concrete cistern.


The roof is made with 18" TJIs Truss/Joist, (wood I-beams), which are more commonly used in much more expansive construction such as ware houses. (8” to 12” TJIs are more common in home construction).


These I-beams not only give an unusually strong roof load for the heaviest snow, but it allows for 18 inches of roof insulation up to 54 R-value. Loose but tightly packed straw in large bags were used for roof insulation. When the snow does not melt quickly after it falls, it is an indication the roof is not leaking heat to melt the snow, which is the case with this house. The accumulated snow also adds to the house insulation.

 

The roof overhang, or the eves, extend 42" out further than usual (24”) and effectively gives added protection for the stucco and straw bale construction, from the rain and snow.


The pitch of the roof is seen on the inside as a gentle cathedral ceiling, with exposed large long center beams supporting the roof.

The roof has mineral surfaced roll roofing and is in excellent condition.

Water Supply: While ground water is abundant, no water well is installed at this time; Instead, a 400 gallon, interior, household water supply tanks are installed and operational. Interior water supply means no freezing plus water continues to be available as gravity fed water during power outages. Even with a well, this is an ideal water reservoir set-up.


* $12K of the listed house price will be allotted to have a water well installed. However, If you intend to haul your water and wish to not have a well installed, the $12K can be deducted from the listed house price.


275 gallons of water is hauled with my 1 ton truck, 4 times a year, at under $40 a year. The 275-gallon water-hauling tank is included. Presently, I have a reliable 4WD work truck can be sold at a low price with the house, if needed.


Also installed and plumbed to the house is a 1500 gal. cistern (that is presently filled with rain water but not in use at this time). This cistern could reduce hauling water down to once a year.  The cistern can also serve as an available water supply for a fire emergency. Sewage/septic are complete and operational. This cistern will lower home owners insurance.


A water well would cost $8K to $10K, if you decide to drill a well. This cost is part of the $20K estimated to complete the house. Water is abundant and close to the ground surface. I can show you how and where to use Divining Rods to detect water underground on my property - You can compare weak spots to some very strong areas. Neighbors hit water at 60 ft. and again at 100 + ft.). At the full price of the house, if you install a well within the first four months of purchasing the property; I will guarantee, reimbursement of half the cost of drilling the first well, for water, within 250 feet if the drilling doesn't produce water, as long as we agree on the location where the well will be drilled.


Initially, upon building my house, I decided to put off drilling a well so I could apply my funds toward building the house and getting a roof over my head.


What needs to be done to the house?

The essential projects that will complete the house are: some electrical, some plumbing, kitchen cabinets/counters, Master bedroom floor needs finishing.


All in-floor gas, water, and sewage plumbing is completed and in use.. Some temporary in wall plumbing is in place for the house water supply but will need to be replaced. All plumbing is designed to go into an accessible interior wall (no freezing) shared by the kitchen and bathroom. I have all the PEX plumbing materials (PEX the best piping), and it is included with the sale.


Most of the interior electrical wiring is installed under the floor but needs some additional wiring/work in the walls. Temporary lighting will need to be replaced with your choice of lighting. I have already purchased most of the basic electric supplies/materials, and it is included (other than better supply-line).


The floor in the master bedroom needs finishing - e.g., brick, compact earth-fill or whatever you wish. It already has 4 inches of earth-fill base. Bathroom sink (is ready for hook up) and permanent kitchen cabinets and stove will eventually be needed to be replaced for a more modern kitchen and bathroom.


Presently the house is fully functional and livable. If you were to finish the essential work yourself, you would save about $12k in labor costs.

 


Miscellaneous: Some minor trim and paneling detail needs to be installed. Two new 5-gallon electric hot water heater are installed, one for an efficient shower and one for the kitchen and bath sinks. They may be upgraded to a larger capacity. An 11’ interior divider wall needs to be installed/finished (similar to the loft wall in pictures). Presently, straw bales which I left in place serve as a divider.


Electrical and plumbing supplies and materials are included in the price. Also included:  everything in the house: refrigerator, pellet stove, wood stove, pellet stove, furniture, and  fixtures – as is. And on the property, leftover building materials, lumber, storage camper, trash/dumpster trailer are included. Construction tools and work truck are negotiable.


 


Price:  $145,000 ($155,000),

$12,000 discount = $133.000



You can contact me by email at: [email protected] or by phone 719-873-3594.

 

Thank you for visiting this site. Jerry Gomez 

                             


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