I'll Huff and I'll Puff

Trip Start Oct 30, 2012
Trip End May 30, 2013

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Thursday, April 4, 2013

I'll Huff and I'll Puff...and I'll BLOW YOUR HOUSE DOWN!

This is usually the first thought people have when you mention building a house out of straw, but you couldn't be further than the truth!

We've arrived at our HelpX stay in New Zealand. One of the things that intrigued us the most about this family is that they have been building their own straw bale house. As we fantasize about building our own home someday, this is one of the methods we've contemplated.

This house is beautiful! Very warm inside, but not just temperature, colour and feel as well. The walls are plaster with clay, sand and winnowed bits of straw and have lovely earthen tones. Wide windowsills that you can sit on have nice rounded corners. We also like the way that they have incorporated recycled materials and natural wood into their décor. Found pieces of wood and deer antlers serve as door handles and stainglass windows keep the inside of the house beautiful and bright. In addition, they have built thermal walls in behind the wood stove and have a solar water heating method as well.

Since the house is so newly built, they threw a house warming party while we were there. This was great as we were able to talk to some of the people who were paramount in helping them build. There were also lots of people who had an interest in straw bale building or were in the process of building. We met the plaster, designer and someone who builds straw bale houses as a profession. He informed us that the Ontario association has a great community with some of the best builders to be found.

One day we took a little tour around to some of the other straw houses in the area. It was wonderful to see all the personal and creative additions that can be done with straw.
Now that our brains are full of ideas and fingers are itching, we just need to find some property!

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terri on

Fascinating - always loved the thought of building a house, and this makes it seem almost possible to me!

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