Select Page

Author: admin

Hempcrete Homes Benefits

Hempcrete homes and their benefits include being ‘natural’, they sound cool, like “hey dude you’re cool”. Why wouldn’t you have one? We’ve done all of the hempcrete courses in Australia and researched it a lot. We’ve built walls from it. It’s a great natural resource, it only takes 3 months to grow, and they can be insulative or provide thermal mass in theory. As natural builders, we love building with any natural materials. We’ll build with anything, the more natural the better. There are some materials that aren’t as close to natural as we’d like, however they’re better than...

Read More

Gail’s Tale – Straw Bale Owner Builder

1) What did you want to achieve? We wanted an escape to the country, our ‘green pill’ to get away from it all. It had to be the greenest natural and healthy home, that was also the smartest in building. 2) What did you do to prepare yourselves? It took us 5 years to find the ideal land. We researched the best options, we weren’t stuck on any one material, we wanted the best performing. We looked at rammed earth, mudbrick but didn’t like the energy performance of them. We loved a yurt but being in a suburban area, council warned us that our neighbours may take ‘offence’ to one. Hebel, but we didn’t like the materials.Then we researched Huff n Puff’s situps, then did 3 Viva workshops and Sam’s course to see what they were like. They were very welcoming and they just felt ‘right’. It was a good system that worked for them. Sam finally said to me after 1.5 years and 4 events: “Gail, you’re ready, just do it”. At some point you have to take the leap of faith and just do it. By learning everything, it gave me the confidence to say to the builder and architect, this is what I want. I want LVLs (the architect wanted posts where we’d have to notch 90 bales). We followed the Viva system so that I...

Read More

Protecting Windows & Timbers

Timber can shrink after it’s installed by around 2%. That’s why our joiner Kelly’s Cabinets allows for. However he uses kiln dried, stable timber. Old or recycled timbers can shrink even more if they haven’t been kiln dried. We’ve seen 10% or more which can leave cracks or warping of timber. Factors such as ensuring the wood has dried evenly and slowly is the key. That’s why kiln dried timber is more stable than timber left out in the weather. Timber drying out unevenly and quickly will tend to warp and split (the cells need to all shrink at...

Read More

Insurance for Straw Bale & Natural Homes

Insuring a straw bale home or natural home that’s been built Insuring your natural home that has been made of mudbricks, rammed earth, hempcrete, cob, light clay straw should be like insuring a conventional home – if it’s been built to the building codes. At this time in writing, try using using an insurance broker or go direct to some insurers like: Bendigo Bank, NRMA and GIO. NRMA do allegedly payout which is what you want should you ever need to make a claim. We recommend being vigilant in getting your home inspected internally and externally for termites and...

Read More

How to Build a New Home

That’s essentially your first question. There’s so much fear we’ve got around how and where to start building a home. These steps are more for those wanting to get a builder rather than for Owner Builders (or Self Builders). and you want a new home built for you. Building Steps, you can use this for any house build. Download the one we use for free from our website We print them out and then highlight them with a highlighter when they’re done It’s super easy to see what needs to be done then Budget spreadsheet Size does matter. Take...

Read More