Strawbale Home in the Mountains

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    About us

    Hi! My name is Ty. I'm a father of two (3 and 5 year old boys) and current fulltime builder/stay at home dad. I've been interested in natural building for several years and finally jumped into the process fully with our own home build. I've attended a couple of workshops, done lots of reading, and learned a lot from my own building experiences so far in the home. I'm interested in permaculture and establishing our home as a part of a larger permaculture property that integrates our home, forest, garden area, and other aspects into a coherent whole. I earned my PDC about a year ago and am trying to apply the principles into our build where we can. I feel very grateful for the place we get to live in the mountains and forest. I enjoy just about any sort of outdoor activity from hiking to foraging, hunting, skiing, etc. I've been fortunate enough to have traveled quite a bit in North America and Europe and some in Africa. I speak English and some French. I'm excited to meet folks who are interested in natural building and exchange knowledge and experiences!

    My place

    We live just outside of Kalispell, MT in the United States. It's a beautiful area with world class outdoor activities all around. Glacier Park is an hour drive away, Flathead Lake is 30 minutes, and many other mountains, lakes and rivers are easily accessible. The town of Kalispell offers all the expected amenties of a decent sized town and regional hub. The building site is a 20 acre plot we were lucky enough to buy before the pandemic craze. It's in a mountainous forest with a small year round creek. It shares a corner with National Forest and offers a wide variety of flora and fauna in a functional and biodiverse ecosystem. The home is about 20 minutes by car from either BIgfork or Kalispell.


    This is a owner build strawbale home meant as a primary residence for our family of 4. It has been in progress for about a year. It is based on an uplift resistant rubble trench. We chose lime plaster for the exterior of the bales with wood siding on the conventionally framed portions. Most of the interior plaster is clay with some lime and tadelakt planned for the bathroom. We have an existing base coat earthen floor with a planned finish earthen floor to come. We are heating with some passive heat, a heat pump to a radiant in floor system and with a wood stove backup. We are doing a full greywater/compost toilet system. We are grid tied to electricity as solar is pretty unreliable in the winter here and our local power is almost fully hydroelectric. At this stage, we are fully closed in and heated with a base earthen floor and base coat plaster complete. We are getting into the finish stages of the project but still have a good bit of work ahead of us. This has very much been a family and community project with help from family and friends. My wife and two boys are regularly around helping out/playing in the mud. Major jobs ahead: - prep and install of wood T&G ceiling - interior finish clay plaster - interior earthen floor - Tadelakt shower - exterior brown and finish lime plaster - exterior siding (looking at Yakisugi charred cedar shiplap siding) - other small things that come up


    We can provide either camping spots or an unfinished room in the upstairs with an inflatable mattress. The house is heated and comfortable temp. We have electricity within the home. There is running water outside, but there is not hot water at the moment, although we'd be happy to work with folks to figure out a solar shower if needed. Our compost toilet is set up. We do not currently have internet, but we get good cell service. If internet is needed, we would be happy to work with folks to figure out a good solution. I have a dog that is good with folks once he gets used to them. We're open to guests with dogs, but we'll want to address that to make sure we're all on the same page.


    For meals, we're happy to provide whatever food to accomodate guests needs. We live about a mile away with family but would likely provide a combination of hot meals and groceries for guests to make their own food on a camp kitchen type set up. Again, we're happy to work with people to figure out a good rhythm for meals. We can definitely grocery shop and bring up any food needed or pay for food. We not currently raising any food in the area but have access to family grown produce, eggs, etc. We are happy to work with any dietary restrictions/preferences.


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