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July 2008 Archives

July 6, 2008

Building towards bales

The house is flying along. I am struggling to keep up. Joe Deutz has all three floors mostly framed and has started on the roof trusses. I have been building concrete walls for the past 3 weeks since classes ended.

We are now trying to get things to the point where some bale work can start, maybe by July 17th. Habib Gonzalez of Sustainable Works,, will be here then to help.


We ordered aluminum cladded wood windows from Sierra Pacific. They were much cheaper (by at least $7,000) than any other of the windows we looked at. However, when they arrived, they were without aluminum due to an error by the lumber company that ordered them. We were very disappointed but finally struck a deal wherein the windows will be painted by a local company. We decided to paint them white (instead of the bronze aluminum) since dark colored paint tends to wear poorly. This has made us reconsider the entire color scheme of the house. We were going to paint the house a cream color using mineral paint. We are now reconsidering using ferrous oxide fertilizer mixed into the final coat of stucco cement--this would give us a nice light tan to complement the white windows.

July 13, 2008

Bale Raising Schedule

The construction is flying along. We hope to start putting up bales in about a week.

This is still my best guess as to our schedule for getting the straw bales up and stuccoed:
July 14-18 - Sheath roof; build door and window bucks; rough plumbing, electrical, ventilation
July 19-20 - Install interior wire mesh and maybe put up bales
July 21-25 - Continue to install interior wire mesh and put up bales
July 26-27 - Put up more bales, fill gaps, and install exterior wire mesh
July 28-Aug 1? - Continue to put up bales and install exterior wire mesh
Aug 11-? Stucco bale walls

A friend in town with stucco experience, Roman Olivera, will be around after August 10 to help get the stucco on. I think that we will have B&L Concrete Pumping bring their pump, Schwing WP 750, and sprayer to get the scratch coat on. Roman thinks that we can spray the scratch coat on the outside and inside in a day an a half.

July 17, 2008

Planning for Bale wall work

Habib Gonzalez of Sustainable Works is here now. We'll be working on window and door bucks and the interior wire mesh this weekend. I was hoping to have the electrical roughed in this week, but the electrician can't come until the roof is mostly covered in paper. We will have the roof mostly covered by Friday. So the electrician will be there Monday.

Hopefully we can work around him, on the mesh, bucks and maybe some bales.


Michelle has been working the night shift painting the soffit and fascia boards. After many days of wandering around in a daze contemplating colors, she has chosen two earthy colors reminiscent of lichen--blueish green and gold. We are hoping they will complement the Italian look of the the house and will go with the color of the stucco--either grey or a light golden tan. The metal roof is going to be a combination of terracotta and patina green--although not much of the roof will be seen since the pitch is so shallow.

July 19, 2008

Still working towards bales

We are working on window bucks this weekend. We hope to be done with those by Monday and then start the wire mesh.

So bales won't go up until at least Wednesday. We hope to have a big bale raising party next weekend.

July 22, 2008

Schedule Revised

We have been working on window and door bucks for the last few days. The main floor bucks are almost complete. The wire mesh is up on the main floor also. It looks like a giant chicken coop with us as chickens inside.

The plumbers have been hard at work roughing in the drains and vents. The electricians will be there Wednesday.

We have some bucks are up on the second floor, built off of the bucks below. We'll get to more second floor bucks and the wire mesh on Wednesday.

We seem to be on track to set bales on Saturday, June 26. Please come if you can.

July 27, 2008

Bales Up

Wow! We have most of the bales up for the first floor. Amazing. Pictures will be posted soon.

We had a great crew volunteering, Sarah, Roland, Habib, Denis, Mickey, Stan, Keith, Eleanor, Michelle, Shaindel, Carl, Barb, Lee, Bob, Chuck. Let me know if I forgot anyone from the weekend crew.

Minor confusion about where the electrical wires went. Darrel of Double S Electric came down to check on us. All is well. Double S is doing a fine job.

Off for more bales to put up.

Bales are Empowering

What an amazing crew of people we had working this weekend. What a fantastic time! Habib was right--putting up the bales is very empowering. The walls go up so quickly and the material is so forgiving. The house is going to be so lovely, and the people helping were so lovely--I am actually going to miss them when they all go away. We were sad that none of our family could come help, but we were supported by a great group of friends. Great beer, food and conversation!

July 28, 2008

Bad Knees

Both Gary and Julia have injured their knees--within an hour of one another. Gary took a hit from the side by bale as they were loading them in Cayuse (where they have been stored since last summer). Julia fell upon walking into the house. They have been bonding by alternatively icing and hot tubbing to help with the swelling and healing process. Gary is up and about but Julia is still not putting weight on hers. We are hoping to see a doctor today. Meanwhile Grandma and Grandpa Schubert are here helping to carry the baby (28+lbs) around and also entertaining her sister, Ruby.

Fractured Tibia

We took Julia to the ER this morning and she has a small fracture in the lateral, proximal part of the tibia. She is very unhappy about the temporary cast.

July 29, 2008

West Wall Done

Monday was the third day putting up bales. We finished stacking bales on the west wall and got the mesh on inside and out. We quit early to go up the mountain to Bob and Fiona's cabin for dinner with the work crew. Ruby, Julia (!), Grandma and Grandpa Schubert stayed the night. This was the first night Julia has spent away from both her parents--but she was very insistent upon her staying and us going.

About July 2008

This page contains all entries posted to Poco Casa della Paglia in July 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

August 2008 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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