Building with earthbags is essentially building with adobe bricks without going through the lengthy process of making them. You take polypropylene sandbags, fill them with a moist mix of sand and clay, tamp them down hard and connect the layers with 4 point barbed wire. Then, you cover them over with an earthen plaster.

In reality, I didn't use polypropylene bags. Some Brasilians started a type of construction they call hyperadobe which uses mesh bags, or continuous tubing, made from the same material as the onion or potato bags in the grocery store. They don't require barbed wire, though otherwise the process is just about the same.

As I talk about in the blog posts, my design has been guided by simplicity and efficiency. More than anything, what's been most important to me is to live in a house that I myself, with no building experience whatsoever, can design, build and maintain. A natural extension of that has been the desire to live in a peaceful space. For me that means a home that's in tune with nature, thus limiting the use of imported materials for construction, in addition to those that will be needed later on, such as for heating. Please enjoy reading, ask me any questions, get inspired, and come help and learn!

Bank Roll

I thought it was time to start keeping track of all the money I spend so...

$37--Two 3'x5' windows that had no purpose and I had to re-sell for less.
$13--5 gallon plastic solar shower
$200--Immaculate 70's 10'x8' canvas tent to live in until I have a house.
$58--15 meters of canvas fabric for Thai jar mold.
$64--Triple burner cast iron stove. I'll use it for outdoor cooking and then once I move in I'll use it as a counter stove with a propane hose running through the wall to tank outside. I'll buy the hose/regulator for it a little later on.
$11--Miscellaneous plumbing pieces to play with so that I can figure out what I need to run through the walls.
$90--Cordless drill, circular saw, reciprocating saw and drill bits.
$400--Mesh bags. In reality I spent $664 but bought way more than I need so that I can experiment with different types of mesh. Even $400 is more than I'll actually use on the house but...
$300--A guess on random things I've had to buy to set up camp including propane tanks, wood, tools, little things etc.
$65--Plastic sheeting for my moisture barrier underground.
$740--1200 gallon cistern delivered.
$240--Water delivery.
$600--Backhoe excavation.
$100--Misc. stuff. Olguins wood, 100 ft. hose, tamper, etc.
$35--More plastic sheeting
$80--Neighbor Tim moving dirt with tractor. So worth it!
$565--Windows and doors. I have everything but two 2x3's!
$50--Strawbales and some misc. hardware store items.
$130--2x6 and 2x8 for all my frames and other boxes
$75--159 lbs. of sheep's wool! This is 1/2-1/3 of what I need.
$100--Misc. hardware.
$280--Last two windows, new from Lowes.
$80--Neighbor Tim moving dirt.
$60--Galvanized nails and rebar.
$400--Scoria. Spent $940 including delivery ($24.50/ton) but most is for future projects.
$20--Trowels and nails.
$100--4500' of 3/4" poly strapping. I'll use less than 1000'.
$80--Neighbor Tim dumping scoria and dirt into the pit.
$100--Wood for lintels.
$100--Ties, cement sono tubes.
$40--Hdpe (plumbing).
$55--Tamper and more brackets.
$60--Neighbor Tim.
$30--Plywood for the roof sill.
$750--Roof beams.
$60--More ties.
$30--Five more straw bales
$390--Labor. What a godsend!
$105--1x4 wood for Purlin/Strapping/Runners.
$55--Tar paper and 2" screws.
$1100--Delivery of metal roofing, screws, butyl tape and bits.
$25--A bit more 1x4 and 2x12 to finish the roof.
$8--More galvanized nails.
$20--Kitchen sink.