A Round House of Straw Bales

It might not be a mansion, but a house of straw is certainly cost-effective provided you're willing to put in the time and effort building it yourself.



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Closed doorway of the straw house, with decorative horseshoe nearby.
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The completed house of straw bales on a winter day, hung with icicles.
PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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The roof support poles fastened with each overlapping the next, leaving a central gap for the stove pipe.
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The straw bales can provide a makeshift platform during assembly of the frame.
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Detail of the notched cuts in the ends of the frame poles and roof poles to facilitate their joining.
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The frame of the house, wired together for stability with scavenged barbed wire.
ILLUSTRATION: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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Method of separating a full bale into two half bales.
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Method of bending a straw bale so that it follows the curve of the wall.
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View from above looking down of bales arranged around the framing poles.
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The author sits between two windows inside his straw bale house on a straw bale bench.
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The author stands in the doorway of his house of straw.
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Top: cardboard weatherstrip for the door; Middle: nail bent into U-shape and installed as door stop; Bottom: method of securing the windows.
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View from above looking down on the layers of material used in the roof.
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A board laid over a window gap provides support for the next layer of straw bales.
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Detail of the ceiling with stovepipe inserted through the central hole.
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Wood stove for heat inside a circle of protective rocks.
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Closeup of the ceiling with stovepipe surrounded by asbestos shield.
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