Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Rammed Earth House 2020 Update

Hello Everyone, Welcome back to our project
And Spring in Saskatchewan....

Here are a couple links to short time videos of the walls being constructed, these were put together after the fact, not easy to record as you're building when it's just the two of us. 


#rammedearthhouse  #Rammed earth Home #rammedearth

With the ceiling complete we've moved on to inside walls and other items. With the whole Covid thing it was difficult to source some of the furniture so I asked the kids to look up pictures of what they wanted, first a couple of bed frames with drawers.

I figure it's good practice and I'll need it when it comes to making the kitchen cupboards.

Slowly coming together

#youtube rammed earth
Time to do some work on the outside, level and start landscaping, Finally!!!!!


Made some closets in my downtime.
Have to spend a bit more effort on the drawer faces, making stuff square is definitely not one of my strong suits, lol. 

One is stained the other white 😊

Lights on in the living room

Wood wall dividing the pantry (left) and our master bedroom with ensuite (right)

#youtube rammed earth construction

 Ran a grinder with a wire wheel along the edge removing some of the expansion material then used grout to cover and seal the expansion joint.  

Kids bath

Half bath in the middle of the house, still needs a vanity.


Naree wanted a particular desk, so of course.

Time for a Soaker Tub!
Used 2" X 12"  tongue and groove glued together, stained and sealed.
Ended up using treated wood as it is the best grade. If the hot tub has lasted 5-6 years holding water for weeks at a time I figure this will do well as it would be drained after each use, unless we try using it as a Furo(ι’¨ε‘‚).

Just the right size DEEEEEP

There isn't much better than soaking in a nice tub


Dam I love this tub

Working from home for the 3 months of Covid required an office space so the computer room was advanced.


1050 1"x 6" boards went through the dado blade in my tablesaw to shiplap this ceiling.
I made a spreadsheet of all our costs. Neato!

Rammed earth house   #earth house    #rammed earth construction
Landscape fabric laid around the perimeter, raised beds outside south door.  Leveled and graded the surrounding yard.


Focused on the kitchen and laundry rooms.

Simple laundry room, still to make the cupboard doors.

We were going to go with IKEA cupboards ($7000) as they make it pretty easy to figure out layout and cabinet sizes, but after checking out a few functioning kitchens there are some areas of concern like weak drawer construction. That lead to a quote for a plywood cupboards, that ended really quickly  @ $12,500.Since all the dimensions are all on the diagrams we decided to make out of 3/4" birch plywood and order most of the hardware from IKEA

Threw some sheets on top to get an idea of the look.

Well time to to go back to the mine site, sigh. 

Below is a link to a Excel sheet of our house costs to July 2020. It would not save it as a table, so I suggest you copy and insert as a table then the cost can be broken down. I found this super interesting, like how much wood went into the ceiling compared to what we were quoted etc.

I'll add to this Post as we finish up , Thanks for stopping by.

#rammed earth house.      #rammed earth construction

I found this interesting, I have a weather station that records inside/outside temperatures.
I entered this info into a graph to show how thermal mass works, this is without any added heating or cooling systems. should be neat to look at after the winter season.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Rammed Earth House 2019 Update

 Almost Spring!, not really. This was taken February 26th, still cold AF. 
Those are 3 raised garden beds in case you thought they were something else πŸ˜€
Greenbuilding passive solar earth house

After a very long cold winter I started with the some of the windows. We still have to order the 4 big ones for the south side, been tough as we can't get exact orientation we originally wantedπŸ˜’. Even though an engineer and an architect both went over our plans nothing was said. We'll make it work there's no doubt. 

Fairly straight forward installation for the windows.

Greenbuilding passive solar earth house

Those are white electrical tape lines on the big bedroom window, one of the kids wanted to see what it would looked like. 😊 

We have to split the big living room as can can't get one single window that big, which I don't understand cause I've seen bigger commercially. 
Window trim still needs to be cut and installed.


I began trenching the boiler lines and ended up back filling and re-excavating as I ran out of time before going back to work, ground was pretty soft with the spring thaw and rains. Not a big deal it was only 80 feet long and 3 feet deep.
I insulated the pipes with the left over extruded polystyrene insulation that we used in the walls and the foundation. This worked very well for the shop, and quite a saving from $15 a foot for the 4" insulated piping. The cuttings of insulation was placed in the trench instead of the garbage.

Started dealing the in-floor heating lines since I needed to know which lines I was connecting to the boiler (Supply/Return). You can see the hanging Cat-6 cable and router as I was experimenting with access points and where to place them as the walls have a huge affect on the signals.

#homemade #uvc#water#bottle
#uvcwaterbottlelid #rammedearth
I've been considering an UV-C light sterilizer for the house water supply.      So I thought I should learn more about UV-C lights and how they work. I mounted a 12 volt, 40mA, 265nm-285nm. UV-C light in the lid of one of our water bottles, to see if there is an affect with smell or taste.

Then the focus was on the kids end of the building. I put up the purlins, vapor barrier and routering all the ceiling boards from 1"x 6" Spruce. 
Placed the bowl just to make sure I didn't mess up any clearancesπŸ˜‰
Knocked up the wall framing then began pulling wires to all the outlet boxes. Installed the lights, smoke detectors, ran the sewer stack and bathroom fan with it vented to the eves. 

Trenching in the main water line was fun,,, took a bit to find the original line to tie into cause it so deep, 15 feet. I needed to dig an area for the excavator with the bobcat first as the excavator is limited to 8 ft depth. That trench was 90 feet long for the 1-1/4" pipe.

Help is sure appreciated 😁

The next trench was for the electrical, that was 360 feet long at a depth of 4 feet. 
Just for an experiment I placed a CAT6 cable in the same trench, to see if I could run internet to the house from the shop. In the hopes of not having to mount an antenna on the house, I'd like the roof to be as clear as possible.
Them some shinny teeth you get there, lol

Since I was in trenching mode I began the septic tank install, with some help from the kids. Even though they were more interested in the rocks we were uncovering,  πŸ˜„
Again I needed to dig with the bobcat first so i could get low enough for the excavator.

My special helpers 😁😁
The excavator sure has been a handy piece of equipment lately, from trenching over 500 feet to dropping in the tank. Definitely very happy and proud of myself for what I built. 

         Septic installed backed filled with pea gravel, I'll work on the drainage field in the fall.
Better get back working on the inside!

The south door way being rough framed

Starting to get the hang of making humongous doors, used 2"x 4" and 2"x 10"
It's 99" tall and 51" wide. A window will fill the space to the right, I still have door seals to install on all 3 doors. 
 Carried on with the rest of the ceiling, purlins and vapor barrier

It's kinda neat how most of the rains we have had so far have not hit the window sills.

I have bundle of 400 1"x 6"x 8' spruce boards that need to be router-ed for the ceiling sitting outside the shop. Next time home I'll start 

Slowly coming along

All the windows are in! Check out this 360 view   Click this link to view 😊