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Earthbag Homes in Maine...is it possible? anyone have one?  RSS feed

 
Wayne Blum
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Location: Central Maine
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I am planning to move to Maine within the next year to start our very own off-grid homestead/small scale farm. I have my eyes on building an earthbag home, but I am concerned with building codes, regulations etc. Does anyone have one or in the process of building one in Maine? I am looking to know about what hurdles where involved with local planning and building codes and if you would like to share where you are located, what the community is like etc. Any advice/feedback would be greatly appreciated thanks!
 
Kimberly Davis
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We moved to Maine at the end of January of this year. We bought some land in Washington County just off the beach. We are currently living in a big canvas tent and looking at building an earthbag home. We keep hitting brick walls metaphorically speaking and we are running out of time as it is now July and we have not ordered a single earthbag. I don't know squat abut building but my husband knows a little. He is concerred about how we are going to insulate in and roofing. We only have about $500 a month we can put towards this and we are current finding more issues than solutions.

I know this doesn't help you but I we hope to find out more and soon. I heard Canadian Dirtbag is a good blog as its a couple who built an earthbag home in Alberta Canada.

If you have found out any info please let us know and we will do the same.
 
Wayne Blum
Posts: 5
Location: Central Maine
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Hey Kimberly,
  We will be moving into Waldo County around Unity in April of next year, we're just waiting to finalize the details. As for hitting walls are you referencing codes in the area or just with the building process? For insulation there are a few options available to you, you can wider earth bags and do a gravel/clay mix or look into lava rock to see if it's either available in the area or able to be affordably shipped. You could also make the walls two rows thick which should suffice as enough insulation on their own but is literally double the work. Your last option would be to build the shell and then install wall posts, insulation and then sheet rock, like with a standard house. As for the roof a standard roof design would be best, avoid the earth bag dome due to the moist climate. For insulating that it would be just like with any other roof, just making sure you have the proper r value insulation. There is a really great book if yous aren't familiar with it, it's called Earthbag Building by Kaki Hunter and Donald Kiffmeyer. It's a great resource and one of my main sources of information. They go into great detail about insulation options for colder climates, along with building and insulating roofs, I strongly recommend it I got mine from Amazon for like $20 or $30 only. Best of luck with everything and as things go on keep me posted as my girlfriend and I seem to be more or less on the same page as you!
 
Mary Donaghy
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I live in Maine and plan to build an earthbag home. I am clearing trees now and plan to start building early next season.
 
Wayne Blum
Posts: 5
Location: Central Maine
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Glad to hear, We recently finalized our property purchase and will be moving up to Troy in the spring. There aren't any codes in town and it seems we just need to present the project to the planning board along with the permit payment.  Hopefully smooth sailing, stay in touch if we aren't too far perhaps in the future we could exchange help and knowledge regarding our construction. Best of luck!
 
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