Daniel Ray wrote:Hi Angela, you could do a post and beam and build the roof first. Being in such a rainy climate I think that might be smart. Plan as small as you can, and if you want it larger, plan on adding additions later. Tarps can get expensive, call billboard companies to see if you can get the old roadway billboard signs they take down. These are usually discarded to the landfill and make amazing waterproof tarps that you can get for free or a really low cost. Bales go up fast if you have access to strawbales, but protect them from the rain obviously. Earthbag is a lot of work for a single individual, my wife and I can fill about 50-60 bags in a single day working all day. Lots of work. Good luck
William Bronson wrote: Will your lot have access to the water?
Christopher Steen wrote:Depends on the length of the window of opportunity, construction skill and knowledge, endurance, helpers, laborers, budget, motivating drive, tools, resources, building codes, site issues, utilities, other jobs/commitments, size and complexity of the build, etc.
time is money (for most), and work ethic is probably the biggest factor in owner builder "success"
If it's just a time crunch, you could hire a few hard working college guys with young backs to knock out the bag work and exterior plaster base coat in 2-4 weeks (depending upon size/resources) while they are on summer break. Then use them as laborers for a week under the direction of a carpenter to slap on windows/does/roof/internal walls/etc.
Christopher Steen wrote:Ok. Don't want it too easy. If you do this, accept the challenge and don't let it overwhelm you. It can be doable if you hit it hard all day every day. Obviously, framing this with someone experienced will be way quicker and higher success rate. I've seen some projects fly and some drag on. But if you need to hit your deadline:
Find a helper. Some stuff needs two people to lift or position. Two people can bounce ideas. Two people can motivate each other to keep working after the hours drag on.
A square or octagon, with posts in the corner will probably be cheaper, quicker and easier for you to utilize the small space. This considers roof and floorplan usability.
With 8 weeks, no budget or utilities or construction background: I'd consider framing unless you get one badass helper or two average ones. I.e. Conventional framing, post and beam, or pole barn... That way you'll be ready for your son in time. A little 16x24 framed is quick and cheap, just saying. (And I'm an experienced earthbagger. I love the superior construction methods, but the best house is the one you can live in, not camping in, and doubley so if it's finished, even modestly.)
Tiffany Morris wrote:Hello. I don't think you could build the roof first, as you need to be able to tamp the bags all the way to the final layer. We had to build a temporary roof-like structure, so that we could work on the lower bag layers during a very rainy summer. We will be using the lumber for the actual roof (hope to finish this summer), and use the tarps to wrap the finished earthbag structure during the winter to keep off the suns rays (extremely important!). Basically, the lumber that was bought is not going to waste, and the tarps will always be useful for something. I'm just being honest when I expect it to take you more than one year to complete, unless you make it very small, or enlist some help. We have been working on ours for 3 years on weekends late Spring through early Fall (from last frost to first frost), with myself, my husband, and three teenagers. Ours measures about 17'x17' with a loft. We are building it on a steep slope, and have used a lot of rebar to stabilize the bags. So, you may have an easier time than us, if you have easy road access, a close water source, and a more level area to build. I can try to figure out how to post pictures to explain, if you are interested.