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Tim Beardsley

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since Apr 22, 2014
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Recent posts by Tim Beardsley

My husband and I have begun building an earth-bag roundhouse with a square gable self supporting roof in the Upper Peninsula. Our fill for the bags is road base with roughly 5% clay using 1 1/2 gallons of water per bag. We've made some test bags and they've cured well and hard. Our question is about the earthen plaster on the outside. We get about 31 inches of rain per year, and about 106 inches of snow, clay is very hard to find around here. We've read about using lime and/or cement on the outside of the bags, but our knowledge on this is limited. Any advice would be greatly greatly appreciated as we have a very short building time span.
Also if we do not find some plaster that will work time permitting would it be possible to cover the bags till spring in tarps?

4 years ago
My husband and I are in the process of doing an earthbag house set in the ground about 3 1/2 feet. Its a roundhouse with a self supporting gable roof to shed snow ( were located in the UP). Were using a french drain placed below the frost line with it spanning 25 feet out from the building site. We have a big overhang to help keep water/snow away. With 2x12 lumber for the rafters to support the snow. Were using a sandy/gravelly fill for the bags to help with the mositure issue around here.
A question for dillion, could you tell us more about your ferro-cement plaster? Clay is very hard to get around here and were a little stuck on what to do about the outside plaster? We've read a little about lime and/or cement but do not know enough about it.
4 years ago
Hello everyone!
I'm planning a small off-grid cabin about 250sqft. I currently have a solar setup and I want to run 10-15 l.e.d. lights. I want to keep the lights dc, if I run ac and my inverter fails I have no lights. I would like to be able to turn each one on individually when I want to conserve as much energy as possible.

1.) Would using fuses or circuit breakers be better?

I'm not sure if I would be able to use circuit breakers or which would be most efficient. Perhaps a fuse block similar to cars, boats, rv's , etc...

2.) Does anyone know of a good off-grid 12v wiring book?
5 years ago
That is the intent, I'm definitely open to ideas, the reason we chose EB is for the thermal mass we gain and if that is insulated we should be very comfortable in winter, were doing a metal roof so we are able to catch rainwater, if I did a circular metal roof there would be lots of cutting, more ridges and less loft space. I could increase the sq ft of my house and take out the loft to accommodate a circular roof, but to insulate and sheath the roof would require lots of cutting which probably means more mistakes, but maybe I'm mistakin I'm very new to this
5 years ago
The house will have cylindrical walls like a silo, the roof will be square, gable style. The walls will not support the weight of the roof, the roof will be post and beam or round wood framing. I am thinking that the ceiling joists/rafter ties will be dual purpose and be our loft floor. So the roof rafters and ceiling joists are tied into a beam or top plate, If I have Velcro plates on the top of the wall laid out for tying in the ceiling joists to the wall would that keep the wall stable at he top? My wall will be 9-10 ft tall with 3.5 ft below grade
5 years ago
Hey folks,
My wife and I will start building a 14-15 ft diameter earth bag round wall cabin this June. it will be built on a 4 ft deep rubble trench insulated with earth bags brought up to grade. We will be using a mix for the bags being 25% clay 75% sand (only exception being the first course on rubble trench will have gravel in them) We are building in the Upper Peninsula where we get lots of rain and snow. We have a working span from June till mid-late October before the winter begins, so having the plans as complete as possible is crucial, also this will be our first earthen building so we are trying to keep it as simple as we can.
Question we have, is a bond beam necessary for such a small structure? Or would velro plates under the rafters suffice?
One last question, and this is really where were stuck at the moment, is roof ideas? Right now were contemplating a gable roof. Because of how small our structure has to be (because of building codes) we would link to incorporate a sleeping loft.
Right now were thinking from the inside out having our layers go like this, boards that we cut, one inch think white bead board, rafters with straw stuffed between, and another one inch thick white bead board on the other side of the rafter, we would put a layer of heavy gauge plastic over that, with sheet metal being the last layer?
We will do a post and beam structure on the outside of the house, so the roof would mostly be supported on that.

Any comments or ideas would be very appreciated.
5 years ago
Boris, my wife and I are planning a cabin similar except it will be 14 ft diameter circle with a square roof, we are also in a cold northern climate. I was wondering what you had planned for your roof? That seems to be where were getting hung up.
5 years ago
Hey Dan!
Hope to learn more about natural plasters since I plan to use them on my house!
6 years ago