Five years ago now we started building the strawbale roundhouse, which has been a slow affair, mainly due to not having any good clay with which to make earth plaster. The roundhouse has sat there full of junk – a wasted opportunity that has nagged at me each time I pass it.
Then as the Off Grid Kit business got busier, our house filled up with boxes and Things Being Built, and I’d decided to build a workshop somewhere until it dawned on me that I’d already got one but it wasn’t finished. So in November I decided that before the end of the year I would get it finished somehow. The first step was to sort out the floor – a drainage layer of gravel, some membrane and a concrete slab (yes, I know, but I couldn’t come up with a workable alternative in the time or budget).
Once that was sorted, salvation arrived in the form of loads of really lovely clay from Dagmara, and lots of it too, and so 4 weeks of plastering began. We did a group plastering day and had some great helpers which moved things along. In the end it took 2 tonnes of sand, a quarter tonne of clay and a small mountain of horse manure to get the job done, and it looks rather fine.
The water tanks have all been boxed in with OSB, and the floor is reclaimed 8 inch pine boards found online. The headroom has got steadily lower but its actually made the whole thing seem cosier, and with the floor, its a good big space to work in.
Drying everything out will take a while, but now we have a useful little building that has turned out every bit as good as I originally envisaged.