£4000 Strawbale House in Scotland

$6,260 strawbale house in Scotland
$6,260 strawbale house in Scotland

Steve built a £4000 ($6,260) unpermitted house in Scotland a few years back with local materials. (He hopes to build it for less next time.) The results are marvelous as you can see. His websites are packed with wonderful photos and drawings that show the details. Now you know why I get so excited about natural building, especially when there are no codes to deal with. At just a little over $6,200, just imagine how many hundreds of thousands of homeowners (or millions) could build their own debt free homes. This is something most Americans can afford. Compare this to paying $500/month rent for one year = $6,000. Or invest $6,000 in a natural house and live rent free for the rest of your life. Lots of people are already living this way, and there’s obviously a groundswell of interest as this information spreads.

Large workshop http://www.envisioneer.net/gallery2/tensegrity/tensegrity.pdf

Some interesting stuff here:

Note: the average house price in Britain is above £220,000.
Thanks again to Jason in the UK for another great find. He’s been sending links every day to very good sites.

16 thoughts on “£4000 Strawbale House in Scotland”

  1. Hi, I’ve just found this blog, obviously many years later! I live in the Scottish Highlands and love the idea of building this type of house as a holiday home on my croft. Scottish people, how would the planners look at this? Favourably or not? I have lots of eco projects (water/air power) and are almost self suffient. We want to continue this ethos and encourage off grid holidays. Any advice or comments gratefully recieved

  2. Excellent post today. As far as the tools, may I suggest looking in shops that sell antiques. Crazy hunh? I’ve found them there. Of course the yard sells are another place to check out. Again, excellent post today!

  3. Ohhhhhhh my goodness.

    Lots to love about that house, but I started by looking through the photo galleries, and the first awesome thing that caught my eye was his TOOLSHOP built inside his hoophouse greenhouse.

    All those hand built workbenches, and those very old tools made my heart happy.

    What DIY builder doesn’t get all excited and sentimental about a great workshop and awesome old tools?

    Suggestion for Owen and Kelly: More photos of tools and workshops. “Tool Porn” is a natural part of natural building.

    I submit that the best builders have some of the best tools. (Not necessarily the most expensive or greatest quantity of tools. Just that the best builders seem to have the RIGHT tools for what they do, and they insist on QUALITY.) They might be old tools, new tools, custom built tools, or even simple temporary jigs.

    The exposed beam ceilings are fantastic. I love it when the structural engineering of a building is treated as an art form itself. You posted recently about building a work of art. This kind of structural art is what I seem to appreciate most. Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate fancy sculptural plaster work too. For some reason, the mechanical structure celebrated for the beautiful art it is really gets to me. That’s why I love it when the very bones of a home are celebrated. It’s art that is more than a veneer. The building says, “I AM the art. Art is not a means to hide or cover something less attractive about me.” The roof planking celebrates the undulations of the tree that grew to bring it forth. That… to me… is the essence of natural building. Nature is the artist. Even the best artists among us are just hoping to capture some of that beauty and let people see the beauty nature gives us.

    I also love the simplicity of the kitchen. Instead of trying to hide everything, each item is presented for what it is. The organization of the pantry itself becomes a means of expression. That’s the way it should be. The kitchen is a simple celebration of cooking good food. Modern kitchens seem to want to celebrate some glossy design on a cabinet door or the finish on the counter. That always seems to miss the point for me. When a kitchen celebrates good food, the kitchen becomes a workspace for daily artistry in the form of cooking. What could possibly be better than that?

    Great Great house… and I haven’t even made it all the way through the galleries yet.

    • Yeah, I got really excited when I saw this house. On one level it’s simple and even a little crude in some ways. But that’s the naturalness shining forth. I give him an A+ for creativity, building very low cost and being a shining example to others. No wonder this went viral when it hit BBC.

      Also an A+ for the workshop. Lots of open space and natural light at a rock bottom price. Want to create a home based business and get out of the rat race? Here’s one viable solution. And it’s simple enough that anyone can do it fairly quickly.

      Do you like this sort of thing? Stay tuned tomorrow…

      • Another head up… (might be worth mentioning next to the galleries link on the original post, if you so choose.)

        I have started over looking through all the galleries again. After I was 3/4ths of the way through all the photos, I noticed that if I moved my mouse to toward the top of the screen on each image, that there was a caption for each photo. Short, well written, informative captions. Well worth taking the time to read each one. They go a long way in getting inside the mind of the builder whether it be the photos shot during the construction process and why he did what he did, or just the scene itself.

        Nicely done website.

        I’m enjoying my journey through every link, every photo, every caption. This is a website to drill into and savor.

          • Carroll, I think the point is to MAKE YOURSELF A CASE like that.

            Studley was a craftsman himself, and those where the tools he used in his craft. It was only natural for him to take his skills and put them to use to build that amazing case.

            Want an awesome tool case?

            BUILD ONE that is designed exactly how you want it to hold your own tools.

          • Carroll, send us a photo if it turns out this good so we can publish it on our blog and get a million hits. No need to send a photo though if it’s made of pallets banged together.

          • I understood that but, what I meant was wouldn’t it be something to just go in and pick one off the shelf like that. I think it goes without saying that you pick the tools you use.

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