From time to time we’ll post answers to reader’s questions.
Q: What methods can be used to close the ends of earthbags?
A: Most people fold the bag ends over and then butt the folded end tight against the previous bag. (This keeps the contents intact and prevents spillage.) That’s the fastest way. If money is tight or you just want to minimize the number of bags required, you can sew the bags closed with cord or 15-20 gauge galvanized wire, or pin them closed with nails. These methods use fewer bags because you can fill them more completely. This simple step can reduce the total number of bags required by about 17% when using 18″x30″ bags: folded ends 20″ long; sewn ends 24″ long.
Kelly Hart’s Earthbag FAQ provides answers to all the most common questions about earthbag building.
(Note: the Q and A above is by me, not Kelly.)
3 thoughts on “Closing Ends of Earthbags”
Dear Kelly and Owen,
I’ve been reading about earth-bag houses for some time now. Because we live in Holland, which is densely populated, permission to build an earth-bag house is very difficult. its now more than 4 years ago we planned to build a straw bale house. Whatever we tried we didn’t get permission. I suppose in America its a lot easier to get permission to build almost anything you want (depending on the state of course). Have you heard of any earth-bag houses build in Holland or any of the surrounding countries. We are both 55 + and would like to say goodbye to our concrete apartment, its now wintertime and we have the thermostat on 22 degrees C but it still feels cold. For sure an earth-bag houses has the same kind of feel of a straw bale house. We visited quite a few of these on a guided tour in Belgium where there are quite a few of these houses. Here in Holland they are a bit retarded when it comes to sustainable building. We recently bought Kaki Hunter’s and Doni Kiffmeyer’s very readable Earthbag building which makes very interesting reading. Hope to hear from you. Keep up the good work!!! Warm regards, Jan en Maud Zandvoort
The closest contact may be Paulina with Earth Hands & Houses: http://www.earthhandsandhouses.org
Building in rural areas is almost always far easier than building in cities. Good luck and keep us posted of your project.