This is a very nice, dirt cheap house. The adobe looking finished walls are particularly nice. Skip the video ahead to 3:05 if you want to see what the walls will eventually look like once finished.
Watch all their videos here.
I would suggest a large roof to shade and protect the entire house from the desert sun.
7 thoughts on “Earthbag Roundhouse Construction 6 Months In”
Sunstroke wasn’t much of a risk.
Their first video was shot in late December when they started construction. Most of their bag work was done during the winter. Since they are in Texas, they can get away with that because their winters are mild. The 6 month video Owen posted is the last video on their YouTube account, and it would have been shot in June, which would have been toward the end of Spring.
Not to say they couldn’t get sunburned in the winter, but that’s a lot different from sunstroke. Wind was the biggest problem they faced. That and keeping their baby safe and cared for during construction. Let’s face it… keeping the baby safe is higher priority to any parent than keeping to a construction schedule.
Nobody in that part of the world wants to work outside in the summer, that’s for sure. Might as well be working inside a furnace. Smart move for them to build during the cooler months.
I was recommending tarps or shade cloth for summer months.
It was one of the first videos shown and yes you’re right about needing to cover it because of the sun. Bags have about 200 hours exposed. Owen pointed out that they live in Texas so the adobe “look” is quite common. My thought is you get yourself a large tarp and fill the bags under it then, set them in place and if you can’t stucco them then, you at least cover them with tarp. There’s weren’t covered but in certain areas. I would have got all the needed materials together first but, they may not of had that benefit. I didn’t like the carpentry and thought it may be risky in some areas and “I” would have applied stucco on the inside and out heavier. But, again…that’s just me and they may not have had the luxury of doing it that way.
It’s easiest to fill the bags on the wall.
Working under a tarp would be almost essential in a place like this. No reason to put yourself at risk of sun stroke, etc.
They did say that they may add more stucco later. They simply needed something on the bags quickly, before UV exposure completely destroyed the bags.* This is a very common issue among earthbag builders, especially those that don’t have a large crew of helpers making the bag work finish quickly. In fact, far to many builders wait too long until their bags actually fail.
Viewed in that context… their quick solution may not seem so bad to you.
* I watched all of their construction related videos, and now I’m not sure which video they talked about their need for a quick UV protection solution. Perhaps it wasn’t in the video Owen posted. I can’t remember now. However, they did talk about it in at least one, if not more of their videos.
This was done on the cheap for sure. I didn’t care for the carpentry skills very much and really didn’t like the look BUT, what is good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander. If they like it then that’s really all that matters. The look fits the terrain but, I would have chosen to put more coverage on the skin. Time, money all play into the factor I’m guessing. The baby gets the love you can tell. I hope they live there very happy.
This is southern Texas and so the adobe block look fits right in.