From time to time we answer reader’s questions.
Paul: In the EcoOcha video I noticed they tamped the sides to reduce the ‘log cabin’ look and to reduce the amount of plaster required. This smoother surface would be much easier to plaster.
Owen: Yes, more and more builders are flattening the walls like this to save plaster work. It’s strange, but for some reason some people say this doesn’t work, that the bags will crumble if you tamp the sides. Maybe their soil has insufficient clay. I don’t know, but it works great for us and for others.
One thing is for sure — if you don’t at least try to flatten the walls somewhat then you’ll have to apply a massive amount of plaster to even out the walls. That would take a great deal of time, effort and materials.