Email from one of our readers: “Hello, I have been researching your methods and website for sometime now. I first was introduced through your YouTube video building an earthbag home for $300. I was wondering if you could give me some advice on how to build that micro home using your method. I would deeply appreciate your advice so I can build a place for me and my family.”
Owen: For immediate shelter, I suggest building the same house with straw bales. You can stack the bales in a matter of hours. Earthbags take quite a bit longer. Earthbags have some distinct advantages of course, but in your case it sounds like you are mostly in need of immediate shelter.
Our blog is filled with related info on strawbale building. Here are some examples:
Free strawbale ebook.
Strawbale shelter video shows how fast and easy building with bales can be.
Don’t sweat the details. It’s super simple. Many people over analyze this stuff and never do anything (“analysis paralysis”). You don’t need world class bales for a shelter or tiny home. You don’t need to attend a workshop. Geez. Just stack the bales like a kid would do.
Recycled pallets are available almost everywhere for free. Try to find uniform sized pallets. You can use saplings or bamboo and baling twine to stiffen the bale walls. I think this is shown in the free ebook. Find some wood poles from a local forest for the roof.
Free house plans: Jovoto $300 House Competition
More free plans on our blog.
3 thoughts on “Micro Earthbag Homes”
Look around at what is available in your area as a building material.
Straw isn’t in my area,Kinda far away and pricey. But Pallets are everywhere. I don’t find earth bags to be that pricey.Sand or even dirt could be used.There is lava rock in my area.
Yurts could be put together cheap.I also like the Hexayurt project ideas.
How long do these shelters last before they degrade?
They can be permanent. It all depends on how much money you have. There’s a fantastic story in The Last Straw Journal. I believe David Eisenberg wrote it. It was about a ‘temporary’ strawbale shelter built in the woods. The original plan was to live there while in university and save on dorm costs. It worked so great that they stayed there 20 years or so! Amazingly, it was very poorly built. The bales sat right on the ground without a foundation. The bales were only covered with mud from a nearby swamp, etc. Gradually the whole house was covered and hidden with vines. Imagine how much money in rent they saved in 20 years! Quick calculation at $300/month is $72,000 savings over 20 years. Put the savings to work (new computer, new job skills, etc.) and now you’re talking some serious money. You might even be able to cover the cost of your entire education.