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Toger
Somewhere, out there...
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July 29, 2009 - 11:16 am
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Now that's a cool house. I'm addicted to HGTV and I don't even own a house!

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Helmut
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August 19, 2009 - 1:23 am
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[Image Can Not Be Found]

I have never been so dog tired in all my days. Tomorrow we will finish putting stucco wire up around the outside, then comes four days of putting straw bales in and stucco wiring on the inside. Then comes 9 days of hauling stucco mud and plastering up to 30' off the ground. Then we shall have a house that is R35 in the walls, R50 in the ceiling, earthquake and fire resistant, and darned pretty to behold.

The attachment to gaming in this post is as follows: we have rented a platform lift with several hydraulic arms to access the high parts of the house. The machine is run from a platform with several joysticks to operate the arms. Several people have commented on my ability to maneuver the bucket smoothly around the house. I chuckle to myself, and think that they should stop wasting their time in construction, and instead spend 600 hours training in one of these then they too would know joysticks. 

My Dark Souls single player sensibilities are protected by a +10 GfWL Firewall of Ineptitude

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Toger
Somewhere, out there...
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August 19, 2009 - 9:54 am
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Shermut, that's going to be a gorgeous house! See? Gaming has redeeming qualities - it teaches you how to use a platform lift! [Image Can Not Be Found]

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Steerpike
Subtropical Southeastern Michigan
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August 19, 2009 - 11:19 am
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What a beautiful house! Congratulations on all the hard work coming together. What does the R stand for? Is it a level of insulation?

Ahh, the mighty Scimitar. One of my favorite craft, indeed. And think, Helmut, with your hydraulic arm skills, you have another professional opportunity available should you lose interest in your current job!

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Spike
Memphis
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August 19, 2009 - 1:44 pm
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How cool (or warm, depending on the season), Helmut!  R35 and 50?  I drool at your to-be-low utility bills.  The house does look great.  I've long been in awe of construction vehicles, and love watching the process.  I bought good binoculars just to watch riverfront construction downtown from my side of the river.  Fun.  I've always wanted to drive a Bobcat, but sadly, will never get the chance, so I am envious of your opportunity and prowess.  Hard work will have you comfy and toasty this winter.

Couldn't you maybe get a video game out of this experience?  Sim HelmutRise of the House of Helmut.

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Steerpike
Subtropical Southeastern Michigan
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October 31, 2009 - 10:38 am
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Helmut, we haven't seen a recent picture or gotten a recent status update.

If I can't raise enough on Google ads to buy a missile silo, your home will become Tap Central Command, so we need to see how its coming along… you know, so we can pick our rooms.

Have you considered a straw carriage house about 50yds off the High Command property, so your partner and kids can live in style while we evluate them for membership in the Inner Sanctum?

You'll also need to build a Toger pen, as 25'x40' so she can run and play, but surrounded by high walls. Maybe we could bend local trees into servind as the Toger Labyrinth…

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Toger
Somewhere, out there...
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October 31, 2009 - 1:12 pm
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You guys are making me out as some sort of velociraptor... Not true!! ... but not too far off the mark. [Image Can Not Be Found]

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Helmut
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November 2, 2009 - 10:33 am
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Don't worry, it's electrified.

[Image Can Not Be Found]

My Dark Souls single player sensibilities are protected by a +10 GfWL Firewall of Ineptitude

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Toger
Somewhere, out there...
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November 2, 2009 - 11:47 am
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hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!

You, sir, have made my Monday!

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Helmut
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December 16, 2009 - 7:02 pm
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Some progress. Drywall is up inside. Fireplace is in and working. Not really the best pics, but I struggle with cameras.

Masonry fireplace with some stonework, but missing the final stucco coat. Gets hot for 12-15 hours per load of wood and ought to keep the place nice and snug. Don't mind the scaffold. Interior stucco in January.

Drywall, Helmut, and straw bale in background.

[Image Can Not Be Found]

View down through open ceiling to kitchen area.

[Image Can Not Be Found]

My Dark Souls single player sensibilities are protected by a +10 GfWL Firewall of Ineptitude

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Toger
Somewhere, out there...
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December 16, 2009 - 8:27 pm
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That is a gorgeous fireplace! When's the housewarming and our invitations? [Image Can Not Be Found]

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geggis
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March 10, 2010 - 3:51 pm
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Incredible Helmut. So it's a super efficient super house in Canada? You might have seeded a dream here. It looks beautiful.

Why straw over other building materials? I assume it's mainly because of the efficiency it provides but how much extra does that sort of construction cost? Was there much consultation to design and plan it or are you (or your spouse) an architect/engineer? Sorry for the questions, I'm fascinated.

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Helmut
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March 11, 2010 - 11:35 am
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Straw bale houses often include a little portal window called a truth window, where they can show non-believers that the walls are, in fact, filled with straw.

truth window

Why straw? It's a natural cellulose plant fibre that's reasonably plentiful. In our house the straw wasn't a load bearing member, but fill between the post and beam structure. The R value per inch isn't comparable to modern plastics or rock/glass fibres, but the straw bale on edge is 15″ thick. Surround this with an inch of stucco cement on each side and you have some thick walls.

[Image Can Not Be Found]

To avoid the dungeon window effect, the inside corners of the windows are typically curved to allow more light.

[Image Can Not Be Found]

Allowing some funky spaces and curves to the area

[Image Can Not Be Found]

What with the cement on the inside of the walls and an open ceiling plan to allow heat circulation, we've managed to create the world's most effective echo chamber. I guess headphones will replace the speaker setup for a few years. We're also discovering how the heat exchanger and heavy masonry fireplace all work together by alternately freezing and boiling to death.

My Dark Souls single player sensibilities are protected by a +10 GfWL Firewall of Ineptitude

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Toger
Somewhere, out there...
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March 11, 2010 - 2:23 pm
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I love the curve of the walls...

And what the hell is wrong with this reply window? Color and oddly itty-bitty font.?!

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xtal
planet
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March 11, 2010 - 3:23 pm
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The window of truth ... amazing.

I thought all the jokes about the straw house were just that, jokes; but you've made an actual house using straw. Incredible.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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geggis
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March 11, 2010 - 4:12 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2009
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Yeah I love those curves too; a great idea for maximising light.

Are you in the process of moving in then or is there still work to be done?

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Helmut
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March 11, 2010 - 5:36 pm
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Forum Posts: 795
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Both. We're moved in yet the to-do list is endless. Painting, doors, trim, decks, yadda yadda. Still, we can't afford not to be living here and we can do a lot in the evenings, which is where all the gaming time has gone. [Image Can Not Be Found]

My Dark Souls single player sensibilities are protected by a +10 GfWL Firewall of Ineptitude

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Spike
Memphis
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March 11, 2010 - 6:05 pm
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Beautiful!  I love the curves.  With so many windows, most of which I'd guess are operable, there will be no end of glorious light and ventilation.  Well done, Helmut.

When you're all done and settled you might give some thought to the silo.  [Image Can Not Be Found]

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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Toger
Somewhere, out there...
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March 11, 2010 - 6:07 pm
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And guided tours.

We could add the to TR coffers by offering reasonably priced guided tours.

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Spike
Memphis
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March 11, 2010 - 6:11 pm
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With a complimentary bit of Canadian libation at tour's end.  Sign me up.

"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."

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