FINISHED…and proud :)

28 07 2010

I have finally finished the shed.  I put a final finish of natural paint on the exterior.  The natural paint has lime filler in it which will protect the earth plaster walls from the weather.  Ochre powder was added for the pigment, which Mrs. Beard had chosen out of the various neutral mineral pigments of choice from Bracker’s Earth Clays.  The paint itself simply consisted of a gallon of milk, 4 cups lime, and approximately a cup of pigment.  I made 6 gallons total to cover the entire exterior.  It was quite watery…. I probably could have added more lime filler than I did, but was just going off a recipe I found online.  It was successful nonetheless, and covered up the seams of some of the slightly varying colored plaster mixes that I had put on the wall.  The Beard’s had also just added the door the week before I painted.  So I was happy with the end result with the door in place.  I look forward to seeing it next year with some flowers growing around it :)

Here are the final pictures from my last days of work and the end product.  Thanks to all those who helped throughout the project!  See the People page.

Jana (builder) happily posing with the Beard's finished shed!

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Painting the shed…..

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.Before the paint…..





Wow ~ already Summer 2010

23 06 2010

Well, it has been a little over a year since I started building the shed.  I nearly finished, but had a few walls to put the final layer of clay plaster on.  However, I had to leave for my job in Korea, so I have not been able to complete it until this summer, as I am back from Korea for summer vacation.

The shed progressed a lot since my last post and pictures, so here are the recent pictures showing the shed as it looked when I left last year, as well as the new reddish plaster that has been added this last week.






Day 10+? I lost count

1 04 2009

My friend Mario came and helped me twice to mix plaster and finish the wall seams inside and out. So, the seams are finished. Haha, that still leaves the entirety of the walls to plaster! Plus the roof still isn’t on. But at least I have the metal for the roof now. I bought it last week from a guy in Ottowa. He bought property that had a bunch of junk and stuff left on it, including lots of unused corrugate roofing metal sheets. Which is AWESome for me :) It is in great condition and for a good price! Tomorrow the plan is to finish the roof….I really want to finish the roof. Then I can finish the walls and floor and I’m done!

Thanks to Mario for playing in the mud with me and getting lots of work done! Huge help :)

plastered seams

plastered seams

inside shed

inside shed

plaster mixing pit

plaster mixing pit

:) my shed covered with a gigantic tarp to protect for the bad weather

:) my shed covered with a gigantic tarp to protect for the bad weather





Day 9: Starting EArth Plaster…and continuing roof

22 03 2009

Well, the roof is not going to be finished for a few days. I still haven’t even gotten the metal panels for the roof yet! Hopefully that will happen soon since we need to protect the walls from heavy rains. My mom, dad, and brother came and helped again today, along with faithful Rick. My parents bought a nice gigantic tarp that will be able to protect my shed until I get the roof finished.

We started plastering the walls today which was sweet. Ben and I mixed a pit of the clay+water+sand+straw with our feet (I did get a couple of surprisingly painful small wounds in my feet from that method…we might try something else tomorrow with the help of some of my experienced Mexican friends) and then we applied it to the bale seams in the walls. Once we cover the seams we will plaster the entire wall. Rick took charge of the roof and got all the rafters in place and secured the door frame to the roof plate.

It was definitely a productive day! but there is still quite a bit of work to be done.

Ben and Jana mixing earth plaster by foot

Ben and Jana mixing earth plaster by foot

jana's feet mixing plaster

jana's feet mixing plaster

starting to plaster seams...ben, dad, jana

starting to plaster seams...ben, dad, jana

plastered wall seams

plastered wall seams

Jana, Rick, Dad (Doug), Ben

Jana, Rick, Dad (Doug), Ben

today's finished product

today's finished product





Day 8: Compression and Roof

21 03 2009

So, Rick and Noe showed up early this morning and together we got the pony wall and rafters cut, built and ready to put on the roof. Then we decided the best way to pre-compress the walls would be to put heavy rocks all along the roof plate. That was fun…I was a little bit scared someone was going to get a rock dropped on their head…but they didn’t. good thing!

Once they left at 10am I worked for about an hour trying to figure out how to tie the wires tight enough to hold the compressed walls down when we would take the rocks off. Then I gave up and ran errands…looking for roof tin and such.

Later Mario came with me to pick up clay from a construction site on W 6th st. When we got back to the house to unload, Rene, Carolina, and Adolfo showed up to help too. Between all of us, we got the clay unloaded and set in a pit, and we got all the wires tied as best we could. Several had to go back to work, so Adolfo and I stayed and got all the rocks off the roof and put up the pony wall (which was used as our ladder before nailed in for its intended use :) ). Then, we had to get to work at the restaurant too, so we nixed finishing the roof rafters and just tarped everything so the rain tonight won’t hurt the bales (thanks to Ellen who stopped by and helped us get tarps!).

Unfortunately I didn’t get pictures of any of my friends helping today. But I did get a couple pictures of our compression method. I guess that is better than nothing :)

pony wall using as ladder

pony wall using as ladder

rocks on roof for wall compression

rocks on roof for wall compression

tarped for protection from rain

tarped for protection from rain





Day 7: Raising the walls! and setting the roof plate

20 03 2009

Wow, today was awesome :) We started with the bales today. We stacked them on our wide foundation. Each layer was staggered from the layer below it, like gigantic brick laying, and 2ft pieces of rebar were used to stake each layer of bales together.

Once we finished putting up our six layers of straw bale, we had to figure out how we were going to get the roof plate we built yesterday on top of these walls! At that moment it was Rick, Randy, Jon, and I. We knew that the four of us could not get the heavy lumber roof plate on top of 8ft walls! So we started calling people. I got my co-workers Rene and Carolina to show up, but that still wasn’t enough man power to make this happen. We were thinking of who else we could get to come help when a big recycling pick-up truck pulls up in the alley and Rene says to me, “hey, I know that guy. Maybe I can go ask him to come help us.” Then I realized I knew him too because he and his wife are regulars at Cielito Lindo. So, I went and asked him, Chris, and his friend with him, Nathan, if they could come help us with this roof plate we are trying to put on top of straw bale walls. haha, so random! And they did help! They were definitely a God send…it was quite perfect.

We didn’t know how exactly we were going to accomplish this feat since none of us were 8 ft tall, so we thought we would first just see how heavy it was with the seven of us picking it up. When we picked it up, the dispersed weight wasn’t bad at all, so we went ahead and walked the roof plate over to the walls. Then we proceeded to hoist it above our heads and started moving it over the walls. It got a bit complicated but in the end the roof plate got on and fit perfect and all in a matter of about 20 minutes! It was pretty amazing, and I was very happy.

Well, so this is definitely starting to look like a building! I love it! Take a look at today’s progress…

first layer of bale wall

first layer of bale wall

bales on foundation

bales on foundation

Rick cutting rebar stakes

Rick cutting rebar stakes

Jana threading twine through bale to make half-bales

Jana threading twine through bale to make half-bales

walls getting higher

walls getting higher

The team that put up the roof plate! left to right: Rene, Chris, Nathan, Rick, Jana, Jon, (Randy taking picture)

The team that put up the roof plate! left to right: Rene, Chris, Nathan, Rick, Jana, Jon, (Randy taking picture)

today's final product! soo cool :) i love it!

today's final product! soo cool :) i love it!





Day 6: Building the Door Buck and Roof Plate

19 03 2009

Today was awesome! We, Rick and Randy and I, built the whole roof plate start to finish AND put up the door buck today. It was relaxing compared to the rock foundation, haha. Anyway, although I am a couple days behind from my original construction schedule, it looks like the total structure will get finished by Sunday, which is AmAzInG.

This all means that TOMORROW we will be raising the straw bale walls! YES! I am really excited about this. Optimistically, we can get started on the roof too. If any of you reading this are interested to come by for a couple hours, I NEED YOU :) I can use as many helpers as I can get. Check out the pictures from today….

Rick and Randy

Rick and Randy

Jana, Rick, and nail gun :)

Jana, Rick, and nail gun :)

proped door buck

proped door buck

roof plate

roof plate

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