Getting Around To It

Between the Severe Colds, Severe Weather and Severe Lack of Funds, progress is moving slowly this winter. It’s comforting to know that our house will not be affected by the frequent 90+ mph wind gusts. (Though that’s not the case with the trailer we are now living in) And once we waterproof and bury the house it will be dry and warm too. We are saving up to do the waterproofing this summer.

We did however manage to frame in the curved corner on the wall between the kitchen and bathroom.  We first created a template to give us the desired radius shape. Then we cut out the plywood blocking.  It’s great having a bandsaw to make these cuts.

The curved framing will be covered with flexible plywood and coated with mud to match the drywall on the flat part of the walls. (Way down the road from now)

I’m pleased with how this is working out as it just didn’t seem right to have a square corner here.  It will add a “softness” to our curvaceous structure.



Wednesday, February 1, 2012 – 05:17 PM
Yes, but it will be Way WARM when we get it waterproofed and buried.
That whole Thermal Mass thang
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 – 06:51 PM
charles devore
very cool house.  Steve this is Charles would you like to teach a MacCamp class?
Wednesday, February 8, 2012 – 11:52 PM

Icing on a Gingerbread House

Though Jeff and I are in the throes of a nasty cold, we were able to have our entrance wall “foamed in”.  Our North wall is framed in front of the concrete shell structure.  Because of the possibility of condensation, we need to eliminate any airspace in that wall.  Closed-cell foam seamed like the best option. The area of the wall adjacent to interior living space also gains from the super insulative quality of the foam. However the wall cavity needed to be dry before we filled it in.  The last week has been uncommonly dry and with a long rainy season ahead of us, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take advantage of this dry spell. pastedGraphic.pdf


We contacted Rex and his wife Dianne from Rigby Marine about doing the job.  They had not done any residential foaming but agreed to take this project on. They mostly work on fishing boats insulating their holds and other parts of the boats with pastedGraphic_1.pdfstructural closed-cell foam.  This foam is actually a higher quality foam than is used in the residential foaming industry.

Since we have had to move our custom made steel entry door somewhat down on our financial priority list, this door will have to serve us for a while. I figured we might as well insulate it. In the picture above, you can see our “temporary” door laid out with foam board taped over the windows.



When the foam set up (which took just minutes) I removed the foam blocking to reveal the windows.  We now have a well insulated door that looks kind of cool too.

I have painted it white to protected the foam from UV light.

It’s our “StayPuff Marshmallow Door”


In fact, we briefly thought about leaving the bumpy foam surface on the exterior wall and painting some kind of protective coating on it.  Then it would have a rather neat organic look about it. But I think we will keep with the plan. That is to shave it flat, put sheeting (plywood) up and cover the wall with corrugated metal. Tell us what you think!

Oh, Back to the Icing title of this entry.  We just had a bit of a snow storm.


Holy Jesus!
Sunday, January 15, 2012 – 02:49 PM
Bryan V
Thanks for the great updates! Your house looks really amazing, can’t wait to see it with an earth-cover! My husband and I have the same dream of building an earth-sheltered home one day. Looking forward to future entries.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 – 11:19 AM
Thanks for your comment. We are committed to try and waterproof the structure and “bury it” by the end of this coming Summer. Though we may need to put a donation box at the end of our driveway. :-)
Progress on the inside will probably be fairly slow through the winter as it is cold and damp in there now. Plus we need to save up for the very expensive waterproofing material.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 – 05:00 PM

Long Awaited Opportunity

One of the first things we did when we bought the property in 2006 was have the trees from the building site milled for future use as interior wall framing.  Now is the time topastedGraphic.pdf put those board to work. With 12 foot high ceilings, it’s wonderful having these beautiful straight boards that are much nicer than anything we could have bought at the lumber store.

It is a challenge getting the wall studs attached to the irregular and curving wall/ceiling.  We solved this by having our friend Don, at Riddell Sheetmetal, make us lengths of custom “C” channel.  The 2 x 6 lumber fits into the channels and are attached front and back.  The metal channels are then ramset into the concrete.