Sunday, May 28, 2006

Adding to the Blog Roll

I am adding the blog of another Straw Bale house to the blog roll. Mark Frazier is in the early stages of his adventure and has provided me with useful information regarding box beams. I am hoping it is smooth sailing for him from start to finish. Check out the blog for his house Casa De Solariego and perhaps send a shout of encouragement out.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Back to Box Beams

It is Memorial Day weekend. I am sitting here blogging and looking at the vineyards about to drive to SLO to look at paving stones. But what is really on my mind is how I am going to construct box beams.

Do I use hardwood or a treated MDF. Perhaps a false collumn would be better. Red oak or Maple would run $3.00-$6.00/linear foot. Treated MDF would be $1.00-$2.50/linear foot. Mayan Hardwood in Paso has some great product but I am not sure abour the pricing. Big Creek in Paso could also be a resource but I can never make it in there when they are open. (Mon-Fri 6:30am-5:00pm Closed Sat and Sun) HUH? And people complain when Home Depot comes to town...

I am trying to find resources on the web but I am still not sure I want to tackle this on my own. If any DIY'ers want to pipe in I would appreciate it.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Straw Bale House Budget Circa 2003

After agonizing over this for several months, I have decided to post the original budget submitted by Three Little Pigs Construction. It is a great view into their cost estimating abilities.

Line items 101-201 were paid prior to actual house construction as well as lines 303 and 308. Take note of the permitting costs and the school fees on lines 103 and 105

This is for a 2500sqft house with mid level finishes and no landscaping.

The actual budget to this point is more than this spreadsheet. At some point I will publish that as well but as work continues the costs are continuing.

Since I do not do construction for a living I do not know how this compares to traditional construction but I suspect it is more. In my opinion, the house could never have been built at that price.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Blogging the Straw Bale Home

When this project started to have issues, I started a conversation with myself. This conversation allows me to turn the many events over in my mind and hopefully learn from them. Blogging has allowed me to articulate the negative thoughts, feelings, and frustration associated in dealing with contractors in general and Three Little Pigs Construction in particular.

This blog is a conversation about this frustration. This is a conversation with those who are looking for straw bale construction info, those who are looking for construction nightmare stories and those who just desire to have more info on Green Building or the Central Coast of California.

I have stated time and again that the internet is leveling the playing field. Whether you are purchasing a car, or buying a house, the internet gives you access to information that until recently was hard if not impossible to come by. And by extension, blogging allows us to have a wider conversation about our lives experiences that others can learn from.

What this blog is not. It is not 'Top Ten things that went wrong with building my house'. It is not 'Things I hate about my contractor', it is a conversation with all of you about my experiences. It is a small window into my life.

Someone said to me that this blog is a poor reflection of me. Perhaps it is, but I am not perfect. Trying to hide my dislike at feeling as if I have been taken advantage would not do any good. Keeping silent about my pain and frustration in watching a 9 month construction schedule stretch to 23 months does not do anyone (mostly myself) any good. Keeping a stiff upper lip and my mouth shut as I see what should have been a very nice looking custom home become a project I have to salvage is not who or what I am about.

As I continue to learn and grow from this experience I can only hope that others take away enough to avoid some of what I have experienced. I will continue to blog and flog.

And for those of you who read this, please take the time to leave a comment. It only takes a second and I would appreciate it greatly.