Friday, September 18, 2009

Documenting strawbale - Almost Final Plaster

We're nearing the end of the strawbale plastering - we are now on the final lime plaster, with two more walls to finish. Then come several coats of whitewash. We are also now into fall weather, which means that time is running short for this house project - if the weather drops to below freezing the lime will fail and we'll be at this again in the spring. Since the weather has been around 4-6 C at night lately (and feeling very chilly) there is a pretty big rush to get this done over the next week or two, although the coats need adequate drying time so can only go on so quickly. We've heard of many a strawbale house project that got into cold weather and had to either wrap the house until spring, or use tarps and heaters to finish the walls. I guess it's not unusual for this type of project to take longer than expected, especially when so much is being done by hand and is a learning experience for us. Some photos here show how the walls need to be scratched so that additional coats adhere; walls need to be continuously misted so they don't dry too quickly; the white lime colour which can be tinted to other shades (e.g. using pigment used for cement stucco). The lime we are using has been soaking in pails for over a year - we've heard of builders soaking lime for many years (the longer the better). It's also incredibly drying on the skin! Hard to believe we are this far on the house project - some days have seemed like we'd never get it done. It's been almost a year and a half since we started. Thanks again to all the hands that have helped out! There have been a few key invaluable people we can call on to help out for a few hours when we've gotten overwhelmed by this house task (there are days) - you know who you are.

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