The concept to build a straw bale house began many years ago stemming from frustration at how poorly our home was built. We are building this home with thoughtfulness for the earth and our family.
Determining a location where we would "settle down" was difficult. The choice, ultimately, was decided by our desire to be close to cousins, aunties, uncles, grandparents, friends close enough to be considered family, sisters, and brothers. Living in rural Saskatchewan allows us to be a hub.
We purchased our land five years ago and have been renting it to a local farmer. Five years is certainly a long time to "dream and scheme" but that is how long we needed to get to where we are today. Countless hours were spent reading books, discussing utilities, searching the internet, designing and redesigning plans (wish we would have kept track of number of revisions), budgeting, chatting on the telephone, and pouring through magazines. A few things accomplished during this time were building a workshop, digging the well, buying toilets, running power to the property, purchasing oak church pews to be used for trim, designing a masonry heater, attending a straw bale building course, and purchasing a used greenhouse.
Many people encouraged, helped and shared ideas during the planning stage. There were also people who tried to "talk us out of it" listing reasons why it is a bad idea and suggesting things we should do instead. The downside of taking so long to plan is that doubt certainly creeps in. There were many nights where "Why are we doing this again?" was the leading line of our conversation. The phrase has morphed into a censored version used when we make a major life change. We are following through with this exciting and terrifying dream to create a beautiful amazing life for our family.
We hoped construction would begin in June but, of course, there were delays. It was stressful waiting and watching the calendar flip to the next month. There were plenty of things to do during the wait (mowing weeds, framing workshop, and electrical) but in the back of our minds we were very anxious wondering if we would ever get started on the house. On July 26 we received engineered stamped drawings and a couple days later we received the building permit. On August 8 the machines started moving!