If you go east of you, into the Imperial Valley, you will find quite a few strawbale houses. But don't go on the tour now. lol. (it is only what, 115 F now)
I'd recommend that you search this forum for more information and then post questions, as there are people here who have information, but would prefer to answer more specific questions. please don't take that wrong...
Here are some webpages that you might find useful that dh e-mailed me, so I'm leaving some of his comments:
The Art and Insanity of Building Your Own Home http://www.strawbalediary.com/
This one lady's journal of the construction process for her own straw bale home in the mountains above San Diego. Click on "Diary/Photo Gallery" in the left column, and then keep clicking on "Next Page" at the bottom of each journal entry, until you get to the end (or just go to the table of contents http://www.strawbalediary.com/gallerytoc.html and click on each date). It's been quite a while since I went all the way through start to finish, but I remember she covered a lot of juicy details along the way.
We don't have one, but we're still "lookin' into it".
I checked out a BUNCH of books from the library about Strawbale. It was great to show DH the ones with lots of pictures and the ones who tell you all that goes into doing it yourself. Not that we would do it all by ourselves ~ but conceptually, it helped answer all of our "how does that work" questions. KWIM???
I agree w/PP. Come up with some "specific" questions & you'll probably get more responses.
We absolutely love the idea of building a straw bale home also, We live in San Diego now and its just to darn expensive, so we are looking into other state or area to make this dream a reality. Love to keep in touch and get more info from others doing the same. Jen:
What is there not to love in a straw bale house? It is solid construction - I'd stand in one during an earthquake, anyday! (I'm assuming rebar usage!) lol - I live on the west coast, not the east, so I have limited hurricane knowledge. They have that wonderful, old world charm caused by thick walls, the insulation factor makes those power bills cheap, cheap, cheap. And straw is an easily renewable cheap material.
We would have built with straw bale except our house pad is small, and we don't have room for those walls. =(
lovn, so glad you know that the wild animal park is better than the imperial valley.
Check out the book, "Serious Straw Bale". It gave R ratings (insulation), the types of weather conditions that straw bale could withstand (hurricanes, earthquakes, freezes, heat, etc.). It also went step by step through the construction and had LOTS of pictures.
Other books that were nice (I wouldn't pay for all this, just borrow from the library...):
The Beauty of Straw Bale Homes
Buildings of Earth and Straw
Straw Bale Details
A House of Straw: A Natural Building Odyssey
(this one is actually a woman who wrote the "biography" of her house)
I've done quite a bit of research on sb & we hope to build one someday, but have decided now's not the right time. They are pretty cool, aren't they? I'm afraid my answers will be vague & I'll apologize up front. It's been a bit since I did my research & I don't have it handy right now. But search the internet doing any variety of "straw bale house" & follow every link. There is SO MUCH good info out there. Also sign up at for this: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SB-r-us. Or there's another sb group similar to it that I'm not familiar with. Lots of knowledgable people & good info. HTH & hope it all works out for you!!
We are hoping to one day have a strawbale house. We do have a little strawbale barn right now. It was built 8 years ago by the people that lived here before us. They finished everything on it except the roof. It's framed but only has a tarp on it. I'm amazed at how well it has held up with no roof. It is still in perfect shape and during the hot weather we've been having, it stays very cool inside. I was interested in strawbale before but after seeing this little barn, I'm sold on the idea.