Earthbag Addition near Asheville, NC

I got the awesome opportunity to help out a dude out in Asheville, NC who I met through the facebook group “Earthbag Builders.”  Good thing he wasn’t some right-wing nut-job who wanted to murder me.

He and his fiancee were pretty cool, and so was their EB house and cordwood bath house.  He said he may do a fly through to get the full idea, but you can see all the pictures of his home and bath house in chronological order here.  We were building an addition the existing roundhouse.

First, here are a few of his pictures if you don’t visit his website:

Front of cordwood bath houseInside Bathhouse

Front w/bottle wall

Inside Bathhouse

It’s just awesome how cheap and manageable this stuff is to build yourself.  While we were building it kind of slipped my tongue to say, “I love how dumb this is!”  What I meant was we were able to talk and build the wall at the same time (can be hard for an ENFP like me).  We weren’t making crazy measurements and worrying if it’ll be perfectly right on every bag etc… But at first when I said that it sounded a little insulting, ha.  Oh well.

On the front view of the house you see the bottle wall.  That’s the one flat side were the additional ‘sun room’ is going to be.  I should have taken much more pictures.  But here’s the one picture I got of mid-day building (I think we ended up doing 5 or 6 rows that day).  We were pretty laid-back during the build.  Got beer at the store…whoops.  *shrug* You know you’re in North Carolina when they buy PBR….I however, being the classy sophisticated beer drinker, got a double chocolate stout.  That’s where my 150 lbs of muscly-manliness comes from.  Mmm I do love beer….wait! Earthbags! Right!

Here’s that picture:

Wood to hold down the barbed wire

Who needs bricks when you’ve got wood laying around?  For the record, he’s got the gravel trench, then clay/gravel bags, then gravel bags (I would have done those bags the other way around, but what do I know?), then earthbags.

His soil was basically perfect for wall building, and plaster.  I almost soiled my…bag.  Ya. I’m here all night, folks.

Here’s the inside:

1 coat of lime wash on NCs red, red clay

Locust wood center post

Also, a short video here.  I will say this….it was a bit small for my taste.  Plus they had a solar shower, or heated up water w/a propane heater.  They had a compost toilet.  They had to get water from the neighbor’s well.  It felt more like camping than living, from what I’m used to.

I love my wife.   I know what she likes and doesn’t like.  She doesn’t like camping.  Heck, I don’t either.  I’m not saying that is what they’re doing.  I hope that is coming across the right way.  I condone them for living as naturally as possible.  But I believe there are certain commodities that can’t be sacrificed.  The first one being hot water,  the second being flowing water.  Going downhill to bring water up a very steep hill in a bucket would not make a happy wife.  I know people live like that, but there’s no way my wife would.  And I’m okay with that.  I agree with the ‘Humanure Handbook’ in principle.  But I’ve tried explaining that to Nicole, and ya, idk.  It might take a while for her to believe in that.  We’ll see what the future brings, but I know that I’ve got to (at least at first) bring our EB house (whenever we get to building) up to both mine and her standards.  I’m all about living off grid as much as possible.  It may take a few more steps to get there than these cats did.  They jumped in the deep end first.  All the power to them.

I did pee in their compost toilet.  Sorry if that’s ‘TMI.’  But it smelled like cedar in there (b/c of their woodchips).  So hey, no poop smell.  Plus, I didn’t see little floating friends either.  Maybe seeing is believing.  Or in this case, not seeing.

Next step: continue to be more involved w/EB building.

So far that means: finish my own garden wall (hopefully this weekend), get back up to Morgan’s in a few weeks, and see what else I can get involved in.

Until next time, same earthbag time, same earthbag place.  I’ll post more pictures and vids as they come.

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3 Responses to Earthbag Addition near Asheville, NC

  1. Rhonda says:

    This is awesome!! How did they get around the building codes and permits and such?

  2. Sarah Higgins says:

    Yes, codes?

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