Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Dirt Cheap Housing - Update
As you can see, we have made quite a bit of progress on the root cellar. Laying two strands of barbed wire between layers is what enables the weight to distribute in such a way that the sloped walls do not shift and/or collapse. We learned a few things that we will definitely incorporate into our next project. Next time, instead of installing the door frame AND door, we will only place the door frame and reinforce it with horizontal supports to resist the incredible pressure that is exerted by the supporting bags on each side of the frame. As we began laying bags over the top of the door frame, the pressure from just the 2 layers above began to compress the frame so that it knocked out the plumb. We had to do some backtracking, removing the two layers, and then built a support header to handle the weight. Realizing the potential of rain damage to the door and frame we also decided to put in a overhang to keep things dry. Next step will be to apply stucco to the outside.
Although we have a few cosmetic 'defects' in some of the sloping, overall we consider this very first project a success as well as a great learning lesson. Our next project will be a 'goat proof' chicken house. With what we learn from building that more conventional structure we hope to then advance to constructing a cozy guest cottage.