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More Straw Bale Building: A Complete Guide to Designing and Building with Straw (Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series) Paperback – February 1, 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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  • More Straw Bale Building: A Complete Guide to Designing and Building with Straw (Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Straw bale houses are easy to build, affordable, super energy efficient, environmentally friendly, attractive, and can be designed to match the builder's personal space needs, esthetics, and budget. Despite mushrooming interest in the technique, however, most straw bale books focus on "selling" the dream of straw-bale building, but don't adequately address the most critical issues faced by bale house builders. Moreover, since many developments in this field are recent, few books are completely up to date with the latest techniques.

More Straw Bale Building is designed to fill this gap. A completely rewritten edition of the 20,000-copy best-selling original, it leads the potential builder through the entire process of building a bale structure, tackling all the practical issues: finding and choosing bales; developing sound building plans; roofing; electrical, plumbing, and heating systems; building code compliance; and special concerns for builders in northern climates. New material includes:

  • more extensive sections on electric wiring and plumbing
  • updated sections on bale finishes and finishing
  • a section on prefabricated straw bale walls
  • a wider selection of case studies, photographs and illustrations
  • a section on common mistakes
  • budgeting for low-, medium- and high-cost projects, and
  • new testing data that is in no other straw bale book.

Down-to earth and complete, More Straw Bale Building makes the remarkable benefits of straw bale building available in the most comprehensive and practical book on the subject to date.

Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series

(2004-04-20)

About the Author

Chris Magwood and Peter Mack are professional straw bale builders and consultants who have constructed over 40 straw bale buildings, consulting on many more. They have taught workshops and seminars across the continent and overseas, and are authors of one of the first straw bale how-to books, Straw Bale Building (New Society, Publishers, 2000) which has sold 20,000 copies. Chris Magwood has been editor of The Last Straw Journal, an international quarterly devoted to straw-bale building, since 2001. He is also the coauthor of Straw Bale Details. Chris Magwood and Peter Mack are professional straw bale builders and consultants who have constructed over 40 straw bale buildings, consulting on many more. They have taught workshops and seminars across the continent and overseas, and are authors of one of the first straw bale how-to books, Straw Bale Building (New Society, Publishers, 2000) which has sold 20,000 copies. Chris Magwood has been editor of The Last Straw Journal, an international quarterly devoted to straw-bale building, since 2001. He is also the coauthor of Straw Bale Details.
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Product Details

  • Series: Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series (Book 7)
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers (February 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865715181
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865715189
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #921,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. Burchfield on August 23, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've gotten most of the strawbale books Amazon has, this is one of the better ones to own.

I'm still in the process of reading it but I've found this book to be a sort of textbook for the person interested in the idea of possibly building a strawbale home. Looks like everything imaginable is covered, from all sorts of building details and construction methods to dealing with financing and zoning issues.

I don't see it as providing all the information an uneducated, inexperienced builder would need but you will find out enough to get started or to know that you don't want any part of the idea. There were lots of little details and tips, extensive end chapter notes, even a lot of photographs. Most of these were black and white (a little too small and indistinct for me)but some were in color.

While it isn't all you need it is a book worthy of your attention and worth owning.
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Format: Paperback
Years ago straw bale building was considered a radical innovation: today it's developed into a major construction choice widely practiced in North America. Such homes are easy to build, very energy efficient, affordable and attractive - and over the years the specs and methods for building them have changed. That's why any considering straw bale home construction would do well to update their facts with More Straw Bale Building: A Complete Guide To Designing And Building With Straw by the expert team of Chris Magwood, Peter Mack and Tina Therrien. This rewrites the prior Straw Bale Building handbook, covering the entire process of building a bale structure from choosing bales and developing building plans to roofing, plumbing and code compliance.
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This book is detailed enough to actually build a house using this information. I can say that, because we did it. The caveat is, however, you do have to know at least a little bit how a house goes together, or you need to hire someone who does. Knowing nothing, we hired an architect (who specialized in SB houses), and a framer for the post-beam and roof. The architect's drawings were clear enough for anyone to see how the house was to be put together. After that, we put up the straw-bales and plastered it - and this book was the most helpful all along the way.

This book has lots of photos, and explains the problems you might run into. It does spend a lot of time talking about methods, which is good, and gives pro-cons about important problems you'll meet. It's probably not going to be the last word on SB building (there's so much variety in method these days, and some people are so very sure that there method is the ONLY best method...), but this book should certainly be in the library of books you are gathering, if you are serious about building a SB house. DO get LOTS of different books, including this one, and videos on the subject, figure out what will work for you, figure out what's the most current, researched information, and go for it.

(Believe me, if we could do it, anyone can.)
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I have been reading up on SB construction for quite some time now and this is by far the best book yet. It is a nice blend of the glossy pics that are nice and the technical info that we need. It is also nice to see Tina taking a bit of credit for a change. Congrats folks you have another great book out there.

Nick
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Great book! Comprehensive, and written from a friendly, personal point of view. I've read many articles and done a lot of research on the topic in recent years... however, this is the first book I have read on the topic of straw bale building. They do a great job of bringing to light realistic hurdles that a person may face when choosing to build with this method. They cover choosing a site, building methods, on-site building practices, recommendations for attaining building permits in your area, home orientation for best heating, etc. Plenty of food for thought. This book really helped me hone the vision of what I wanted to create, and opened my eyes to what is truly possible when building with straw.
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I was very impressed with the level of detail and thoroughness in how the authors explained about building with straw bales, the details, etc. If you are considering alternative building materials with an eye on energy conservation and reducing your "footprint" on the planet, this is a must for your library and to use while planning your home design.
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Wish there were more pictures of current, modern straw bale houses. And the pictures there are of "historic" buildings are of fairly poor quality. But good tips and easy to understand language
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Love the great instruction in this book. If you want to pursue straw bale building, this book will help you be successful!
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