Lily Ann Fouts

Filling the Earthbags

Just to clarify, the walls of the earthbag house have been completed! However, I thought you might enjoy some video footage of the process of building the walls. In this video clip, Keith is working by himself to fill the earthbags in place on the wall. […]

Earthbag Walls – DONE!

Well, after 7 months of mixing clay slip with screenings from the nearby rock quarry and pouring the mixture into sandbags left over from Hurricane Sandy, our bag-filling days are finally over!

Yes, the earthbag walls—at least the earthbag part of them—are finished. Now we are covering them in papercrete and chicken wire and more papercrete, and will eventually (next year sometime) finish them off with lime plaster. […]

Diddling Bags for the Earthbag House

Before we fill them with the earthbag mixture, we diddle the bags so that they make a better shape for the wall and the corners don’t stick out and mess up the papercrete and lime plaster that will later cover them.

The typical way to diddle a bag is to fold in the corners and run a nail through them, securing them to the bottom of the bag. This is how we did it all last year. […]

Earthbag House FAQs

Here are some questions we’ve received about our earthbag house project, and our answers to them. We’ll add more as the questions come in. Feel free to contact us and ask anything you want!

General Questions About Our Project

Q: What state are you building in?
Answer: We are building the earthbag house in Eastern Kansas—an area that can have hot/humid summers, freezing cold winters, and strong storms, including tornadoes. […]

Quick Earthbag House Update

It’s September 17th, 2015…I thought I’d pop in with a quick update on our earthbag house project.

We’re making slow but steady progress! One of the big blocks we’ve faced this year is the lack of extra help like we had last year. We have a part-time helper and Keith’s sisters both took time off work and helped for a few days, which was wonderful! We’ve put up more ads and are hoping to find more workers soon. […]

Papercrete Mixer Header

Papercrete Tow Mixer

Last year, making batches of papercrete involved filling a barrel with newspaper and water, and grinding it up by hand using a drill with a special attachment.  CLICK HERE to see last year’s post about it.

Using that procedure, we could only make relatively small batches of papercrete, and mixing it up that way always made my arms ache! Toward the end of the season last year, Keith began collecting the materials to make a papercrete tow mixer, using the one on makepapercrete.com as a model.  (Be sure to check out that site for a great demo video and to order step-by-step instructions if you’re interested in building one yourself!) […]

Earthbag Building Resources

In this post I would like to share a list of the resources we have used for building the earthbag house. I’ll update this page as we continue the project, so check back later or sign up for my newsletter at the end of the post to be notified when I add something new! […]

Papercrete

Papercrete? What’s that?

Papercrete is a mixture of paper and Portland cement.  It has a light, spongy, airy feel and it’s a great insulating material!   […]

Doors and Windows in an Earthbag House

We install doors and windows a bit differently in an earthbag home than in a normal house.  Watch the video below where Lee explains how it works, and enjoy the slideshow afterward which shows the doors and window frames in the earthbag house we are building: […]

Cistern Part II

IMG_7654A few weeks back I wrote a post about the rainwater cistern we’re building.  We’ve made a lot of progress since then!  My newest video shows the cistern from dream to (almost) done!

This cistern, made of earthbags like the rest of the house, will be the primary source of water for the house.  We’ll collect rainwater from the roofs of the house and the RV shelter (both of which will be metal).  The water will be used for washing, bathing, and–after running through multiple stages of filtration–drinking. […]