Lily Ann Fouts
Earthbag house interior

Earthbag House Update: Work in 2016

We’re long overdue for an earthbag house update!  In today’s post, I’ll give an overview of what Keith has been working on this year.  In upcoming posts, I’ll dive into more detail about each aspect of the project.

Last winter, Keith had a job up in North Dakota.  While he worked up there, Lee (Keith’s dad) made arrangements for roofers to come and put the roof on, since the earthbag walls were complete. […]

Laser Leveling in the Earthbag House

There are a few key tools that Keith has used in the process of building the earthbag house which we have found extremely helpful and time-saving. One such tool is the laser level. […]

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 Arches

One feature that Keith had designed into the earthbag house we are building is the arch. We have two arches in this house.

The first arch is built into the support buttress on the north wall. Buttresses add strength to a straight wall and are required every 10 to 12 feet in earthbag homes with straight walls. (Round earthbag homes don’t need them.) This arch will lead into a screened-in back patio once the house is complete. […]

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. […]

Septic Tank!

One of the big milestones of building this house is the installation of the septic tank, which happened a couple of weeks ago.

Here’s a photo of the tank in the ground with the leach field behind it: […]

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. […]

Rainwater Cistern in Action!

I think of everything we have done so far on the earthbag house this season, seeing the rainwater cistern in action excites me the most. We completed the cistern late last year and this year one of the first things we did was fill it up to test it out!

No, we can’t fill it with rainwater just yet because we still don’t have a roof on the house, so the first time Lee filled it by making ten trips with a 300-gallon water tank in the back of his truck. […]

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. […]