As you can imagine, this will depend on many, many variables – the design, the size, other materials used in the construction, the cost of bales, how much time and work you’re willing to contribute, etc. Generally speaking though, the straw is cheaper than most other systems that will yield similar performance but the labour to get a straw bale home complete may be more. This is because much of the cost of more conventional materials is accrued off-site, while straw bale construction tends to rely on more unprocessed materials, working them into their form on-site. Straw bale projects lend themselves nicely to those wishing to contribute time and labour to the building of their own home. Also consider that a straw bale home is unlike any other conventional home. It truly is a handmade home, giving those involved in its construction the ability to impress their care, love, and craftsmanship into the walls. The efficiency of a straw bale home will lessen the operational costs of the home – heating, air conditioning, etc. – compared to many other ‘cheaper’ building techniques. And finally, it’s important to weigh the ecological costs of the materials we choose to build with, including those relating to the extraction, manufacture, transportation, use, and disposal. When all things are considered, a straw bale home provides excellent value.
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