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A quick introduction

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by J&MBixler, Nov 26, 2015.

  1. J&MBixler

    J&MBixler Monkey

    Hi all. First off I would like to wish anyone reading this a wonderful Thanksgiving. This is my first time in a long time in an online group of any kind. In recent years I have stopped with the social networking because I don't feel it is super safe. I did look at your groups topics and ideas and thought I would give it a try. It will be nice to have some like minded people to talk about things with. My husband and I are looking to move off grid sometime in the next few months. We are tired of the way the direction our society is going. We have been doing research for a while and have decided this would be a good move for our family. The thing I would need some advice on is finding some inexpensive land to start that would allow me to build a home out of earth bags and also allow me contact with other people that share the same way of life. We don't mind relocating to a different state to do this as it may be our best option. I would just like to see if anyone has any advice that would help or if anyone would be able to point me in the right direction. Thanks for your time reading this.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2015
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  2. J&MBixler

    J&MBixler Monkey

    I guess I should have proof read before I posted. I hate auto correct. I wrote fund and I meant find some land.
  3. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey++

    First of all, WELCOME! Second, Enjoy your Thanksgiving. Third, you've found a pretty darn decent site. There is quite bit of info and people are friendly and helpful.

    I have some land that I've been slowly developing. A fellow who owns a small construction company nearby has suggested airlite (or AirLight) panels (Wanessa-Sue, Inc. | AIRLIGHT Building Panels™- Owned & Operated by Veterans). You can submit a floor plan, the company will create a kit from that as I understand it. These are made of recycled materials and have an insulation value of about R-33. They form the structure for the building.

    There is also another product called EF BLock (Earth Friendly Building Materials--ICF Blocks - EF Block ICF Blocks). These require filling with concrete and re-bar but have an insulating value of R38. A five foot section of block weighs about 40 lbs, roughly the same as a standard cinder block.

    I'm no carpenter / framing / building type person and can't cut a 2x4 end square with a line drawn on the board and a laser sight on the circular saw. So I'm looking pretty hard at the AirLight panels. Something such as this is good for a total construction klutz / wood butcher such as myself.

    Just to introduce a couple of alternatives that may be easier to construct a cabin from. It would be much less backbreaking than any rammed earth or sandbag type dwelling, a factor to consider since few of us are in our twenties any more.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2015
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  4. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Welcome to the monkey tree, J&M. I am sure that there are many more monkeys local to you than I am. Check out the resources in the Reading Room Forum. Cheers from chello.
    Seepalaces likes this.
  5. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Stay and be welcome.
    By the way, if you make a mistake in a post, and wish to correct it, you have the ability to "edit" that post with the edit button below it.
    If you have any questions, a chat in the shoutbox is an easy way to either gain knowledge, or ask for help, and any mod can make corrections, if you wish.
    Enjoy the forum, good folks here, and a wealth of knowledge available for the asking.:)
  6. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    Glad you joined. Many of us feel the same way about the direction of our society, that is why we are hear learning and sharing knowledge. We have a great membership that has a variety of skills. I had never heard of an earth bag home, interesting concept. Look forward to reading your posts, questions are welcomed. Welcome to the monkey.
  7. BlueDuck

    BlueDuck Monkey

    Welcome to the forum...
  8. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    This form stems from sand bags used by the mil world over'

    Be advised that poly bags are expensive, also any rat that chews into the wall has a safe passage until they hit a steel divider.

    Sandbag Houses
    Can anybody really build a house made of sandbags?

    Sandbags conjure up images of winter flooding or cheap mobile barriers used at roadsides, construction sites and the natural extension of this thought process may not be to use of sandbags to build structures, even homes. To the contrary, these simple materials create solid and virtually impregnable walls, which are incredibly resistant to bad weather conditions including wind and rain.

    Sandbag House Being Built

    Some of the main advantages of building sandbag houses is the components are cheap, easily available and easily transferable. The use of sandbags in house building reduces CO2 emissions by up to 95-percent compared to standard brick built walls and there is no processing of materials prior to use in the construction.

    In addition, sandbags can be up to 40-percent cheaper than brick. Couple this with the fact that when sandbag houses are completed with plastered exterior and interior walls, they will look identical to a house built from conventional materials.

    Gunny Sack Races ...

    As different and more diverse methods of house building began to develop, the use of sandbags developed also. This development is the result of learning from tried and tested procedures. Until recently Burlap Sacks were filled with sand or earth and placed around wooden beams.

    Then they were layered with plaster in order to create the exterior walls. This helped to reinforce the structure against any unfavorable conditions and create thermally efficient homes. The main disadvantage with the natural material, i.e. the burlap sacks, was that as it aged, and with any penetration of water, the sack would eventually rot.

    Currently there are polypropylene bags available and they are now widely used. A plaster is placed over them and it can provide a reliable and permanent structure for the purpose of housing. This process still takes into account the vapor permeable walls associated with sandbag construction.
    The thermal efficiency of the building will also depend on the type of material used to fill the bags and this can range from sand to soil to crushed volcanic rock. Another added benefit of this housing is the naturally occurring soundproofing that is attained through the use of sand in the bags.

    The ease with which these buildings can be constructed is reflected in the amount of materials readily available, coupled with advice tips and instructions for the building of a sandbag house. This type of structure is not even restricted to specific areas of construction. Just one person can easily handle the weight of each sand bag and construction can take place without the need for proper road access or electricity.

    The versatile value of this type of construction has proved invaluable in Cape Town in South Africa. A number of building projects in areas with little or no financial resources were successfully completed with the use of sandbags.

    This proves the fact that apart from being ecologically friendly, sandbag houses are also cost-effective and offer a very good alternative to the conventional building methods.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2015
  9. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    Welcome to the Monkey!!!
  10. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter

    Welcome to the Monkey @J&MBixler .. See? Just ask and folks will share what they know..
  11. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    I like your reply HK: Very informative, and the images explain the construction concepts very well. The only things that I can add to what you have already offered are:

    1. That earth bag buildings, like brick, and cement block buildings comprise a substantial structural mass that must be well supported: Therefore, good foundations are essential to maintaining structural stability.

    2. Adding cement to the earth mix will help make sand/soil mix rock hard.

    3. An excellent resource for earthbag construction can be sourced from: www.earthbagbuilding.com/articles/whywebuild.htm

    4. Get some experience building a small structure with this technique first, such as an outhouse, a chicken coop, or a building site storage shed. That way, any mistakes you make, won't be expensive ones, and you will be better equipped to face the challenges of the "Magnus Opus".
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2015
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  12. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Fixed it for you. Welcome aboard!
    Seepalaces likes this.
  13. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Monkey

    Welcome and congratulations to you both for being of the same mind.
    chelloveck likes this.
  14. J&MBixler

    J&MBixler Monkey

    Wow. Thank you everyone for all the helpful tips. I do realize that these bags are really expensive if you are just buying the empty bags but all they are is empty feed bags and those are free once your animals eat all their contents. We have been saving them. We plan on doing a cob building material over the earth bags once we are finished. You can make built in shelving and so much more with the cob material. What I would really like to know is if anyone knows of inexpensive land that is in or around North Carolina that would allow this sort of building?
    GOG likes this.
  15. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    If the feed bags are poly propylene, they will break down fairly quickly if exposed to UV light. Covering the bags with cob should fix that problem.
  16. GOG

    GOG Monkey++

    Welcome here from Southern Oregon.
  17. Seepalaces

    Seepalaces Monkey Site Supporter+

  18. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    Welcome to the Monkey!
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