Dec 072019
The Lady and her future house
Beth surveys the progress

We’ve been working hard since the last post — and been too busy to update this site, unfortunately. We’ve made progress, though there have been ups and downs. The weather has been dry and helpful, and we’ve tried our best to take advantage of it. Here are a few of the areas we’ve been working on:

  • More framing from every angle – this will give you detailed views of framing at a later stage – note how tall the first floor walls will be
  • Let the grass grow! … and here are shots of the Bobcat smoothing out the ground around the main and annex foundations (thought I had pics of the grass – I’ll add them soon)
  • Installing windows – in a normal house, these would be installed after the walls are covered, but in straw bale, they go in first. To protect the straw from leakage, they must be triple flashed – that’s the black edges you see around the windows
  • Straw & Toe Ups – all the outside walls of straw sit on 2 rows of treated 4×4 timber, which then have closed cell foam insulation sprayed between them. The insulation is strong – you can stand on it – to support the weight of the walls. Note the straw stacked inside. Unfortunately, we lost about 1/4 of this first load to water damage because of the leaky roof (no shingles yet) and wind blowing in rain. In addition, we loaded a lot of the remaining bales up to take back, because their water content (above 15%) was too high to use for walls.
  • Water & power – can’t move in without them, and here are some shots of the water line trench between the water meter (now installed at the road) and the house. The power line (pics when we dig it) has been a whole different story – we’re still waiting on a neighbor to give us an easement across his buffalo pasture so we can connect to the closest transformer. For some complicated reasons, his lawyer is now involved … sigh. At least we don’t need permission from the squirrels and chipmunks…
Aug 122019

The “update list of links” idea is working well for timeliness, so this page will take Chenoweth East thru the end of August. Join us on the journey! We love visitors, so if you are in the area (see Maps, above) and want to visit, send a note to, or leave a message at 502-633-9529:

  1. Carport and back veranda – beams are up!
  2. Delivering trusses – and almost 30 min. sitting on a busy KY state highway because the driver couldn’t figure out how to get up the hill!
  3. Truss installation – the crane that did this cost us $700 for about 3 hours and could lift 120 ft. in the air
  4. Framing, framing, framing – and only one of the crew speaks English, and he isn’t always there
  5. Main roof started – and it rained, and water stood on the subfloor and … when will the roof be complete?
  6. Roof almost covered – the gray liner is waterproof, so we can wait awhile before installing the metal.
Aug 062019

Now that we are in the thick of actually building, there doesn’t seem to be much time to do the posts! So, for a picture overview of progress, here are links to different folders that progressively bring us up to early August. Enjoy!

  1. Digging the foundation – high lift and Bobcat – early June
  2. Building material – the wheat field near I-64 where we will probably get some of our straw bales – late June
  3. Annex footers – the lowest part of the foundation, which is on solid rock for the annex – mid July
  4. Main footers – includes video of the giant concrete pump truck – mid July
  5. Annex foundation walls – formed and poured on the footers – mid July
  6. Main foundation walls – formed and poured the same day, but footers buried in dirt this time – mid July
  7. Legal immigrant from CA – and a great volunteer, I might add 🙂 – mid July
  8. Back filling and the rocks – the Bobcat in action, both filling in against the annex foundation AND carefully setting aside Beth’s rocks 😉 – mid July
  9. Guest shelter – will have a roof, sides, a table and chairs, lighting at night, cool drinks, snacks, etc. — for the volunteers who work with straw & plaster – to rest their bones now and then… – July thru Sept.
  10. A beautiful driveway – it’s a little steep at the crossing, but the trees along the way are so wonderful – July
  11. Building stuff – here’s all the kinds of things which go into a house – late July
  12. Main house floor – the foundation finally gets a floor on it! – early August
  13. First floor framing – the post and beam frame goes up (except for the utility and master bath, which are stick framed) – early August
  14. Main 2nd floor – TGI, beams and subfloor, plus some amazing views of the trees all around – early August
  15. Main 2nd walls – most of the walls are up on the 2nd, and getting ready for the roof rafters – early August
  16. Main porches, shaping up – giant posts and beams make the back veranda outside the master bedroom look amazing, plus the 2nd ceiling rafters are in place – early August
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