Saturday, July 29, 2006




Ventanas, ventanas, ventanas!

We have windows!

I'm very happy with our choice of windows. This is one area we decided to spend more money on this time around because we know what a difference quality windows can make in the long-term comfort and efficiency of a home. The last time we got medium grade windows from a salvage yard. Returns from building projects around Tucson-they were all new windows but somewhat mismatched though I doubt many people ever knew. Our current residence has a south facing patio window and in the summer if you get within 8 ft of that window, you can feel the heat. These are Jeld-Wen windows (the front door is Pella) in a Prairie style and I think they add more character to the house.

This is a light fixture I picked up at the HabiStore because it goes so well with the windows! Yes, that's the price tag-$25!

Those are storm clouds you see in the house photos. The monsoon has arrived in full force and are we ever glad the roof is finished. It has rained for about 16 of the last 24 hours here, which is a bit unusual, even during this time of year. We're not complaining because all of the West needs the rain. When we were harvesting water, the rain was always exciting because I knew the culverts were filling. I hope the rain is helping with the fires and potential for fire that is so great in the summer. Rick used to fight forest fires in Ohio and during fire season, I never knew when he would be home (this was pre-cell phone). I can't imagine fighting a fire for hours on end in 100+ degree heat.

I've included a picture of our sodden backyard with overflowing bird bath and the wash behind our house running bank-to-bank! Our backyard was xeriscaped to keep much of the rainwater on the property for the plants. It is quite lush right now, even though we cut all the shrubs back completely in late winter. We have lantana, verbena, Mexican Bird of Paradise, 2 types of mesquite, sweet acacia, rabbitbrush, Texas Ranger, Texas sage, Mexican honeysuckle and cat claw vine. This backyard is probably the #1 reason we bought this house.

Rain is the main topic of conversation at this time of year. "Did you get any last night?" means RAIN! "What time did it start at your housee?" "Did you hear that thunder?" "Yeah, lightening woke me up about 2am!" "It was dry as a bone at my house." The discussion of the amount of rain, the force of the wind, the loudness of the thunder goes on and on until the end of August. I guess we get so little "Weather" we have to make the most of it because it's "Forecast: Sunny and Dry" the rest of the year.

3 comments:

Angus said...

HiI just found your blog through another Straw Baler and read in straight through!

I'm curious ... your roof has been sitting on just the bales for a couple of weeks. Is there any other support? Doesn't the roof compress the bales? I'm only asking because most of the modern Bale houses I've seen have a 'skeleton' structure which hold the house up and the bales are then added as 'fill' for the walls. At least where I am I know the Building Board prefers structures with a load bearing frame (though I know historically most bale houses weren't built that way).

Great blog, looking forward to following along.

StrawBoss said...

Hi Angus, thanks for checking in.
The Pima Co (where we live in AZ) code is written for Load Bearing strawbale. You can do post and beam but that's not the code and have to go through engineers, etc. We see no advantage to post and beam. This method uses a bit less wood however, if you notice our window and door bucks go roofplate to slab so it is nearly post and beam.
You are correct, the roof will compress the bales and it's good to let it sit before you plaster. In our previous strawbale house the walls (the bucks weren't as meaty) compressed approx. 1.5 inches-not much.
Thanks for your nice comment-enjoy reading-Judy

Kara said...

Judy, the house is looking great! I love your choice in windows.