Let’s talk about roofs. You want your roof to be as efficient as possible in conducting water away from the house. Wood can stand to getwet, and dry off again, but it can’t get wet and stay wet without awakening dormant bacteria, mold, fungus and mildew—in a word, rot. Keep that water moving. Head it down, move it out.
Make your roof work for, not against you
Then, where the water from the roof reaches the ground, take into consideration how it will be directed away from the building. If the runoff drains onto a patio on the uphill side of...
This month we’ll discuss walls (briefly), doors, windows and ventilation.
People rave about the insulating qualities of strawbale walls. Well, yes, tight walls are nice, but, since hot air rises, where you really need insulation is in the roof. Also, keep in mind that although one sort of wall might be cheaper, the walls comprise a relatively small part of the house cost.
There are many wall systems possible: frame, insulated concrete form, straw bale, cob, pumice-crete and more. Built well, they’ll all do a good job for you, and their advantages and disadvantages will vary according to world markets, availability...