I’ve wanted to build my own house since I was 18. I saw a video of people building earthbag homes, and I was hooked.
For a period, I was into tiny houses, but I liked the idea that building with natural materials could be free.
I actually made a fire pit in 2019 out of earthbags (which is basically a sandbag structure).
A few months after I made the fire pit, the “plaster” I put on the outside fell off. It never looked good anyway.
I tore the whole project apart, but now that I think about it, the structure was never the problem. The plaster wasn’t made correctly at all, and I could have bought plaster (or at least ag lime to make good plaster) that would have held up, and I would have a great fire pit.
I was so enamored with the idea that earthbag building can be free, that I refused to spend any money at all. That thought really bit me, because it would have been so easy to buy some plaster. The actual earthbag structure was a real bear to take apart.
Realizing that it’s ok to buy some building materials is a major step for me. I built the fire pit to see if I had what it takes to build an earthbag home. It was hard (though easier than conventional building), but I did it all myself. If only I’d put more effort into the plaster… sigh.
Since my husband and I are planning to live on our current property, I don’t know how this knowledge will help out, but I’m sure it will be a great asset nonetheless.
If I built an earthbag home, even if I spent $10,000 on plaster, I’d still have a $10,000, bulletproof home (because there’s a reason the military uses sandbags).