A Small Strawbale Home: 44m2 of love

Nov 8, 2016

In the midst of the tiny house movement, we’d like you to meet Yani and Ben. We first met Yani as a student on one of our permaculture design courses and have kept in touch ever since. They’ve recently finished building their own small strawbale home in southern Tasmania – not quite a tiny home but tiny compared to the average Australian house, coming in at just 44m2. 20160707_142341 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA In Yani’s own words… .20160415_174155

After two and a half years as owner builders of our little house, we now live in the most beautiful space we could imagine for ourselves. With the help of many builders and experienced people we were a part of constructing the build every step of the way with the clay render definitely being the most hands on. We love every bit of our place and have achieved all the key elements we dreamed of. Our home is around 44sqm and includes kitchen/living, bedroom, enclosed bathroom and we have a composting toilet outside. We are completely off grid with solar power, gas hot water and cooking, a wood heater (that also has oven and cook top) and collect all our rain water.
20150420_154546
. The insulation that straw provides is superior to anything we’ve come across, the rendered walls give great protection against bushfire and the straw itself is a by-product of grain harvest. We are on about 5 acres of bush with a vegetable garden, food forest, two ducks, two ponies and two dogs. Recently, we started making our own bread after realising just how many plastic bread bags we were going through! We will continue to aim towards a low waste lifestyle and think that a small home is a big part of that.
A well designed small home doesn’t feel cramped, funnily enough – it can feel spacious and an absolute delight to be in. Yani and Ben’s place does this – check it out… 20161108_084905 13327537_1604172076562140_8646581911169860656_n 20161108_093740 Obviously other benefits in building a small home is that it’ll cost less, which is always a helpful bonus! I think about small homes a fair bit – what is it in our culture that often makes people think bigger is better? When is enough, enough? Our own house was built by someone else in 1925 and is 110m2. Its always felt big to us, admittingly having a little toddler makes it feel smaller, but not enough that we could ever consider having more. If anything we dream about living in something smaller – especially when we see folks like Yani and Ben create well designed homes that meet their needs in the most beautiful, functional and soulful way! *Big thanks to Yani for providing all the photos.]]>

your thoughts:

9 Comments

  1. Marta Ng

    It’s a dream of mine to build a tiny strawbale house. One day… Well done Yani & Ben. It’s absolutely beautiful ???

    Reply
  2. Bella DuBois

    Such an inspiration. I too have a dream to build a straw bale tiny house and live off grid! Wonderful to see it’s been done so successfully. Congratulations.

    Reply
  3. petra sips

    Really beautiful!! Super job!

    Reply
  4. Gary

    G’day Yani, Ben & +1, well done to achieve your goals so far. We are a retired couple preparing to do similar- less the +1 this time! We were wondering if you added insulation below your floor and how you have found the cooler seasons. The tree wall, niches etc. as well as aesthetically interesting provide stimulation for a young mind. Cheers for now, Gary & Glenda.

    Reply
    • Hannah Moloney

      Hi Gary. I run this blog – not Yani and Ben, so they can’t respond directly. I can confidently say they would have insulated the floor!

      Reply
  5. Paul McGough

    Hey guys. I’m from Tassie but live in Central Victoria and me, my partner and 2 little kids are moving back very shortly and are looking to build. We also want to either build in strawbale or another natural material and am struggling to find much info on building regs or bushfire building restrictions. How/ Where did you find that info?
    Cheers
    Paul

    Reply
    • Hannah Moloney

      Hi Paul,
      Talk with local Council, perhaps a building surveyor and a building designer. We work a lot with Designful who might be able to help you.

      Reply
  6. Celina

    Amazing! So beautiful!

    I have 20acres of bush in Hillwood in the Tamar Valley. Once I’ve paid it off, my next goal was to build a small home, something with the potential to grow little bigger if needed.

    I love the warmth that bale houses have. It’s hard to beat!

    I’m curious to know what the est. Costs were for this build.

    Reply
    • Hannah Moloney

      Not sure Celina, I know they were very resourceful – just don’t know their budget.

      Reply

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