Seven years ago, I confided some hidden and sometimes unsavory truths about the off-grid yurt life. I’m not real sure why it took so long to put more of my frustrations and failures down before now, but I’m feeling compelled to share what’s behind the smiles and reveal more of the darker side of our sunshine-filled days here on the Continental Divide. Honestly, reading my first two entries makes me both chuckle and sob. What I thought were serious problems now seem so inconsequential, like dirty feet (chuckle), and some of the very important plans we had in mind then for our mountain-side homestead are still left to be actualized, like water catchment (sob).
Continue reading “Confessions, part 3”
Continued from Part I.
The east side of the backroom saved us from the complexity of the laundry nook, but had it’s own deep set of challenges. Namely, the exterior wall is farther below grade and sustained a lot of damage from water saturation. Adobe walls need to breathe, allowing air to ‘move’ within and around the natural material so that moisture can escape. If built right, earthen structures can survive thousands of years. There’s some great information about capillary rise in adobe walls in the book, Adobe Conservation: A Preservation Handbook, a source we could not do without on this project.
Continue reading “Mud Walls = Mighty Fine Living (Part II)”
This adobe rehab project in the back room at Casablanca took about nine months, from August to May, and spun off the bonus endeavor of installing a french/curtain drain along the exterior wall to help divert moisture away from the adobe (stay tuned for a future post). In the end, we are pretty happy with the results that addressed years of neglect and water intrusions and put us one step closer to having a more functional space. Read on to see the transformation!
Continue reading “Mud Walls = Mighty Fine Living”
Completing the bathroom renovation at Casablanca to include some basic self-taught adobe repair was truly gratifying, but I knew there was a lot more to learn about finishing earthen walls (without special treatments for wet areas) since we have several more rooms to renovate. I decided to enroll in a proper adobe plastering class (online) and live owner-builder workshop with Adobe in Action at the end of September. Read on to see the pics and find out more about what I’m learning now!
Continue reading “More Adventures in Adobe”
A major component to the passive solar sun porch project was letting all that warm, bright sunshine fill the main living space so that we can save costs on direct natural gas or electric heat in the wintertime. There was a plastered wood plank wall between the living room and kitchen dividing the main living space into two rooms with a small passageway, making it real hard to circulate warm air without having a heater in each room. Simple solution – Tear down this wall!
Continue reading “Tearing Down Walls at Casablanca”