Straw Bale Home FOR SALE - Colorado
For Sale by Owner/Builder
Straw Bale Home
Colorado Rocky Mountains
5 Forested Acres
The Hard Work is Done
Needs Finish Work
The address is: 136 Grouse Cir Westcliffe, CO 81252
Contact:Jerry at 719-873-3594
or email me: email@example.com
Be sure to see the photos & House Details!
(For more Photos go to: strawbaleclorado.webs.com
The house is fully functional and livable. I am the builder & owner of this straw bale home. I own the house outright (and have no mortgage). I have built three strawbale houses in this area and have worked on several other straw-bale projects. This home was built as my home; this means I put in extra quality work and features in this house. The heavy construction is complete, which is about 85% finished; now some finish/detail work remains. Since this house is completely functional and livable as it is, this will allow you to move in immediately and live in it as you finish it. It would take one person about one month, full time, to complete the house. To make this house complete, the additional, light-technical projects would range between $12K to $20K: this is mostly in labor-estimated costs. Most of the materials and supplies required to finish the house have already been purchase and are included with the purchase of the house. The final amount or work and money would depend on what you decide is needed. This would be easy equity for someone with the ability to complete these projects (or the ability to learn). There is nothing that requires immediate attention and you can get to the projects (mentioned at the end of this description) when it is convenient. While I do not want to hire myself out to finish the house, I will consider doing so, if that is what it will take to close the deal.
The Area and LocationThis home is 5 years old, in the South Central Rocky Mountains of Colorado. It is on 5 acres with 400+ pine trees. Westcliffe is in Custer County and is the nearest town, 18 miles to the north. Custer County’s population is 3,500 and is not a substantial center for tourism, therefore living here is quiet and easy. The property is 75 miles southwest of Colorado Springs. Denver is 135 miles away.
Electric lines are underground. Pine trees cover the area with occasional meadows and grass land valleys. The homes in the area are on five to 35 acre parcels with county maintained roads (including winter snow removal). The homes are custom built in the $130,000 to $500,000+ price range. There are a few newer modular homes but no mobile homes. This property sits in the Wet Mountains at 8750 feet elevation along a 7500 foot-elevation valley, and across from the 14,000 ft., snow covered, Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
The property has abundant wildlife. I continuously see deer, bear, bobcats, lynx, coyotes, foxes, squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, and a beautiful variety of birds. The animals are free to roam with few fences in the area. Several deer trails crisscross the property. It is very quiet and peaceful here, and it has been the ideal setting to concentrate on a book I've been writing. It is finished, and I am ready to move closer to the ocean. The house sits on a slightly sloped, northern side of a pine-forested hill above a meadow known as Antelope Valley, which is what the subdivision is named.
The house’s interior is 1200 sq. ft., and is 1400 sq., ft. on the exterior (keep in mind the straw-bale walls are 20” deep with stucco coat). It has two hexagon (bay-front type) entrances; therefore, the dimensions and sq. footage will be approximate and vary slightly. If viewed as two sections perpendicular to each other and sharing a common wall, the house exterior dimensions are 30’ x 25’ and 30’ x 21’, plus an 8’ x 8’ rear entry mud-room.
The Main or Master Bedroom (or Great Room) is 28’x22’ @ 600 sq. ft.: with plenty of windows and a 12-foot cathedral ceiling. An open space Loft/Bedroom, is 20’ x 12’ @ 240 sq. ft., above the kitchen and bathroom, and oversees the living room and out the windows to several acres of private the forest. This includes a storage area behind the board-paneled wall.
The efficient Kitchen space is - 9’ x 12’ @ 110 sq. ft. It has the rear entrance/exit to the house via an 8x8 Mud-room/Storage room with an added mini-loft for extra storage - 4x8. This Mud-room has a Dutch-Door entrance. The kitchen has a new new Whirlpool refrigerator. It has all the basic essentials and is fully functional. It will eventually need the desired cook stove (set up for propane), counters, and a replacement sink to be a modern kitchen.
The kitchen opens up to the Living Room area - 20’ x 17’ @ 340 sq. ft., with a 14’ high cathedral ceiling, and is shared with the loft. The main entrance to the house is in the living room. The room has a bay-window with two opening windows, and there is a second large opening window.
There is one Bathroom - 9’ x 12’ @ 110 sq. ft.,The great/ bedroom can be subdivided to create additional bed/rooms or office combination. There level ground to expand the house to the west (right) of the house (as well as to the east).
A high-end Biolet Composting Toilet is installed, which requires no water - A savings of 20+ gallons per day. However, a flush-toilet plumbing drain is installed in case you wish to install a conventional toilet. An efficient, manual flush, urinal has been installed. Shower/Bath tub, with a 7 gallon electric hot water heater is installed for short showers. Septic tank in in place. ( Bathroom need a sink and counter which is ready for a quick install.) The Custom Entry Doors are simple and energy efficient. The doors are a unique 4 inches thick with an 18 R-value. This is at least 4 times better than conventional doors.
The Earth Floor is made of 6 to 8 inches earth clay and sand (adobe) and pumice. While the pumice in the floor mix contributes about a 10+ R-value to the floor, the earth-clay-sand elements act as a thermal mass which captures the heat, radiating the heat (or cool in summer) back into the house. In other words, it will keep your feet warm in the winter and the whole house cool in the summer. In addition to the earth floor throughout the living area and the kitchen, I installed radiant floor heat tubing throughout the living room and kitchen. This will add substantially to the heat radiation and distribution throughout the floor and house. Heating cost will be substantially reduced. Although the living area and kitchen are carpeted, the floor has multi-layer coats of earth tinted (reddish brown) varnish finish and has a nice semi-gloss and looks very earthy (as seen in the pictures). (Note: The master bedroom floor needs to be finished with brick, earth-fill (or whatever material you choose), over a base of existing 4 to 6 inches of earth fill. A radiant floor heater is not installed and will be needed in the living area.).
Heating The energy heating efficiency of a straw-bale design for is not just an ecological concern. It is an economic concern when in our later years in life when we may need to have more control with our expenses as heating fuel prices go higher. In the main living area (including the living room, kitchen, loft, and bath), you have a highly efficient ecological Englander Pellet Stove ($1200) as the main heat source (almost smokeless, $ 350/year to operate). Behind the stove, is a traditional earth-wall made of adobe bricks, for ideal heat retention & radiance. The wall is unconventional in that it is a completely interior wall; and it has a wood stove on the other side, in the master bedroom, adding whole house heating efficiency. In the same living area as the pellet stove, there is an early morning quick warm-up, high-end, Rinnai Propane Heater - ($250/year - 2012/13 fuel rates). It also serves as a backup heater. The bathroom has a 30K Btu propane heater. Anyone of these four heat sources, by itself, is capable of heating the whole house. Add the Radiant floor heating in the earth-floor to the design and you are far ahead of any conventional home, in budget, ecological efficiency, and warmth in the coldest winters. In the summer, no AC is needed, as the straw-bale insulation and earth floor construction (and all the pine trees) keeps the whole house cool on the hottest days.
POST AND BEAM CONSTRUCTION gives this house a strong building frame, which carries the load for the house. (This is not a straw-bale, load-bearing construction.) Each 8” to 10” post, throughout the house, is bolted to an anchor made of angle-iron (1/4” x 4” x 4” by 2 feet), which is embedded up to 4 feet of reinforced concrete.
STRAW BALE WALLS are an insulation infill between the posts of the frame providing an extremely well insulated building. In fact, there is no other better insulated house. The straw bale/wall, 20 inches thick, have an R-value of about 56 – which is 2 to 3 times the warmth of a conventional house. Most new conventional houses are rated as low as 19 R-Value.). This house has the essential breathable lime plaster and stucco inside and out, throughout, which was traditionally applied by hand (which means securely bonded and creatively detailed. Windows: Double pane, insulated, windows are used in each window.
The Footer/Stem-Wall, which the bale sit on, is 18" wide and made of a Portland cement, pumice mix (no sand). This has created an unheard of 20 R-value for a concrete base. (Concrete/sand mix commonly used is R-3 and acts as conductor of the cold rather than as an insulator.)
The Roof and Cathedral Ceiling are a gentle 12/3 pitch which will help control the snow from sliding off the roof, and allow for capturing the water into an existing 1500 gallon concrete cistern. The roof is made with 18" TJIs Truss/Joist, or wood I-beams, which are more commonly used in much more expansive construction (8” to 12” TJIs are more common in home construction). These I-beams not only give unusually strong roof load support for the heaviest snow, it allows for 18 inches of roof insulation up to 54 R-value. Loose but tightly packed straw in large bags were used for roof insulation. When the snow does not melt quickly after it falls, it is an indication the roof is not leaking heat to melt the snow: which is the case with this house. The accumulated snow also adds to the house insulation. The roof overhang, or the eves, extend 42" out further than usual (24”) and effectively gives added protection for the stucco and straw bale construction, from the rain and snow.The pitch of the roof is seen on the inside as a gentle cathedral ceiling, with exposed large long center beams supporting the roof. Presently the roof has mineral surfaced roll roofing and is in excellent condition.Presently the house is fully functional/livable. If you were to finish the work yourself, you would save about $12k. No water well is installed at this time.
Water: A water well would cost $8K to $10K, if you decide to drill a well. This cost is part of the $20K estimated to complete the house. Water is available and shallow in the area - neighbors hit water at 60 ft. to 100 + ft.). If you require a well, I will guarantee the cost of drilling the first well for sure water by 300 feet. Initially, I decided to put off drilling a well so I could apply my funds toward building the house and getting a roof over my head, meanwhile, I chose to haul my water.
Water Supply: Installed are 400 gallon interior water supply tanks (no freezing) and water is haul 4 times a year, at $40 a year. Also installed and plumbed to the house is a 1500 gal. cistern (that is filled with rain water but not in use at this time). This cistern could cut hauling down to once a year). A 275-gallon water-hauling tank is included. Presently, I have a reliable 4WD work truck can be sold at a low price with the house, if needed. The cistern can also serve as an available water supply for a fire emergency. Sewage/septic are complete.
What needs to be done to the house? What is needed to complete the house are the following: some electrical, some plumbing, kitchen, and bath cabinets/counters, Master bedroom floor needs finishing.Temporary plumbing is in place for the house water supply. I have all the plumbing materials (PEX – the best piping), other than new supply-line) and it is included with the sale.
Most of the interior electrical wiring is installed but needs some additional wiring/work I have already purchased most of the materials and it is included. This is the next job on my list. The floor in one room needs finishing - e.g., brick, earth-fill or whatever you wish: it already has 4 inches of earth-fill base. Bathroom sink (ready for hook up) and permanent kitchen cabinets and stove may eventually be needed. New refrigerator and a propane wall heater are included. They cost about $1000 each. Miscellaneous: Some minor trim and paneling detail needs to be done. A new 5-gallon electric hot water heater is installed (for short showers) and may be upgraded to a larger capacity. An 11’ interior divider wall needs to be installed/finished (similar to the loft wall in pictures). Presently, straw bales serve as a divider. All essential construction tools can be included at a low price. For the most part, the house comes with everything in it e.g., furniture, fixtures – as is, and on the property e.g., additional building materials, lumber, storage camper, trash dumpster/trailer.
Price $145,000 As Is. As I continue to complete the finish work, it is less negotiable. Will consider owner financing of $45Kwith $100,000 down & $1000 a month - other condition may apply. This price is affordable when compared to other strawbale communities where the starting price is $250K!
You can contact me by email for more photos or questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 719-783-2938.
Thank you for visiting this site. Jerry Gomez