DoItYourself DIY and Building Professionals

Your role in the creation of your straw bale home can vary from the purely administrative to the hands-on building of the entire structure. How you choose to employ yourself and others in the process requires careful consideration.

Some people know for certain that they want to build their own home. Others are equally certain that they want no part in the hands-on building. Still others take a middle path and hire professionals for particular aspects of the work or act as their own general contractor.

Most people can acquire the skills and learn to perform the tasks required for building their own houses. Even tasks that may seem unappealing can be undertaken if you are motivated by necessity, desire, or ambition! Books, manuals, and codes are readily available as reference material for every aspect of house building. Choose sources that reflect your perspectives and values. There is no point in following a guidebook written in a spirit that conflicts with yours.

For any given aspect of construction, you must understand why you are performing a task; to follow instructions without comprehending

their purpose is a recipe for error. If you can grasp the theory, its specific application in your building will follow much more easily.You do not have to cram an encyclopedic amount of information into your head at once — not many people can absorb and retain that much new

14.1: Sometimes renting equipment and machinery, like this mini-excavator, can save an owner-builder money. But be sure to weigh up the extra time it can take to learn to do things yourself.

information. Learn enough about each stage to know what specific planning is required, then set about each task individually and in the right order. Don't be afraid to tackle a job you're unsure about. Often it is only when you get your hands on the materials that you will understand what's required. You might make a mistake or two before it all comes clear, but if you wait until your theoretical understanding is flawless, you may never get your house built.

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