“Heres the skinny [from Rex],
I’ve been working solo on the house for the last 3 months which has slowed progress. Which can be seen as a negative or positive. Its given me a chance to breathe after blowing out of the gates like a ball of fire. I’m currently finished the Lueders stone shower and river rock bathroom floor. I’ve also built a Lueders stone stove area, so the stove has all rock around it. The padobe kitchen bar and sink areas are done. The flexibility of the padobe has been pretty sweet as anything I’ve tried thus far has worked pretty well.
I just bought an Alaskan mill and will be doing some log end flooring with the left over lumber that I cut for the house along with some slabs and dimensional lumber from the mill. The exterior padobe is sealed with linseed oil and an exterior oil based paint. The surface reminds me of stucco and I couldn’t be happier with the padobes’ performance thus far. Due to the lack of help my realistic finish date is closer to a year, than the 6-9 months I was hoping for. Progress is slow as I’m in the middle of building fence and working a full time job, along with the house. I have every element to finish lined out such as a 7 ft long table that will be suspended overhead via pulley and hand crank system, that will double as a lighting source with led strips under it when above head, and when lowered will serve as dinner table. It allows for a maximization of space. The skid pallets that I have left (we didn’t use them on the house) will serve as wood flooring. Plans on diff flooring: River rock cobblestone style, soilcrete, log end, poured earth, wood pallet. I’m still enjoying the work and will continue keeping on.
I built the entire kitchen out of padobe, with a 4′ bar and put in a stainless sink. I will be ‘suspending’ the bar from the clerestory beams with a steel cable and cutting the padobe covered juniper stump that support it, out. So the padobe will look as if it’s suspended in the air. I’ll be using the padobe stump for the base to hold the galvanized steel wash tub, that will be used for the bathroom sink. The river rock, or creek rock as I should call it has been a lot of fun to work with. I laid it right down on top of the dirt floor (caliche) and it has been great and looks good. Very solid. The enjoyment of hunting for the smoothed rock as been a blast. I did use mortar for the bathroom, but elsewhere in the house that I use the creek stone I’ll be doing them on either a soilcrete base or adobe.
I’m going to experiment with pouring straight caliche/water mix as a bedroom floor. Just leaving the rock in, floating them and letting the floor harden and crack. I’ll fill big cracks with some sort of mortar or grout. The lower bedroom will be least traveled and i think I can get away with an earthen floor.
The bathroom and lower bedroom walls are reclaimed 2x4s framed fairly traditionally, with a single pass of chicken wire on them. A thin layer of padobe on both sides and it hardens up like concrete. It appears as though it will make excellent interior walls that are fairly fast paced.
I think the house will be livable by May. I would say total completion with the berm, porch/deck, retaining walls…July. It will be right at a year in that time frame. If I would have had another hand working along side, could have been done in 7-8 months. It’s been livable in terms of shelter for the last 2 months.
Keep up the good work, I still follow the blog daily.
See the numerous prior blog posts such as:
Update on Rex’s Pallet House in Texas