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Re: [practical-sbc] Re: Paper-stucco

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  • Bob Wilson
    Thank you David. You guys are the best. I hope the next stage in my life will be a straw bale house and workshop on my own land in southern Iowa. I m in my
    Message 1 of 86 , Jul 1, 2007
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      Thank you David. You guys are the best. I hope the next stage in my
      life will be a straw bale house and workshop on my own land in southern
      Iowa. I"m in my late sixties now but I won't get any younger just by


      Nancy or David Gray wrote:
      > Yeah, the bugger indeed.... He's too blind to see how much you did....
      > I just want to piggyback on Kent's congratulations both for your son's
      > success, and yours for the phd at such a late and vulnerable stage in
      > life. A very uplifting story and it continues. Best wishes, David Gray
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • ben@harvesthomes.ca
      Hi everyone, I am behind on email but caught this response by Tina and as we are the only other professional bale plastering crew of which I am aware in
      Message 86 of 86 , Jul 3, 2007
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        Hi everyone,

        I am behind on email but caught this response by Tina and as we are
        the only other professional bale plastering crew of which I am aware
        in Ontario, thought I should dip in with a response.

        We typically have a starting price of $4'ish /sq ft of wall surface,
        labour AND material included, with two coats of cement-lime plaster
        equalling about 1"+ thick when finished and suitably well troweled,
        sponged or floated to serve as the finish texture (eg. no third
        plaster coat required but a weather proofer like silicate paint highly
        recommmended as well as ideal for adding colour). Like Tina,
        suggested, height and awkward access have an impact on our time spent
        on a job, so we necessarily charge more for second storey (exterior)
        work or other difficult access locations. Windows and doors or other
        special openings that require us to take special care and detail (eg.
        curves, sharp angles, etc) also add to our time and may lead to a
        higher price.

        And while our crew is often too heavily booked on our own construction
        projects to assist many owner-built homes any longer, when hiring us
        or Tina's crew (which it should be said, specializes in owner-assist
        projects) you are also paying for the pre-existing equipment
        maintenance, training, experience, skill and perhaps above all,
        convenience, of having someone come often on short notice to perform
        work that can dramatically advance the stage of completion of a house
        while providing you with the finish texture for you to look at for all
        eternity. This I think has value.

        And even with this worth, I know our price is less than brick laying
        and comparable with acrylic stucco applicators (in southern Ontario at
        least) who have only to smear on 3/8" or less of material and can do
        so with no specialized equipment and only one or two semi-skilled
        hands as opposed to the specialized team of 6 to 8 that Tina and we
        each use.

        So while it may be one of the single largest outlays on an owner-built
        home, it isn't disproportionate with the work or the value or the cost
        of conventional materials.

        At the same time, like Tina, I also think that with enough time, some
        fortitude and a few friends' favours to cash in, you and a team of
        novices can also competently and often, beautifully plaster your own
        place. And if you cannot find a skilled plasterer to augment your
        team of volunteers, you may wish to learn some of the techniques at a
        hands-on workshop such as those taught by Tina (Ecology Retreat
        Centre) or myself (Everdale Environmental Learning Centre) where the
        highly experiential learning of plastering can be imparted to you -
        as much as is possible over the period of a day or a weekend. A great
        way to start your learning or determine if you would ever wish to
        tackle it over an entire house.

        Hope this helps a few of those who are trying to determine which way
        they will apply themselves and answer the age old question: "to
        plaster or not to plaster..."

        Ben Polley
        Harvest Homes

        Quoting tina therrien <strawbus@...>:

        > hi all! i have a professional plastering crew, and as hank said, we
        > come in as a team of 8, including the oh! so important cleaning person
        > going behind the crew cleaning, which we have found to be crucial to a
        > good job (and is much appreciated by clients). depending on the
        > complexity of the job (ie, is there easy access, or are there
        > inaccessible parts that have to be ingeniously scaffolded & planked, or
        > plastered by a sky-jack?)...for instance, a full two storey gable end
        > of a house can involve 5 lifts of scaffolding, which will always
        > increase the plastering time & cost. our price depends on whether our
        > crew will have to erect and then move scaffolding as we are plastering,
        > or if the owners will have the building scaffolded ahead of time so
        > that we can do what we do, plaster. if we have to take time off the
        > wall to set up and move scaffolding, it really tires us out, and takes
        > away the energy that we prefer to give to the finish on the wall. when
        > we helped Ben Polley plaster Hank & Anita Carr's house, for instance,
        > Hank ensured that he had a buddy there to help him, and as we finished
        > a wall, they broke down the scaffolding and moved it to the next side
        > of the house for us...which saved them on renting scaffolding to wrap
        > the entire house, yet allowed our crew to focus on plastering the
        > walls.
        > the suggested price of $3000/day is actually a bit more than what we
        > currently charge, but again, depending on the complexity of the job,
        > our fees change. while this may seem expensive to some, anyone who has
        > been involved in plastering knows what hard work it is. we tend to work
        > 10-12 hour days when we are plastering, with very few breaks, and can
        > definitely speed up the plastering process tremendously. we can
        > generally finish the interior & exterior base coats of plaster (2
        > coats) in a week, which comes in handy for those builds that get
        > postponed into the fall, when winter is arriving. as a matter of fact,
        > many of our plastering jobs are in the late fall, at which time most
        > owners are quite happy to hire someone to get a coating on the bales
        > before the snow flies. much to our chagrin, many times we end up
        > plastering once the snow flies, which is never desirable!
        > all of this said, plastering is one of those things that you either
        > love or hate. in workshop settings, you quickly see the division in the
        > attendees by their participation, or sometimes, lack of, early on in
        > the weekend. there are buildings all over the world being plastered by
        > volunteers and owner-builders, and with the right attention to detail,
        > they can work out wonderfully. if you are keen to try it, heck, go for
        > it! don't hesitate to contact someone with experience to get their list
        > of do's and don'ts. another option, which may save on fees, would be to
        > add a professional troweller or two (maybe even someone with experience
        > mixing) to join you and your team of volunteers to plaster your
        > building, so that you can get 'on the job' training, learn a few tricks
        > of the trade, and get a beautiful finish as well. after 10 years at it,
        > we still enjoy a plastering gig, although sometimes at the end of a 12
        > hour day we question our sanity!
        > happy plastering!
        > tina
        > On 28-Jun-07, at 9:58 PM, Hank Carr wrote:
        >> > With a professional crew, how much money does that 200 foot x 8 foot
        >> > wall generally cost to plaster?
        >> I've heard that they're charging around $3000 per day now. Perhaps
        >> one of
        >> the people on this list that owns one of these crews can confirm my
        >> ballpark
        >> price.
        >> Keep in mind that a 2000 square foot or so building takes around 4
        >> days to
        >> do. That's 4 days for a crew of professionals who do it for a iving
        >> using a
        >> machine that mixes and pumps the plaster right to the wall. For a
        >> crew of 8
        >> that's 32 days of total effort using the machine and the trowel. If
        >> you're
        >> going to mix the mortar by hand then carry it to the wall and apply
        >> it by
        >> hand you need to double that time. I've had a number of people in my
        >> workshops say that they planned to plaster their own buildings right
        >> up
        >> until the middle of the first day carrying 100 lb buckets of mud from
        >> the
        >> mixer to the wall and putting it on with a trowel. It can be done but
        >> you're going to have Popye arms when you're finished.
        > Camel's Back Straw Bale Construction
        > www.strawhomes.ca
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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