In the spring of 2012 our friend Toba gave us some hemp fiber left over from her timberframe strawbale house. Lin was eager to try it in her plasters and, while there were plenty of exterior walls that needed replastering, we did not have any interior walls to try it on. That was a good enough excuse to build an 8×12′ structure.
I created the shape of the roof with the end walls and then ran 2×4’s across the 12′ span. Not code, but it works. After covering the 2×4’s with plywood, I covered that with leftover EPDM, a thick rubber membrane. This allowed me to use utility grade cedar shingles.
The side walls did not get plywood, but were housewrapped and then covered with vertical pine carsiding.
After filling the rafters with recycled denim insulation we held this up with 1/4″ plywood and covered that with reed mat. Here you see the back side of the housewrap and denim insulation starting to go into the side walls.
The same reed mat that we used on the ceiling was used as a plaster base on the walls. Here you see Lin’s hemp fiber plaster going on the reed mat. We learned to give lots of support to reed mat so that it doesn’t give while you plaster it. One foot stud spacing seems to be about right.
We used a Sherwin-Williams birch colored stain on the pine siding and installed a recycled door. The house was enjoyed on our land for about one year as a guest bedroom, meditation and massage room. Our friend Denise fell in love with it and arranged to bring it to some beautiful land south of town owned by John Freeberg and Susan Walsh.
John supervised the move which was one of the most exciting events we have had on the property. An auto-wrecker managed to maneuver through a sea of small trees to the east side of the tiny house. John and I had put 4×4 skids under the house and our trucker attached chains to the ends of these to pull the house onto the tilting bed with the winch.
Eric Randall and I held our breath as the house moved slowly out of the field. More suspense awaited on the other end of the move. The house was so high on the wrecker bed that it would not clear a hickory limb about 50′ from its destination. The house was lowered and towed the last distance with a tractor. The plaster held up amazingly well.