Construction Basics for Layout, Stairs & Roofs using Earth Bag Examples | Full Version of Ep.1-3

Construction Basics for Layout, Stairs & Roofs using Earth Bag Examples | Full Version of Ep.1-3


Gary: If you’ve been following us for the
last five years, you’ve noticed, we haven’t spent a lot of time little time on all the
math and calculations. It isn’t just circles, there are squares and
things that need to be calculated, like stairs and roofs, all kinds of stuff. When we started to make decisions, about what
we wanted to have, earthbag was the last thing…we looked at all kinds of things. We started with straw bale, steel, and greenblock. It’s a foam that you fill concrete…cob and
other things. So, finally settled on earthbags. Today, I would to focus primarily on what
we do on foundations to get things started, how we lay things out. When anyone sets out to do a structure, consider
where the structure is going on the property. Ten acres, hey, you got a lot space. You can put a lot of these things around. But if you have a small area, a one acre plot,
how far away is it from the neighbors? How far from the fence line? How far from the pig farm that smells really
bad right down the street? Also too, which way are you allowed to put
structure in? You may have to have that front door pointing
towards the street. That’s the kinds of things you have to consider
when you are plotting for your placement of your structure on your property. Also too, you want to consider the kinds of
materials you may have around your property. Things you have that are right there. If your dirt is really good, it has some clay
or caliche like what we have in ours, or what’s calcium…or may some rock or something that
is fairly tough that you are able to build with…great. If not, you may have to haul that type of
material in. Which means, dump trucks and things that you
can fill bags. As we lay out the ground, we have to think
all the way through the roof. You may need some support in a particular
area. Like, we use around our doors, we put in post. So we know we might be coming up to those
post with our bags as we go around in the circle. So, I have to plan for that. Also too, we like to put in cleats, what we
call cleats that connect. So, we can go up a few rows and come up to
a window or door we have to place that cleat in. And we have to remember to do those things. So, it is nice to sit back and take a look
at your spot think through that all the way through the roof…what are the next steps. Shae: I think sometimes to have square rooms,
there’re nice and they have an almost neat and tidy feel to them. It seems like with the “roundery” rooms, it’s
more of a creative environment. It is easier to think of a good and creative
ideas in a “roundy” rooms, I think. Bryson: To have a round room, it’s really
unique and a lot more fun. You look up at the round ceiling and you know
like…every morning…you awake and open your eyes and look at the round ceiling. It’s pretty cool. Gary: It’s very relaxing for us…to be in
a circle room where there aren’t these sharp edges . I don’t know what it is…organic
or something. Wait. Are my ears getting pointy? Am I growing hair on the tops of my feet? Now I’m not looking for a geometry lesson
here on circles, but I want to cover some main points. Circles are two dimensional shapes that are
circular. They have a center to a circle. Radius. Which is half the distance of a circle. That means that the distance from the outside
of the circle to the inside of the circle is the same in all directions. Diameter is from edge to edge, from outside
to outside, as it passes through the center. That’s the diameter. The circumference is the lineal feet of the
outside of the circle. And why it’s important to us as earth baggers,
that we want to determine how much bag we need to create one of our structures. We use like 12 foot, 14 foot circles. Those are the ones we typically make the earth
bag bedrooms that we make out here. Calculating the circumference is really no
big secret. Just go to the Internet websites. There’s just plenty of calculators out there. Making a circle with earth bags is really
easy. First you drive that stake in to the ground,
leave it high enough to tie a rope or string on the top of that. Go have of that distance. If it’s a 12 foot room for example it’s a
6 foot radius. You tie one end to the post and one end to
a stick and travel all the way around the stake with a taught circle drawing on the
ground. Now when we fill our bags, we fill our bags
to about 4 inches thick. So , you have about 4 times 3, which is 3
rows, 3 rows of bags equals a foot. So that now you can calculate how tall it
is. Say we want to go 8 feet in the air, you know
it is going to be 24 rows of bags. This topic can be easily covered with drawings. Let me show you There are so many different types of stair
designs to cover, let’s just stick with the most common. Most stairs are made of wood, steel, and concrete. They can be freestanding with no wall support
on any sides or stairs or can be attached to walls one side or both. I like stairs that are attached on only one
side with no support. These are called cantilevered. Let’s cover the basics of stairs, like the
foundation, run, rise, tread width, and railing As with any structure, it must support the
weight of a load at any time. Stairs typically rest at the the top which
is called the deck or the landing which is at the the bottom. Consider placing a footing at the bottom of
the landing. The run is the horizontal distance from the
landing to the deck. The run can be split into one or more landings. It can be curved or spiral. Once the run is determined, this measurement
is fixed. Adding landings can compact the foot print,
but the run is a constant. The run is horizontal, the rise is vertical. To determine the rise, measure the distance
up from the landings’ horizontal plane to the deck’s horizontal plane. This is also a fixed distance. The angle from the top of deck to the landing
along the run is the pitch. The pitch will determine the tread width and
comfort of walking up and down the stairs. If it is too steep of a pitch, there may not
be enough tread to step on safely. It may also be uncomfortable to ascend or
decend the stairs. You don’t want to feel like you’re walking
up and down a ladder. The rise and run may also determine the headroom. How many of us have conked our heads on the
deck or floor above while using improperly designed stairs. The minimum distance for safety is 6 foot
8 inches measured vertically from the top of a step straight up to the bottom of a beam,
a landing or deck. The width of a staircase should be about 4
feet or more. This is the typical egress for safety. Wider is better. Remember how much trouble it is to get the
king size box springs upstairs? A spiral staircase may only have a 2 foot
width. The capital building will have steps that
stretch a city block. Really, It’s the size tread that matters. Tread size is the space that your foot rest
on when you place your foot on the step. A typical tread for comfort is about 10 inches. Treads may have a nosing that allows the foot
to travel under the vertical plumb down from the next step. Handrails allow you to travel safely up or
down stairs. Most handrails have a typical distance of
about 44 inches from the nose of the tread to the top of the hand railing. Stairs should have at least one handrail. Bryson’s’ staircase doesn’t have a handrail. We will be installing one soon. We don’t want anyone falling. Let’s use an example to put all this stair
stuff together. If the run is 133 inches and the rise is 105
inches…we want 9.5 to a ten inch tread. Let me take my shoes off and count this up. We get 14 steps with a rise at 7.5 inches
per step. We’ve looked at basic circle design and stairs. Let’s check out roof construction. Just like the stair basics, roofs follow the
same idea of rise and run. The idea is this: a pitch is created when
one end of a level line is raised. We measure roof pitches using inches in a
mathematical ratio. Ya it’s that math stuff again. For example, the run is 12 inches horizontal
and rise is whatever your desired pitch. Let’s use 6 inches vertically. This creates a triangle with a perfect square
corner. And triangles are the typical geometric shape
used in roof construction. The ratio is displayed like this: 6/12. This means for every foot of the run rises
is 6 inches. Let’s apply this to a roof example: The building is 10 feet wide. This is also called a span by the way. We want to place a pitched roof equally down
the center the building. To find the center line divide the 10 feet
in half. The run is 5 foot. We will use the 6/12 pitch. There are 5, 12 inch increments in this
run. Multiply the 5 feet, times the rise of 6 inches
to create a 30 inch total rise. We can use these triangles to create to roofs. But, how does all this roof stuff fit together? This is one typical design for a roof. Top plates set on top of the wall. The ridge typically runs right down the center
of the peek of a roof. The rafter travels from the peek at the top
down onto the wall. The tail is what hangs over the wall or beyond
the wall. The birds mouth is the notch at the bottom
of the rafter. Height at plumb, also known as HAP, is the
vertical distance off the top plate to the top of the rafter at the birds mouth. The seat cut, if possible matches the width
of the wall and acts as a secure point to attach the rafter. Wow. There are so many more parts to a roof. Let’s just focus on the Common rafter. Common rafters are all the same. I guess that’s what makes them common. So, how are rafters measured for length? I do recommend an online calculator to get
a rafter length. But, it is always a good idea to know some
of the math behind things. A rafters length is determined from the Pythagorean
Theorem high is a2 + b2=c2. I hope I haven’t brought up any painful memories. Let’s do this. The run is 5 feet or 60 inches. 60 x 60=3600. The rise is 30 inches. 30 x 30=900 that’s the B part of the equation. 3600 + 900=4500. The square root of 4500 is 67.082 and of course,
I used the calculator for that one. That is 67 inches and .082 is really close
to that 1/16th. How do we set a rafter on a wall? There is a notch at the tail end of the rafter
called a birds mouth. Funny name huh? Make a mark for the HAP and another plumb
cut mark going down. If at all possible, try to use the width of
the top plate to match the length of the seat cut. This allows the underside of the rafter to
meet the exact corner of the inside of the top plate. Now a tail would need to be added to give
a roof an eve. This is calculated by using the HAP moving
horizontally out your desired eve width. Let’s say 24 inches. What do we do when we have an earthbag for
a top plate? The top of the bags vary in elevation and
are not level. That’s a typical. This is it how it works. It functions as a
regular cleat that connects bags together It functions as a regular cleat that connects the bags together and it serves as an adjustable platform to
raise or lower a rafter to its correct level height. (Music) If there are professionals in your area, please
consult them if you are not a professional yourself. It is just so important to have
safety first and nobody gets hurt and you are always doing the right things when you
are building everybody’s safe. (Music) There is a great deal more that can be explored concerning foundation layout, stairs and roofs. We are only touching the basics. If you are
interested in a webinars that explore even deeper the foundations of earth bag basics.
And you would like to have your questions directly in a webinar setting, there’s an
option available on our Patreon page. There will be a link in the description. Occasionally,
I will do more of these brief videos upon request. Please let me know and comment below.
That rhymes. Shae: Our family moved from the city to country.
Thanks for taking part in our adventure. We have new videos every Friday evening. If
you would like to help us out, you can like this video, share it, subscribe, or support
us on Patreon. See the links in the description.


51 thoughts on “Construction Basics for Layout, Stairs & Roofs using Earth Bag Examples | Full Version of Ep.1-3

  1. Wowza! Great stuff. I'll probably have a four-stall shed row barn built this winter — I bet I come back to this vid to check n see if we're doin' it right. TFS!

  2. Great video! How about one more in depth on how you incorporate wiring for outlets and lights in the walls? Or one on waterproofing the outside walls?

    Keep up the great work!

  3. انتم عائله منتجه ونافعه ونفعكم للناس عامه شاكرلكم روح المعنويه العاليه والتفاني في تعليم الناس كل مبادئ التعاون الجادكذلك لايفوتني الشكرالجزيل لكم

  4. Handrail height by IRC is no less than 32 no more than 38. Most residential stairs are 36 from the front of the nosing. Guardrail min is 36 from the floor in residential code. Commercial is 42 min on the guardrail.

  5. please just don't ask me to stand up in front of the class and work out you A2xB2=C2. oh my brain hurts. I need a mathematician to help me build.

  6. This is one of your best videos!  Please do more instructional videos like this one.  WE are going to start building our Earth bag home in a week or so, so I need all the help I can get lol.  I wanted to know what size earth bags did you use?

  7. THANK. YOU. Any time you feel like you want to share more "basics", I am THERE! Planning to build in 2-3 years so I'm slowly researching everything as I go. And it's just me and my kiddos! You guys are the best! Thanks for all of the fabulous info!

  8. What percent less is an earthbag house to build than stick built? It seems like it would be alot though labor intensive

  9. Do you know of anyone that has built an earth bag home where there is a lot of winter months of cold windy ice rain and snow?

  10. Excellent easy to visualize by adding cartoons/calculations /diagrams . Family Outdid yourself well !

  11. Property? I am an American expat Jazz pianist living in Copenhagen Denmark living in a permanent off grid loose community of squatters (Danes been squatting here for 75 years) I live by a beautiful nature preserve/park inside Copenhagen city limits. I have been given opportunity to build a small structure in addition to the camper trailer where I reside with my dog and cat. I am so inspied by your achievements! P.S. the earth here is full of clay.

  12. oh yeah this is good stuff. Im a DIY my self (exept for gas). I like your family uploads a lot. oh yeah Im from The Netherlands so my engelisch writng is not the best but I hoop it'll do. I learn a lot allready by only watching your weekly peek but wen you put the theoretical stuf online like this so simpel expleened every body with even a left en right hand can do it

  13. Do you use a rubble trench, I think I saw a clip in there of one? Is that how you guys do the foundation?thanks for the videos, your family seems so happy:)

  14. HI THERE, I HAVE A QUESTION AND IT MIGHT BE A QUESTION ON A LOT OF PEOPLES MIND. WOULD YOU CONSIDER BUILDING A SANDBAG HOME FOR OTHER PEOPLE ? I HAVE BEEN LIVING IN THAILAND FOR THE LAST 9 YEARS AND I AM NOW 71 YEARS OLD AND MAY NEED TO MOVE BACK TO AMERICA. I'VE ENJOYED WATCHING WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND I LIKE THE CARE AND PRIDE THAT YOU PUT INTO EACH STRUCTURE THAT YOU BUILD.

    MYSELF I AM UNABLE TO DO WHAT YOU ARE DOING BECAUSE I BEAT UP MYSELF TOO MUCH WHEN I WAS YOUNGER AND NOW I AM PAYING FOR IT. I'VE HAD 4 BACK SURGERIES AND NOW BOTH KNEES NEED SURGERY. I'VE ALSO HAVE HAD MY LEFT SHOULDER REBUILT AND I HAVE COPD. THERE ARE THINGS I CAN DO BUT I AM LIMITED.

    IF YOU WOULD CONSIDER THIS PLEASE LET ME KNOW. I AM LIMITED ON FUNDS BUT AM WILLING TO PAY A FAIR PRICE FOR YOUR LABOR AND OF COURSE THE MATERIALS.

    THERE IS ONLY ME SO THE STRUCTURE DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THAT BIG. AND ANOTHER ADVANTAGE FOR YOU WOULD BE THAT YOU WOULD HAVE ANOTHER PROJECT TO FILM. I HOPE YOU WILL CONSIDER THIS.

  15. I have enjoyed watching very much , as a builder of 40 + years I'm looking into earth bag building here in Albuquerque however it a very sandy soil. I have some math to do I guess…

  16. thank you for all the videos and the helpful hints and explanations. Inspired to see if I can do something similar but this is UK so….well I can try 😀

  17. Can you please talk about a square structure and planning for plumbing and electrical ? Thank you for being an inspiration.

  18. I prefer these videos over the video blog thing where you guys jump around a bunch of different topics. It's not that I'm not concerned with your day-to-day life. I'm just not concerned with your day-to-day life. I don't watch soap operas I don't watch the Kardashians. I come to your channel to be informed boy you guys got a lot of information and you make it very fun.

  19. Had an idea for your cob sprayer. After you get a thin layer applied just throw your pet hair and hay up on the tacky walls repeat spay mixture followed with more tensile material until you reach your desired thickness or you’ve covered the chinking. Like the idea though.

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