Everything you need to know to build a straw bale house:

How to get through council, get access to drafts people, engineers, and learn everything that you need to know from the foundations all that way to the roof.

If you’ve been thinking about building with straw for a while you’re probably faced with the overwhelming task of gaining the right information to answer the mountain of hidden questions that lay ahead. Gathering and sorting through all that information to compile a recipe to build your own home is like trying to bake a cake using nine different recipes.

If you are ready to stop feeling confused, and start confidently building your own straw bale home I’m ready to take you, step-by-step through the process. In my online straw bale house building workshop you will learn everything that you need to know. Read on to see how trying to cobble together information from a bunch of different places can be confusing, difficult, expensive and even dangerous.

Over the eight weeks of the online workshop I will share with you in intimate detail the core skills and competencies that I have acquired from over 38 years in the construction industry. I am prepared to let you in on the tips and secrets that only time can teach. This is not stuffy old theory taken from a TAFE college textbook, I will teach you, step by step, EVERY action point you need to know to get started. By the end of the eight weeks you will be equipped to start building your own straw bale home, I guarantee it (more details to follow).

New Term starts each month on the 1st:

Due to administrative issues we are now running fixed terms that start on the first of each month. If you are in an almighty hurry to get started email Micah at micah@anvilstrawbale.com and we may be able to arrange to fast-track you, fees may apply.

Your skill level, your pace:

Each week when you get your lessons, you will see that you can go at your own pace, watch me explain the idea as many times as you need to ensure that you really understand.

The online workshop is targeted specifically at owner builders without any building experience, however the feedback from tradesmen and designers that have done the course in the past is extremely positive. Listen to what Peter Vasila a designer from Lancefield said:

Dear Brian,
Just a short note to thank you for all your work regarding a very enjoyable Straw Bale Workshop.
I found the whole experience very informative and worthwhile. In particular I gained a great deal from your ability to patiently explain the process of building Straw Bale and owner building in general, which obviously came from your wealth of experience.
I’m happy to recommend the course to anyone who would like to call me personally.
All the Best
Peter Vasila

The hardest part of building a straw bale house is knowing how to build a house. The straw bale part is easy. Throughout the course you will learn key factors in building your own home, and almost more importantly, when and who to ask for help.

Whilst I am extremely concerned about our environment, this is not a course on compost toilets or any other ecological issues. It is a course on how to build a complete straw bale house from the foundations up to the roof. NOT just about how to build straw bale walls. Most people will find that the online course will give them everything that they need to feel confident to build their own straw bale house, but I also offer an additional practical weekend where you can get your hands dirty and practice your skills if you feel the need for that.

Here’s what a couple of previous course attendees had to say about my earlier course:

“Having completed Brian’s course my husband and I now have absolute confidence that we can build our own straw bale house. Brian’s ability to break every facet down into simple steps enables people of every ability to tackle the building process. We have had the most fantastic time on this course..”

-Jackie & Jason Bell of Singleton NSW

“As a Kinglake bushfire survivor my priorities as an owner builder are speed, ease, cost and fire-proofing. Brian provides the information and the confidence to use it. Strawbale also allows beauty and individual expression.”

-Julia Holmes, Kinglake Victoria

I answer your questions before you ask them

I have worked really hard to make sure that every question that you are ever going to need to ask about how to build a straw bale house is answered in this workshop.

I first filmed the content for this site in front of a live audience, but I threw it away when I saw that interruptions from the audience made it difficult to follow (this is fine in a live workshop but I felt that it would be better for you if I re-shot so I could answer all your questions even BEFORE you ask them)

BUT if you still have questions that are specific to your project there are two ways we could discuss it:

  1. I run hands-on workshops where we just do practical work, not the theory covered here. There’s always plenty of time to answer questions. Click here for more information
  2. I do some consulting for course graduates who are involved in interesting projects, but a lot of people find everything they need to know in the workshop if they are completing a simple project.

There are so many things to make decisions when building a straw bale house, and every book that you buy or website that you surf only adds to the confusion.

Imagine if someone had tried all the options and found the methods that are:

  • easiest to understand,
  • easiest to implement,
  • most cost effective and will
  • give you far fewer headaches.

Here’s the problem with trying to patch together ideas from multiple sources and decide what is best:

Do I really understand what the author is saying?

Some straw bale books or websites are written really well but we still can’t be absolutely sure that when we get to actually building that we understand exactly what the author is saying. And when you are building a house even a small miss-interpretation can make a huge difference. Mistakes on your house could cost you thousands to solve the problem or create delays when the building inspector finds the problem. For example:

An owner builder didn’t understand the difference between single-span and multiple-span bearers (which I explain with diagrams, photos and video in week 6) and when it came to the inspection of the frame it was suggested that he would have to replace the bearer (which was now holding up the walls and the roof frame). You can avoid these problems.

I have worked tirelessly to find the building methods that are easiest to understand, and from working with many clients I have weeded out the building methods that only create confusion.

Is this the easiest way to build a straw bale house?

Some old straw bale building techniques are either too dangerous, too tricky, too time consuming, too expensive or too damaging to the environment. For example, you can tell that your information is outdated if any of these ideas are suggested as the best way:

These old techniques can be dangerous, tricky, time consuming, expensive or damaging to the environment:

  • Bamboo pegs through the middle of the bales
  • Threaded rod through the middle of the bale
  • Wire mesh over the whole straw bale structure
  • Wire and gripples to tie down the bales
  • Threaded rod on either side of the bale
  • Cement render

How do I know that you don’t need to use these approaches? With 30 years of building experience and working with our own drafting and engineers we tested thousands of combinations to find the methods of building a straw bale house that is safer, easier, more efficient, more cost effective and more environmentally sustainable.

What is covered in the course?

You will get everything that you need to confidently build your own straw bale house over the eight weeks:

Week 1

Dealing with subcontractors

In this section you will learn how strategies for dealing with subcontractors to ensure you are at the top of ...

Energy Efficiency, Construction Insurance

In this section I will go through the various issues associated with building energy efficiency and clarify the insurance that ...

Site Preparation for a Concrete Slab

This section will deal with the processes required up to and including the pouring of a concrete slab which will ...

Week 2

Post Hole Digger

Stumps and bearers for timber floors

In this session we will investigate the process of building a straw bale home with timber floors covering the following ...

Week 3

Floor joists and sheet flooring

In this session we will continue with the construction of a timber floor including: Positioning and installation of floor joists ...

Week 4

Construction and installation of bottom boxing and post supports

In this video we will deal with all issues associated with the construction and installation of bottom boxing and post ...

Assembly of Timber Framed Walls

In this section we will continue with the construction of timber framed walls, including: Establishing a list of timbers to ...

Timber frame wall preparation

In this section we will go through a quick and efficient method of building timber frame walls, including: Marking the ...

Week 5

Large openings in straw bale walls

Large openings in straw bale walls has in the past restricted choices for owner builders. In this session we will ...

Structural infill straw bale construction

In this section we will go through the process of building straw bale where the roof load is carried by ...

Load bearing straw bale construction

In this section we will go through the process of building straw bale walls that carry the roof load, load ...

Week 6

Installation of free standing posts

In this session we will go through a low cost easy method for installation of free standing posts to the ...

Roof framing

In this section we will investigate the primary roof framing options that are simple to build, and are consequently appropriate ...

Roof bracing

Having investigated the options for rafters we will now cover roof bracing, including: Bracing to roof trusses Hoop iron strapping ...

Fascia and roof purlins

In this video we will cover the installation of fascia and roof purlins including: Tie down of rafters to ring ...

Week 7

Straw bale installation

In this section we will cover straw bale installation including: The formula for bale placement Timber components above and below ...

Cutting straw bales, filling the gap above windows and other straw bale tips

In this session I will detail how to finish over window and lots of other tips for building a beautify ...

Connection of the straw bale wall to the frame and infilling the gap between straw bales and the ceiling

One of the most common questions I get is how do we fill the gap between the top of the ...

Week 8

Kram walls

In this session I will cover a method of having a 140 to 150mm thick internal rendered wall referred to ...

Plumbing and electrical installation

In this section we will cover plumbing and electrical installation in Kram walls and straw bale walls. I will also ...


In this session I will introduce you how to render a straw bale house using the render method that we ...

Window installation

In this section we will look at window installation in straw bale walls including: The traditional method of flashing windows ...

Building in bushfire zones

In this session on building in bushfire zones we will concentrate on creating fire separation between decks, verandahs and the ...

Wet areas

In this session I will briefly cover the requirements for wet areas including bathroom floor wastes and water proof membranes ...

But not only that, because your site membership is for a year, you will be able to go back and review the information whenever you want. So on the day when you are laying your floor you can go back and review that lesson.

I try to shut up

I could talk about straw bale building all day. But I have made sure that each week of the course I talk only as much as is required to get the information across to you, no fluff. That way you save time learning the information and save time preparing before you go onsite.

Yes! compatible with iPhone, iPad and Android

The nerds have been busy making this site usable from all kinds of different devices, so if you get stuck on-site you can review my instructions to get yourself straightened out quickly and easily.

At the risk of sounding like you are about to get free steak knives,

There’s more!

You’re 100% Protected By Our 30 Day


My promise to you:

Complete the first five weeks of classes (30 days worth)…I won’t consider that I have earned your registration fee until then. If then, you are not 100% satisfied with the workshop and feel that you haven’t gotten your moneys worth in grass-roots applicable knowledge, you can resign from the course and I will give you back your money, every single cent, I don’t deserve to keep it if you’re not happy!

What Investment

Do I Need To Make?

Our fees are based on the excellent value that you will get out of the workshop; you will find the skills and confidence to build your own straw bale house. Remember, you are covered by our ‘Better-Than-Risk-Free-Guarantee’.

If you take the pay-by-the-month option for a yearly subscription it is cheaper than a meal for you and a friend at an okay restaurant once a month.

If you pay in one sum for a yearly subscription then you can be confident that you will easily save the cost of your subscription in savings on your new home.

Prices are currently:

  • Pay for the yearly subscription monthly
  • $50

    per month X 12

  •   8 weeks of lessons
  •   View on your iPhone
  •   View on your iPad
  •   View on Android
  •   1 year subscription to the site
  •   Access to lessons week-by-week
  •   Instant access to every lesson
  • Pay Yearly, Save $25
  • $575

    per year

  •   8 weeks of lessons
  •   View on your iPhone
  •   View on your iPad
  •   View on Android
  •   1 year subscription to the site
  •   Access to lessons week-by-week
  •   Instant access to every lesson

P.S. Remember you are protected by my 30 day money-back guarantee, if after completing the first 5 weeks of the course you are not happy, you get your money back.

P.S.S. If you need more information about the online workshop email Micah at micah@anvilstrawbale.com