Huff Puff House has arrived!

Huff Puff House side
We are delighted to launch Huff Puff House!  An eco-friendly, energy efficient and truly affordable self build home.

Visit www.huffpuffhouse.com to find out more.

Over the last year we have been working closely with Brian Waite, the talented designer, to be able to bring this stunning design the largest possible audience.  Previously called 'strawbalehouse' we have rebranded the design to bring it fully into the Huff and Puff fold.

With a range of sizes and options, we feel this could be a game-changer for affordable, energy efficient housing in the UK and beyond.

For example, the kit that could help make a generous 12m x 6.5m, 120sq m home, costs just £36,000 (£30,000 +VAT).  With your own labour, and help where necessary, such a build could be completed for less than £100,000.

Huff Puff House first floor
We can provide you with the kit and extra services if you need them, such as help with design, planning, building control, training and construction.  As little or as much help as you need.

Order our upfront design service (normally £500 or less) and once you have your planning permission and order a kit we'll deduct that cost, up to £500, from the cost of your order!

Please take a look around the website - www.huffpuffhouse.com -  for more information - and if you would like any assistance please email info@huffpuff.me.

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Strawbalehouse

Brian Waite's strawbalehouseI am delighted to announce we are working with Brian Waite, designer of 'strawbalehouse', on making this fantastic cruck frame design available to those who would like to build it.

Every now and again a building design really catches your eye and imagination - and Brian's design is as functional as it is good looking.  It's an offering that puts an affordable, highly insulated and environmentally-friendly building within the reach of self-builders.

Cruck frames have a long history in the UK and this wonderfully modern take on the design allows the potential owner to choose any length and widths from 5m-9m, then come up with all sorts of internal configurations to best fit their needs.

For example, two generous floors can maximise floor space, or a mezzanine approach can allow for a full height ground floor area where desired.  Alternatively, the entire internal space can be left open at full height - ideal, perhaps, for a community space like a village hall etc.

Our approach is to give potential builders as little or as much assistance as they need.  We can, for example, deliver you the basic 'kit', allowing you to work your own way through the rest of the designing, planning and building - or we can give you as much help as you like with these aspects too, from helpful advice on the end of a phone, right through to being on site with you for training or to help out with construction.

The crucks themselves sit upon a plinth wall on each side and are made from two curved timber I-joists.  Each cruck is light enough to raise into position using people rather than machines, and once these are temporarily secured, straw bales are trimmed and loaded between each one, all the way up to the ridge.  We are also working on another variation that uses recycled newspaper insulation instead of straw.

We are currently working on beam production and costings for the design and hope to be able to publish details very soon.  In the meantime, if you are interested in this design please get in touch or sign up to our newsletter (box on the right), so we can update you as soon as we have more information.


Self-build discussed on Radio 4's Thinking Allowed

Laurie taylor - Thinking Allowed - BBC Radio 4There was an interesting piece about self-build recently on Radio 4's Thinking Allowed programme.  You can access it on the BBC website here - it's on for about the first 10 minutes.

Host Laurie Taylor and guest Michaela Benson discuss the motivations and experiences of UK self-builders that she has gathered in her research.  She discusses this and other interesting self-build things on her research project's blog.

Michaela aslo mentions Jenny Pickerell's green-building research, which seems to be discussed on Jenny's blog here.  All good reading!

I really like this piece because it backs up the way we intuitively work as a company.  There is a real need for help and support for self-builders in the UK and we understand how stressful and what a massive step taking on and accomplishing any building project can be - especially building a home.  Self-build can be a hugely life-affirming and empowering experience if done well, however managing the build process well is absolutely key.  We are happy to take on the management of your building project, whilst keeping you as immersed and involved in it as you'd like to be.  The ambition is to give you the wonderful experience of self-build without all the headaches.  Some people, of course, are keen to take on the challenge of managing an entire build, and if that's the case we can do our very best to fit in with your plans.

The self-build part in the Radio 4 piece above is also followed by an interesting, yet rather sad and shocking piece about evictions. However, the guest, Professor Matthew Desmond, sounds like he might be related to Professor Denzil Dexter from The Fast Show, which made me chuckle. :-)


Spring and Summer 2016 Course Dates Released!

clay plastering at art cabin, sherborneOur spring and summer 2016 course dates are now available!  Check out the training page for course dates and bookings.

We start off with our 'May of Clay'.  On each of the two bank holiday weekends we'll be holding a 3-day course in clay plastering for beginners, all food and camping included.

Then again, all-inclusive, from June to September we'll be holding monthly, 3-day straw bale building courses.

We've had excellent feedback from course participants to date and we're constantly trying to maximise what you get from our courses and make them a really enjoyable experience.

All the courses are currently scheduled to be held at the very lovely Bittles Brook Farm in Motcombe, near Shaftesbury, Dorset.

And - drum roll - booking and payment can now be made online!  It's all only a click away!

 


Building With Straw Bales Course - Shaftesbury, Dorset

Bittles Brook Farm field shelter
What the building will look like

Course: Building With Straw Bales

Date: Wednesday 16th - Sunday 20th September 2015

Cost: £350.00 (£280 for full time students and unwaged)

Bookings: Please email training@huffpuff.me to check availability and book your place
I am delighted to say we will be running a straw bale building course at Bittles Brook Farm, Motcombe, Shaftesbury, Dorset SP7 9NX.

This small farm is nestled in the rolling Dorset countryside only 2 miles from the historic town of Shaftesbury, famous for its Gold Hill, and surrounded by magnificent views. The mainline railway station at Gillingham is 10 minutes away.

We will be building a load-bearing straw bale building, measuring 7.5m x 5.5.m.

On this course you can learn:

- Straw bale building basics - presentation

- Selecting and preparing bales

- Building bale walls

- Framing doors and windows

- Fitting top beams

- Compressing the straw

The course fees also include:

- Accommodation: Camping in one of the fields on site (toilets and showers available)

- Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

You are also very welcome to camp with your family, whilst you attend the course, so they can head off and explore the surrounding, stunning Dorset countryside and coastline.  (In this case please make sure they have food etc., as we will only be catering for attendees.  Any questions please ask.)

This will hopefully be an excellent course towards the end of a beautiful English summer, so book now to avoid disappointment!

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Phil

 



Stock Gaylard Oak Fair 2014 - see us there!

Stock Gaylard Logo
Stock Gaylard Logo

We are delighted to be exhibiting at the Stock Gaylard Oak Fair 2014 (close to Sturminster Newton in Dorset, UK) on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th August. Look for us in the demonstration area where we will be demonstrating how to build with straw bales.

This is a wonderful show, full of all sorts of countryside groups and crafts - there are loads of things to see and do for all the family. This year the show celebrates its 10th anniversary and so is being held over two days.

Please see the Oak Fair website for details - http://www.stockgaylard.com/oak-fair/oak-fair-at-stock-gaylard.html. We hope to see you there!


Acorn Printing

T-shirt proof
T-shirt proof

When looking for promotional materials for the business I am keen to source from businesses that have a good ethical stance along with excellent service. Before we attended the Stock Gaylard Oak Fair in August I decided we should get some T-shirts printed and managed to find Acorn Printing, who are based in Coventry. They have a detailed ethical policy and a great range of organic and fair-trade shirts, which is exactly what we wanted.

It was an absolute pleasure dealing with Tracy and the rest of the team. They helped with all my queries and provided a proof before printing so I could be sure everything was correct. They also processed and delivered my order in a very timely fashion. I highly recommend them!

You can see more information about our order with them on their website, here.


Straw Bale Building in Dorset and the UK

Straw bale builders
We love straw bale building!
If you are in Dorset, or even further afield in the UK, you'll find that Huff and Puff Construction is one of very few specialist straw bale builders in the country. We can help you at any stage of your project, whether you are thinking of self-build, or want the whole job taken care of.

We love to talk about and see straw bale builds, it's the reason we exist! So please get in touch to discuss your plans. Call Phil Christopher on 07770 565656 or e-mail phil@huffpuff.me. And don't forget to check out our blog and our website for all our latest news. We hope to hear from you soon!