Straw Bale as a Cheaper Alternative Building Material
Straw bale is certainly one of the most cost-effective building materials available today. A single bale of straw is extremely lower in cost compared to the same amount of standard insulation materials (e.g. styrofoam). Walls made of it are also much simpler in composition, easy to stack and thus less labor-intensive. This makes straw bale buildings cheaper to construct.
According to the straw bale workshop, walls typically eat up some ten to fifteen percent of the total costs of constructing a building. That's not a very small portion, but it's not the whole house either. If your budget is 100,000 USD, for example, one-tenth of this amount will go to straw bale walls. That's not unreasonable. This means you will be spending 91,000 USD, assuming the walls eat up ten percent of the total budget. While this may not make you rich, it is a significant saving. Remember that straw bale offers long-term advantages in cost, since they offer extra insulation leading to less heating/cooling expenses. The savings will benefit you on a long-term basis but not so much during the construction process itself.
Going beyond budget is not very rare in construction projects. In fact, it's quite a usual occurrence. Therefore, it's smart to allot resources with some allowance as there will likely be unexpected costs and delays. A substantial portion of a project's budget goes to the content of the straw bale walls, but you do have the option to pick which ones you want and don't. Filling in that "shell" is possible through a lot of ways, from extravagant to dirt-cheap. Though there are no such things as "right" or "wrong" in this scenario, you need to remember that there are more cost-effective alternatives to nearly everything. For example, you can use earthen tamped floors and salvaged wood. You can even limit hiring paid labour for tasks that you can do yourself, maybe with the help of some friends and relatives.
Of course, although straw bale walls are highly cost-effective, you have to use them as part of a bigger cost-saving scheme that allows you to boost your benefits. Be particular with your material choices and try being more "hands on." If there's something you can do, do it and enjoy.
In the end, you can enjoy many advantages not only by lowering costs, but by building smart. On top of that, the joy of knowing that you have created and achieved something cannot be provided by even the best strawbale building contractors in town. Definitely, there are certain jobs that only professionals can do well. But don't skip those opportunities of being a part of your own project.