Aaron Yarbrough

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since Jan 31, 2013
Austin, Texas
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Recent posts by Aaron Yarbrough

Hey Robert,

I would pour concrete piers topped with a post base bracket. Even if you messed around with treating your posts there would still be an issue with the posts rotting if you sunk them in concrete.

Finding a post base for an 8" round post might be difficult and expensive. You might consider framing a conventional sub floor on pier and beam and building your cabin on top of that. I built a timber frame using a similar method.

Here's a post  from my building blog about it.

Have you checked out Hill Counry Natives in Leander? They sell non-natives as well. If they don't have Goumi they may be able to point you in the right direction

1 month ago
Hey all,

I installed a Marey 3.0 GPM tankless propane water heater. I have a 3.0 GPM water pump that pressurizes my system to ~40 PSI. The minimum activation flow rate for the Marey water heater is so high that I have to have the hot water fully open to activate the heater so that if I ease off the hot water in the shower even just a little the water heater shuts off. Any suggestions for a work around or a water heater better suited for low flow situations?
1 month ago
Hi Mary,

Sounds like you're talking about doing light clay straw(also known as straw light clay or slip straw). It's breathable and has R value of approximately 1.5/in. Sounds like your soil will work for the light clay straw binder and probably for the plaster. I might add borax into your light clay straw mix to prevent insects from trying to nest in the walls. Here's a video  intro about light clay straw:

2 months ago

denise ra wrote:Aaron Yarbrough, Would you have any qualms about having a bathtub for soaking in the same room with the toilet? Or would you ideally separate them?

No qualms on any sanitary grounds. I like the concept of separate bathing and toilet areas but didn't feel it was worth sacrificing the floor space. Instead of trying to squeeze a tub into a small bathroom I would opt for a separate bath house.
2 months ago
I've attached a couple of images of our bathroom. The space excluding the shower is 4 feet wide by 5 feet deep. The toilet compartment is 28 inches wide x 22 inches deep which feels like just enough room. Sawdust is stored in an office trash can under the vanity. Extra buckets and sawdust are stored outside.

2 months ago

Michael Shwartz wrote:Hello!  First day here.  I'm from just south of the DFW area.  New to all of this.  I've been interested in homesteading / hobby farming for a little bit and stumbled onto the permies site.  Anything happening in this area?  The other posts are so old, I think I might have hit a dead site.

Hey Michael, welcome to Permies! The Oklahoma and Texas forum has been quiet for a while but the rest of the Permies site is really active. I've always received at least a few responses to my questions. My wife and I live just south of Austin and are currently wrapping up building a timber frame straw light clay cabin. We start looking toward food production in the fall.


2 months ago
It's not very natural but we used 6 inches of foam board insulation panels on the roof deck of our straw light clay house. That took  care of the thermal bridging issues of insulating between the rafters. We put down 1x4 sleepers on top of the insulation and installed the standing seam panels on top of that. There's also a continuous soffit vent around the entire perimeter of the roof.

Here's an article I wrote about it:

Exposed Rafters and Roof Deck Insulation

And here's a timelapse of the build:

Roof Build Timelapse

I struggled with natural roof options but eventually folded. I rationalized that any off gassing from the foam would outside of the building envelope and roof should outlast me.
3 months ago

Carolyne Castner wrote:

Tyler Ludens wrote:Howdy!

If chickens are too loud for your HOA, what about quail?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXzz5b7kVQM

I'd be completely happy with quail. Unfortunately the HOA contract thingy specifies "all varieties of fowl" as well as "all varieties of livestock and animals excluding dogs, cats, and small animal pets."
They're a pain in the butt. I honestly wish we had chosen somewhere else to live...

We did attempt to have the bylaws changed by bringing the chicken issue up for a vote: Unfortunately we didn't get the minimum 75% of households voting on the issue, so even though the "for" votes outnumbered the "against" votes we didn't have enough total votes to get it changed.

HOA board has said we now have to wait a year before we can attempt to have it brought up for a vote again.

I think you could skate quail underneath the watch of an HOA. I keep mine in a 2' (W) X 4' (L) X 2' (H) movable pen that could easily be a guinea pig residence. In the past I've kept them in a hutch on my apartment balcony. If you have a privacy fence no one would be the wiser.
5 months ago