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Building a Monolithic Concrete Slab Foundation DVD
Hosted by Andrew Morrison

Building a Monolithic Concrete Slab Foundation DVD.

      Finally there's a video that explains how to properly build a concrete slab from start to finish! See the entire process step-by-step, from grading the site to polishing the perfect concrete slab.

      Slab-on-grade construction is popular in strawbale and frame house construction, and for numerous projects such as garages, guest cottages, outdoor patios, additions, workshops, and studios.

      This video includes up-to-date information to build your own concrete slab foundation to code. General contractor Andrew Morrison walks you through each stage of the concrete foundation building process. By following this simple how-to guide, you will be able to successfully build your own concrete foundation with no prior foundation or concrete experience. This video includes:

  • Details on four different types of foundations.
  • Proper site evaluation.
  • How to build around existing structures.
  • How to level the site.
  • Compacting a gravel base.
  • Building, setting, and squaring concrete forms.
  • Insulation placement options.
  • How to bring electrical and plumbing lines into the slab.
  • Pouring, leveling, and polishing concrete.
  • A list of tools needed for each step of the project.
  • Definitions and explanations of all the relevant terms.
  • Instruction suited to beginning builders as well as experienced hands.
  • Tons of tips and techniques to save you time and money.

      Learn how to set up "batter" boards to help establish perfectly square forms. Find out how to assess lumber for form boards for "crown" and "sway," and how to make the best use of natural variances in the wood. Learn how to brace your forms to keep the corners square when the concrete is poured. Learn the 3, 4, 5 technique to get perfectly square corners. Use concrete stakes to fine-tune level and square. Paying attention to these details will make your finished slab perfect!

      Learn to set up the concrete slab for interior and exterior stud walls, or how to alter the slab for straw bale construction, including details such as how to leave a notch in the foundation to keep an exterior plaster coat flush to the floor.

      Start the sub-slab development process right and eliminate headaches as you pour concrete. Learn what you need to do before you call in the concrete delivery truck, including what materials make up the sub-slab, what order they need to be in, the recommended thickness, and the techniques to use.

      Learn about different conditions that require a slightly different mix of concrete. Feel confident conversing with the driver of the concrete truck. Learn the best tools and techniques to float your concrete pad and find out how to finish up around the edges and around the anchor bolts.

New Information Added: The updated DVD includes: How to pour curved form concrete, how to install hydronic heat systems, and how to color and stamp concrete slabs for beautiful floors... an excellent added value to an already extensive instructional DVD! Total Run Time: 1 Hour, 46 minutes.

Building with Straw Bales: Post and Beam Infill DVD
Hosted by Andrew Morrison

Building with Straw Bales: Post and Beam Infill DVD.

      This DVD contains nearly two hours of invaluable information to help you save time and money on your straw bale building project. It covers the latest research in the field of straw bale design and construction, including:

  • Innovative tips and techniques on all phases of wall building from design to finish.
  • Details on the latest straw bale engineering, window flashing, and electrical wiring.
  • A complete list of recommended tools for each stage of the building process.

      This is a high quality DVD, showing close-up details of the building process. Each step is thoughtfully articulated by general contractor Andrew Morrison. By implementing these techniques you will be able to effectively build your own straw bale project with basic carpentry skills and no prior straw bale experience. This DVD covers the straw bale and plastering aspects of your straw bale project and will not teach you how to frame your house. This video is highly recommended! Use this DVD to educate yourself and, if necessary, the building inspector too.

Straw Bale Quiz
      If you think you know enough about straw bale already, take this 9 Question Quiz. If you can answer these questions, you don't need this DVD.

--What additional step must you use in earthquake zones when tying the wire mesh to your walls?

--What is the most common foundation for a strawbale structure?

--What is the best way to get lateral sheer protection when framing with straw bales?

--What must you do before installing your first row of bales?

--What is the ideal moisture content for a straw bale prior to putting in the wall?

--True or false: it is best to undercut your bales by a few inches to make sure they fit securely in the bale wall.

--What is the best method to secure an electrical box to a strawbale wall?

--What is the best material to use for all of your rounded details (round or arched windows)?

--What technique would you use to protect your bale walls from moisture damage if you lived in an area with heavy rainfall?

** If you answered all of the above without hesitation, then you definitely don't need this DVD. Otherwise you just might be wasting tons of time and money trying to figure these things out on your own!

New Building Footage Added, March 2006. Total run time: 1 hour, 30 minutes.

Plastering with Natural Hydraulic Lime (NHL) DVD
Hosted by Andrew Morrison

Plastering with Natural Hydraulic Lime (NHL) DVD.

      The step-by-step instructions in this comprehensive DVD clearly describe the latest tips and techniques for mastering the application of Natural Hydraulic Lime Plaster. Full tool lists for each stage of the plastering process are included to make project preparation easy for any skill level.

      Learn about the advantages of hydraulic lime plaster versus traditional Portland cement plaster and stucco. Discover the best way to mix the lime and sand If you decide to mix plaster by hand. Also learn about the ideal tools to create the best, smoothest, and most even plasters, with customized recipes for the scratch coat, brown coat and finish coat. Learn the correct order in which to add material to the mortar mixer to prevent the paddles of the mortar mixer from seizing up and give a more consistent and finer finished product. Learn about the best materials to use as a binder when preparing the plaster, and how to judge the correct consistency of your plaster. Preparing the plaster is too important to be left to guess work. You can see on the video the correct consistency, texture, and color of the plaster.

      Discover the correct method for preparing the scratch coat prior to the brown coat, and the brown coat prior to the finish coat. Learn to protect freshly plastered walls from sun and wind. Learn the best methods to protect your wood beams, posts, and windows, and floors before plastering. Learn the correct techniques to prepare the bales 24 hours before applying the scratch coat of plaster. Using these techniques will minimize the likelihood of cracks forming in the plaster.

      Learn how to recognize by color and texture when the walls are dry enough to begin the next plaster application. See a demonstration of a method that you can use to easily apply mud to the wall. You don't need to be a professional to get a nice smooth surface! Learn the best techniques to plaster up against door or window trim, and how to form a nice, rounded or square corner.

      Learn about the 4 grades of sand that must be used to get the tightest and best adhesion in the plaster. Find out how to store lime, and how to prepare it ahead of time to make it cure better. Also learn about adding color to the lime to make a final coat with the color embedded in it. Run time: Approximately 1 hour.

Living Homes: Stone Masonry, Log, and Strawbale Construction
See also: Living Homes: Stone Masonry, Log, and Strawbale Construction.

      Looking for life-changing resources? Check out these books by Thomas J. Elpel:

Green Prosperity: Quit Your Job, Live Your Dreams.
Roadmap to Reality: Consciousness, Worldviews, and the Blossoming of Human Spirit
to Reality
Living Homes: Stone Masonry, Log, and Strawbale Construction
Participating in Nature: Wilderness Survival and Primitive Living Skills.
in Nature
Foraging the Mountain West: Gourmet Edible Plants, Mushrooms, and Meat.
Foraging the
Mountain West
Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
in a Day
Shanleya's Quest: A Botany Adventure for Kids

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