How To Choose Building Bales

What kind of bales do you use – regular old straw bales from the field? Are they a special kind?

I receive these questions often. Although I use regular old straw bales, there are a few essential qualities to look for when choosing which bales to use for construction.

When selecting your bale source, be prepared with questions to ask the farmer or vendor. Knowing what you need in a building grade bale will help narrow down your resources and provide a better product to work with.

Here are a few things to consider when choosing your straw bales.

 – Determine the bale size available in your area.

 – Make sure stored bales have been protected from inclement weather and are dry.

 – Construction bales need to have a density of 6.5 pounds per cubic foot. 

– Tight strings and solid compaction is a positive sign that you have good density.

 – Longer straw stalks are preferable over short loose straw. The machinery that harvests and bales the straw will determine this.

 – Use your senses to recognize inconsistencies in color, smell, weight, and shape.

 – Establish a standard before you make a purchase.

With this guideline, you’ll be able to tell what a good straw bale is for your building project.

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