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Out Building Idea

I need a shed, and I don't have much money for it, so I been dreaming about how to do it cheap.

My resources are free sand/gravel, existing form wood, and basically nothing else but a few pieces of worthless paper.

Tools: Concrete mixer (of various ways), hopper gun for drywall, and normal stuff.

So this is the idea... 4x8' slab, 14" on egde x 8", then 6" in center. $40 in cement.

Roll of plastic: 12' wide $10

Cut and tape together a perimeter run of the plastic so it's 24' circum x 12 tall tube. Tie up one end. Inflate with shop vac after attached to foundation via duct tape and back fill. Apply paper mache - enough to hold shape, let dry.

Cut open access hole, and use hopper to spray mortar inside, a couple days, thin layers.

Then go outside and go crazy spraying mortar (cement/sand) on the outside till it's bomb proof (4") or so.

It will start rectangular then go bubble look, but I just need something tough to hold my tools outside of the house. The dog has been complaining about the tools all over the house.

Think that plan will work?

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Interesting approach

Here's some related ideas you might be interested in:

I've heard of some dome houses built by inflating a balloon and then spraying concrete (the type used for swimming pools) from the inside.

You might also be interested in the earthship concept of using car tires pounded full of dirt ("rammed earth") then plastered with adobe. Check out their "Hut" design or the disaster-releif Haiti earthship and see how they built the dome roof. I beleive they use old rags dipped in concrete layered on top of a chicken wire frome dome.

You can even build out of dirt put in burlap sacs and stacked up then covered with adobe plaster. Can't remember what that's called, but I've seen a tool shed done this way in a Seattle Park / Community garden. It looked really nice.

This is a inflated ballon and

This is a inflated baloon and shot crete method techincally, it's just ghetto style. I'd make a round slab, but it's so much easier to make a rectangular one.

I'm gonna try it as I said. I'll buy the cement next weekend and do the pour. I'll frame up the door for before that so I can get the plastic to wrap around it. I'm still modifying my plans.

A contractor friend of mine said he didn't think I'd be able to keep it stable enough to apply the mache, but I think the mache would dry so fast out here that as I went up, it would solidify the base.

I personally think the air pressure will be too high for the tape to hold, or to hold on the base. I could lower it with a few holes, but I need that puffed up look to be able to apply the stuff. Even if I get 2 PSI, that's gonna be alot of force on the door also, 3X6 =18*2 = 36 lbs. Not sure what the PSI of the vac can do on the output, but it will be a fun experiment.

I'm still looking for ideas to improve the construction process. I have sand, cement is cheap. I have the few boards for the door and form. I don't want to really buy anything else.

I dont have: Tires or burlaps sacks, and cannot get them other than the internet. I don't have adobe here, just sand and gravel base, 180' deep according to the well. Nice stable place huh?



Here's a picture of that garden shed I mentioned. I guess this one is called "cob" style. From the description it sounds like it was a lot harder to do than they thought.


FYI, adobe plaster is just onsite dirt + sand + some old straw.

Here's a picture and construction videos of an earthship hut built in Haiti.

I may live in the desert, but

I may live in the desert, but the debris level is no where near that of Haiti. Nice little video though.

I have just a couple tires laying around.


Are you drunk?

Just kidding!

There's a small business next to the machine shop where I work that builds wooden pallets, and they throw away a lot of pallets. I'm too lazy to take advantage of it. But many of the pallets are constructed of oak and other strong hardwoods. There would easily be enough to take care of all of one's outbuilding needs if one had the energy and wherewithal to disassemble the pallets. Maybe somebody like that where you live.

I do have a supply of pallets

I do have a supply of pallets if needed, but I want to try something different.

I'll find out soon as I start to begin this project. I'll post pics and update as needed.