A tiny straw bale home for $15,000 in Poland

So the kids have flown the nest. What would be your ideal natural house size to retire to as a couple and what sort of garden space would suit you?



This little straw bale house is now 10 years old. It sits in beautiful countryside near Lake Hancza, the deepest (108,5 m) lake in Poland. It's a place the Polish city folk call a "small paradise" a place of gentle hills and forests filled with wild strawberries, blueberries and mushrooms. The straw bale cottage was built by Paulina of Earth Hands and Houses. To build a tiny home like this in Poland would cost about £10,000 (15,000 USD) in materials but at the time it cost Paulina £5,000.


The tiny cottage is load-bearing straw bale house with a sleeping loft under the straw thatched roof and earthen plastered walls.

It stands on a stone footing, which in turn stands on a drained gravel trench. The walls were made of tightly packed bales of straw stacked and sandwiched between hazel branches for stability. A 'ladder' wall plate was placed on top of the wall and the structure was compressed with straps which are tied to anchor points in the foundation.

The timbers for the roof structure were taken from the local forest. The roof covering was made by the local crafts-man, Henryk Romanowski using wheat straw thatch. The walls were plastered with an earthen clay plaster outside and in, which leaves a beautiful finish of curved and sculpted walls. Here are some design details and construction pictures of the straw bale house on Paulina's website.

Paulina teaches all over the world. Here are her next natural building workshops.