Installing the Wall Plate

Wall Plate (noun): a horizontal member built into or laid along the top of a wall to support and distribute the pressure from joists, rafters, etc.


While Sylvain and Damien, the two wwoofers who built our wall plate, had abandoned us for their native France, the gaping hole in the build team’s expertise and hearts was soon filled as we were joined on site by Peter’s old friends Bruno and Doris and their family: son-in law Hendrik, daughter Angela and grandchildren Elias and Josias. Full of fresh-faced enthusiasm and can-do spirit Bruno and his family has come all the way from Italy for a working holiday; two weeks of wholesome fun with friends helping build a rustic straw house….or so they imagined! They looked strong and healthy so we knew we could get a few weeks of work out of them! With this enthusiastic new cohort of volunteers we set to work with renewed vigor.

Before we could begin lifting the wall plate onto our straw bale walls we first had to attach pieces of wood fiber board to the wall plates sides where it will eventually be covered with render. The rough texture of the fiber boards will give the render a much better surface to adhere to compared to the smooth/slippery sides of the planed treated pine that it is built from. Holes were also drilled through where sharpened wooden stakes will be driven through into the straw bales below to help hold the wall plate in place.

IMG_20171030_140956Ben and his son help Peter screw pieces of fiber board to the sides of the wall plate.

IMG_20171031_123005Hendrik drills holes in the wall plate. Once in position on top of the wall dowel stakes will be hammered through these holes pinning the wall plate to the straw bales beneath.

IMG_20171030_094036Meanwhile Angela and son Elias (4) help Terry mix up more clay for the earth floor and render.

Once the final touches had been added to the wall plate the real fun of lifting the wall plate onto the bale walls began.

IMG_20171030_151214Bruno waits for the pallet grab as the first section of wall plate lies ready to be lifted into place…as there were no photos taken of this piece being carried down to site we will have to believe Bruno’s claim that he carried it down by all by himself. 

IMG_20171030_151234As there were low hanging power lines running along the front side of the house extra care had to be taken lifting this section into place. Here we used the JCB rather than the bigger digger to get the piece into place.

IMG_20171030_151337Bruno and Nino guide the pallet grab down onto the wall plate.


Ben and Nino guide the section of wall plate down onto the bales.


IMG_20171030_152036Peter comes down to inspect the levels

IMG_20171030_152303Upon seeing the first piece of wall plate successfully in place Peter achieves Nirvana and his spirit ascends to the heavens.

IMG_20171030_154833After an exciting day Ben and Peter walk off into the sunset never to be seen again.

To see the rest of the wall plate going up along with video of some of the key processes see our next post: Installing the Wall Plate II


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close