Home Built with Straw Bales in the Ozarks


ROGERSVILLE, Mo. — An Ozarks realtor is taking a different approach to building her house to be healthier and more energy efficient. At the same time, builders are learning the technique to use in their own communities.

From the outside, the house looks like any other but what is inside the walls is what makes it unique.

It may remind you of a children’s tale but for Inna Gladkov, it will be her family’s new home.

“On the outside, it looks like any normal house, a stucco look to it.”

The idea behind the strawbale house is not new but it is new to the Ozarks.

“It’s so much to learn, it’s not as easy as you think, it is not as simple. To do this right, there’s a lot of little things to it,” said Gladkov.

Gladkov said not only is the house environmentally friendly, it serves an even bigger purpose.

“Unfortunately, my husband has cancer right now and that got us to thinking a lot of the things we breathe.”

Building a house made of straw bales comes with its own set of challenges.

“The straw season doesn’t start until the end of June. This is May so there are no square straw bales anywhere.”

Andrew Morrison teaches classes around the world on how to build straw bale homes. People pay for the class and get to learn by actually building Gladkov’s home while camping out for a week. Morrison believes everyone wins.

“The homeowner gets 30 sets of hands, I get a job that I love and the people get to learn what they want to learn.”

Straw bales will fill the exterior walls before they are covered in plaster. Morrison said the advantages are countless.

“They are probably about three times as energy efficient as a regular house. They are also three times as fire proof. They are also very sound proof,” said Morrison.

Even though it takes extra labor, the cost is about the same for a normal home.

“You don’t have to do sheetrock, you don’t have to do insulation. It is a lot less wood on the outside but it is a lot more labor intensive,” explained Gladkov.

Gladkov hopes this house will be one of many standing in the Ozarks.

The strawbale house should be finished in a few months. 

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