Mom builds teen daughter off-grid home for $10K using straw bales

Shalina Luna and Ben Griffith had their kids’ futures in mind.

They bought a lot in Ignacio, Colorado, thinking that they would build a house for their children in that land once they turned 18, and Joli Galvan had just turned of age for her new home.

The couple made an off-the-grid house using straw bales covered in cob on a 34×17-foot concrete slab.

Cob is a mixture of clay, sand, straw, and water, and it’s fireproof.


The house features three different partitions that they built in segments.

The rooms on both sides are 12×14 feet, while the middle room is 6 feet wide for the kitchen and bathroom.

One side of the house is the study area; the other is the living room and loft bedroom.

They want the house to look rustic yet cozy – something that their young daughter would love to live in for the rest of her life.

What’s fantastic about this straw bale house is it’s entirely off the grid.

They use solar panels to power everything in the house, including an electric pump under the kitchen sink to use the water they haul in.

While the bales are good with heating the home, they have a solar-friendly ceramic heater on standby when it gets extremely cold in the winter.

They also built a cob hot tub powered by a wood-burning stove.


Shalina and Ben also sourced their materials from their land or nearby.

Their budget for this house was $10,000. After four weeks, they finished Joli’s lovely home.

You can see how the cob looks perfect with the timber they used for the upper half of the house, and it gives off that farmhouse feels.

The bottle wall and glass panels added a unique touch to the look.

The bedroom looks perfectly cozy, and the view outside the loft bed is stunning.

Below is the living area with enough space to add more seating if Joli wants to invite guests over and hang out.

The stairs leading to the bed were tall enough for her, and storage spaces were allocated on each step.

The kitchen was to die for! It has all the pretty accents which add character to the house.

That sink was an absolute stunner and blended perfectly with that wooden countertop.

Shalina presented to her daughter some kitchenware handed down from generation to generation, which was a pleasant surprise.

That bathroom may look small, but it has everything she needs.


Shaline joked that it was called an “inhouse” instead of an outhouse because it is indoors, but they applied the same concept.

The toilet works like a composting toilet, while the water source is in a jar beside the sink.

Lastly, the beautiful study room looks conducive to focus and study.

There’s a stylish red chair and an antique dresser right beside it.

They also carved out some compartments where Joli could place her books which she fondly called “book nooks” because they felt like one.

It’s a brilliant addition for someone who loves to read.

The family’s house-building journey was even featured on an episode of Discovery’s “Building Off The Grid.”

Just wait until you see how excited Joli is touring her new place!

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