Hi ! I haven't been registered in may so I missed whole thing... I live in Galashiels, so maybe we could meet? I try to meet somebody in person who built with staw bales. If I could still help, just say so :)
I seem to have some problems to answer private message. I updated my profile a bit. My interest in straw bale houses is coming from very prosaic reason. I want to build my home and straw seems the best option in this area. It is available closeby it is cheap and I have some friend who built few of them in Poland, they can come and help. In this country I am not sure how should I try to make my dream truth, so I search individuals who managed with building regulations and can give me some advice. Other reason and it is as much important, I want to meet interesting people with similar interest, crazy but in the positive way
To be honest, building regs are not an issue, or that's what I found out. A good architect and a sympathetic engineer is all that's required. I am sure the council is more open minded to alternative building styles than people might at first imagine.
I do realise that, it also sounds it would be the biggest cost as well. It also seems I would have to have cash to buy and build. I have 7yo son, he cannot be far from school. That's other requirement. Plus for at least 2 years I cannot leave Borders, and that's because help my son needs and a job I am doing.
I think my land was 40% of the total cost. Build cost was something in the order of £150/sqft or £1500/sqm. I did use a lot of experienced labor and that is definitely where the cost is. Labour and professional fees probably make up 40% of the total cost. That only leaves 20% for materials but I guess it depends on what kind of finish you are looking for.
Bales need to be arranged well in advance because not many farmers now make small bales - they all make big round ones. I paid £3.50 a bale I think but that was delivered. Clay for the internal render was difficult to source. My windows and doors were good quality but cost £12k! A lot of the labour can be done by yourself/frineds - I was working full time so my time was limited and I used a local guy who had experience of straw.
I gather info for my own house, prices are crucial for a future of the project :) and you see if the price is 150/sqft it makes 14/sqm, but if it is 1500/sqm it makes 16k/sqft :) as you see it makes huge difference :P I grew in metric system, since I came to Scotland I more less got used to imperial measurements, although I still have problems with kg and stones :P
If you like to be exact, 100sqm is 1,076sqft. I like to keep things simple though! I actually don't know the exact cost of the house. As the build progressed I stopped counting exactly but gut feel is £150,000 for 100sqm inc VAT (some of which can be reclaimed) and professional fees but excluding land.