What we do

We build, we consult and we teach using strawbales as a building medium.

House of Bales workshop

Building & Contracting Services

Our partnership G Thomas and L Kairl Builders is able to contract for the full construction of your strawbale home, extension or other building. We will consider full contract construction in the Adelaide Hills, southern suburbs, Fluerieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island.  In some instances, full construction in other areas will be seriously considered.

We offer contract wall construction and sub-contracting to other builders or owner builders.  We can supply and install strawbale walls and render them anywhere in South Australia, and we have also worked in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.


Using his extensive knowledge of working with strawbale as a building medium, Lance can provide consulting packages for owners, builders and designers to demystify the building regulation and approval processes for strawbale buildings. This can include design considerations, technical support, and construction techniques during the design process. He can also inspect work in progress, provide written reports and document steps for remedial work.

Assisting Owner Builders

Lance can provide support during the whole process of your strawbale building project (see Building Works Supervisor), or just part of it. Lance can provide a getting started package, (usually his team for 3 days) with occasional ongoing support. He can provide a quoted cost to supply, install and render strawbale walls and have the owners work with him and his team to reduce the cost. The cost of formulating any detailed quote is charged. Alternatively, Lance is able to provide a rough cost estimate and work actively with the owners to install and render the strawbale walls.


Lance has developed a pump for spray rendering.  It is designed for use with small aggregate mortars, plaster, mud and other thick viscous materials. It enables render to be applied evenly and quickly to strawbales.  We offer a spray rendering service for strawbale walls.  Our team can spray render 1st and 2nd coats of strawbale walls, patching and shaping render to get the desired shape and hand render final coat. For some small projects all 3 coats can be hand rendered.

We offer you the choice of rendering all coats, spray rendering 1st coat only, spray rendering1st and 2nd coats, assisting with preparation for final coat rendering and or final coat rendering only. We are happy to accommodate owners assisting with the rendering process.

Please note that the quality of the strawbale work done by others prior to rendering can significantly affect the rendering process in materials, time, finish and cost. If it’s not good enough we won’t render it.

Check out our spray rendering pump in action at The Food Forest


Run over 2-3 days (usually a weekend) our workshops are educational/teaching events with theory and practical sessions.
We can run a workshop in conjunction with your project and it is usual to expect a section of the strawbale wall project to be constructed and some 1st coat rendering by hand.

We invite an engineer and an architect to these workshops who have both worked extensively with strawbale buildings, and they present sections of our program.

We talk about the history of strawbale building, techniques of wall construction, installing electrical/plumbing services, details for door/window openings and render types.

Our workshops are fully insured and structured to maximise your learning. We thoroughly recommend that anyone wanting to be hands on in any way with their strawbale project, attend a workshop.

We deliver some workshops at The Food Forest. Up to date workshop dates and information is posted on our House of Bales facebook page.

Wall raising events

We can assist you and invited family and friends to spend time building some of the strawbale walls of your project. We can plan this with you to ensure there are adequate tools and equipment, and a number of skilled people to facilitate the process. We limit numbers on wall raising events to ensure construction is orderly and safe and we provide general instructions. Wall raising events require the owner to have Owner Builder insurance.

Lance Kairl teaching

Building Works Supervisor

Lance is a registered building works supervisor and is qualified to sign documents required for Certificate of Occupancy and Council Form 19. He can inspect work done at the completion of each stage of building, notify of defects and rectification if required, and sign off each stage of the work.  He is able to guide you to ensure that work on your project meets the requirements of the National Construction Code, Australian standards and the approved building plans.  It is a requirement in South Australia for owner builders to have a building works supervisor, or equivalent.

Repair and Maintenance

Regardless of whether it’s a major oops (backed the car into the wall) or a minor crack repair we can assist. We can do mastic-based repairs for minor cracks, render based for more serious damage, install control joints for crack control, apply colour coats of lime wash or mineral silicate and apply water repellent coatings to continue to protect strawbale walls.

Other Services

We can repair mudbrick homes, earth, hemp and cob buildings as well as install hempcrete walls and render them.

CONTACT US to start a conversation.

© Copyright 2020 House of Bales - All Rights Reserved. G Thomas & L Kairl Builders. Builders License no. 48998