We specialize in natural insulation systems, natural plasters, and carpentry, and can accommodate most construction or hardscaping needs. We have the experience to take on any home project, from new construction to refurbish, retrofit to new install, from large to small.
We install lime and clay plasters in almost any color, over almost any substrate, including drywall, cement, brick, or the acrylic paint that may be covering your walls right now. Before the takeover of drywall and cement in the last century, all of the plaster around the world was most likely either lime or clay. This technology worked for thousands of years, and continues to work to this day. Even if your natural plaster is over conventional drywall, it will enhance your moisture management, air quality and beauty. We’d be hard pressed to encounter a person who prefers the look of a textured gypsum plaster to a natural plaster.
A natural lime plaster technique born in Morocco. It has been time tested for centuries in the palaces and hammams of Marrakech. Tadelakt is a highly burnished lime plaster sealed with olive oil soap to create a waterproof finish appropriate for showers and sinks. We studied this technique under Ryan Chivers of Artesano Plaster and were fortunate to complete several showers and backsplashes under Ryan’s phenomenal guidance and leadership. We would be happy to carry on the torch of tadelakt for your next project!
Traditional Wooden Lathe
Don’t want drywall in your home? We offer an alternative with natural wooden lathe. We apply a natural plaster finish over the wooden lathe which is stronger and more durable than drywall. With a natural insulation, you could have a breathable wall system!
We offer a wide variety of carpentry skills and try to use Colorado lumber, or as local as possible. We can also do your small tile, drywall or other construction needs and try to always obtain materials from local small businesses.
Strawbale Natural Insulation
A tried and true technique of using straw bales as your insulation. With this technique, there is no need for drywall or wooden lathe. a plaster system can be applied directly on the bales, or be covered up with a wooden or other siding. This type of building works great in Colorado, and there is local knowledge in the engineering and architecture fields to support it. The city of Denver is currently adopting the strawbale code, and should be incorporated this fall, which sets a precedent for the rest of the state.
Slipstraw Natural Insulation
Another popular technique involving straw and clay, slipstraw or light clay straw, is tamped down between your structural members to create a strong, breathable wall. This technique is great for retrofits, especially in the urban environment! With this technique, there is no need for drywall or wooden lathe. A plaster system can be applied directly on the slipstraw, or be covered up with a wooden or other siding. The city of Denver is currently adopting the slipstraw code, and should be incorporated this fall, which sets a precedent for the rest of the state.
Hempcrete Natural Insulation
A popular technique in the UK and France, especially for retrofitting historic homes, hempcrete is not a viable option for us yet here in Colorado. Once the growing and processing gets up and running in our own state, this will be a great building option. Until then, we will continue to work with John Patterson of Hemp Seed Revival, Tiny Hemp Houses, and Colorado Industrial Hemp Supply to build tiny hemp homes and continue to learn about this great technique!
A nice alternative to tile, hardwood, or concrete, an earthen floor is beautiful and easier on your joints. An earthen floor can be made many colors and can even be retrofitted into your existing home.
A long tradition of earth building dates back thousands of years. There are cob dwellings still being inhabited in the UK that are well over 1000 years old. Made of sand, clay, and straw, all materials can be found locally, cheaply, and with very little environmental impact.
An historic building technique that has a lot of history in and around Colorado, adobe is a great building block and can be used in a variety of ways. Made of sand, clay, and straw, all materials can be found locally, cheaply, and with very little environmental impact.
A great addition to any backyard or community space! The hearth has long been the place of gathering and community. Host pizza parties, bake bread, and make cookies in your own wood fired oven!
As a member of Common Earth, we partner with many other contractors with a wide range of skill sets. Want a timber frame? Need a greywater system installed? How about an orchard? Want to better manage the water that falls on your land? Want to grow your own food? Need a greenhouse? Do you want it to be a geodesic dome? Psyched on Permaculture? Common Earth has you covered. Please contact us for more information.