Learn How To Build Your Own Cob House

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Soil Types for Cob Building

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Soil types vary by each region and location, but the majority of soil types will work for building cob and earthen structures. It is actually rare to find soil that will not work for cob. This is a good thing for the case of earthen building!

Soils consist mainly of a mixed combination of silt, sand, and clay. In the case of earthen building, silt is not a bad… Continue reading

Trimming Cob Walls

Alex Sumerall - Cutting cob walls with hay saw

In order to get cob walls plumb and flat, trimming and cutting is a major step in the building process.

To build a cob wall, I will place a new layer of cob onto my wall, knead the individual cobs together a bit with my hands, and then stomp on top and kick the sides a bit. At this point, the excess cob is already hanging over the edge of the wall. Now is the time to start trimming.

What do you trim with? Continue reading

Tractor Cob – How to Mix Cob with a Tractor

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If you’re interested in building a cob home in a speedy time-frame then I highly recommend mixing cob with a tractor (or other machine such as a Bobcat or backhoe). Using this method, the cob mixing process will go about one hundred times faster compared to doing it by foot labor. You will spend some fossil fuels in the process, but you will save an extraordinary amount of human labor and time! Continue reading

cob workshops tennessee

Building the cob house at the beautiful Meadow Creek Mountain Rustic Resort in Parrottsville, Tennessee. What an amazing place for a cob workshop! Continue reading

Hi everyone,

I just recently got back from a 7-week intensive Natural Building course out in Oregon learning some of the newest, cutting edge techniques in the Natural Building realm.

As some of you may know, I’m taking my business to the next level by offering design and build services to people who are interested in having their own cob and natural buildings constructed.

I… Continue reading

Building a Stone Foundation

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A building needs a strong foundation to rest upon. This is the first detail to consider when building any structure. It should be a unified and stable base for your building to sit upon, and must also support the load of the building. Learn how to build a stone foundation in this article. Continue reading

The Cob Hotel

Cob Hotel - Sketch

Last year I was contacted by OPIC (Overseas Private Investment Corporation) to design a cob hotel for their humanitarian efforts overseas. I designed building plans for a large cob hotel that was being proposed before the project board at OPIC. The proposal was to build it in Southern Sudan as a way to better the local Continue reading

Top 10 Most Influential Cob Builders

ianto evans cob house builder

It’s time to take a look into the world of natural building by looking at some of the most influential cob builders. You might have heard of some of these people before as they’ve demonstrated their craft and expertise in the field. Many of them you might just be hearing about for the first time. Without further ado, here is my top 10 list of the most influential people in… Continue reading

Cob Homes – Trends, Lifestyle, and the Future

Perma Artist

I was recently interviewed by James Ru for his new book Perma Artist which is a compilation of conversations with eco-artists, land artists, and artists concerned about the environment. Here is our interview about cob homes:

1. Why is it called cob?  I see you use corn cobs in some of the construction, but not all.

The word “cob” is derived from the UK where… Continue reading

Cob Building Systems – Foundations and Walls

cob house stone stemwall

Cob is a mixture of clay, sand, straw, and water. To build a cob house you will essentially need three main components: foundation, walls, and a roof.

Here are some of the different styles and systems for building a cob or a hybrid cob home. A hybrid cob home is basically any home that is partially constructed out of cob and partially constructed out of another material. Continue reading

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