How to Build a Cob House: Step by Step

How to Build a Cob House Step by Step

Build A Cob House: A Step-By-Step-Guide [Illustrated] [eBook] by Alex Sumerall
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Book Description

Cob is a building material made out of earth, clay, sand, straw, and water that is pliable and can be hand-sculpted into buildings. Cob has been used and tested for thousands of years all over the world, and has proven to be a very viable building material. People all over the world are now learning and reviving this ancient building method.Cob offers answers and solutions to many of the problems that ail our buildings today, and people are very excited and enthusiastic about building homes out of cob. It’s looking like cob is here to stay. Building with cob is not about returning to the past. It’s about moving forward.Build A Cob House: A Step-By-Step Guide will teach you all the basics of building with cob. You will learn step-by-step, from the ground up, how to build your own cob home.

- 86 Pages

- The book is illustrated with color photos and detail drawings.

Table of Contents

-          Introduction

  • How, and By Whom, Should My Cob Building Be Built?
  • Characteristics of Cob Homes
    • Cob Home Concepts
    • Cob Home Advantages
  • Common Questions About Cob
    • How durable is cob? How does it do in rainy climates?
    • Are cob homes cold and damp?
    • What about humidity and mold?
    • How will a cob house hold up in an earthquake?
    • How big can you make a cob house?
    • How much does a cob house cost to build?
    • How long does it take to build a cob house?
    • How do you deal with building codes and permits?

-          Site Selection

  • Good Drainage
  • Sub-Surface Geology
  • Location
  • Access
  • Aspect
  • Legal Restrictions
  • Orienting toward the sun
  • Using Natural resources at the site
  • Testing your site
  • Site problems to avoid

-          Design

  • 3 Important Design Considerations
  • Building Appearances
  • Passive Solar Design
  • Thermal Mass
  • Insulation
  • Designing your “Home”
  • Ceiling height
  • Limit the number of doors
  • Alcoves
  • Level changes
  • Roundness
  • Make a Model
  • Draw an Outline Plan

-          Materials and Tools

  • Selecting and Testing Soils
    • Soil Testing for Suitability
    • How to do the Shake Test
  • Sand
  • Clay
  • Straw
  • Other Building Materials
  • Tools

-          Preparing Your Site for Building

  • Test Your Soil
  • Transfer Your House Design onto the Ground
  • Drive Stakes into the Ground
  • Insert Datum Stakes
  • Clear the Site

-          Foundations

  • Rubble Trench Foundations
    • How to Build a Rubble Trench Foundation
    • Basic Stone Laying
      • Lime Mortar Benefits
    • Alternative Stem Wall Materials

-          How to Make Cob

  • Tarp Method
  • Making Test Bricks
  • Alternate Mixing Methods
    • Using a Bobcat
    • Using a Mortar Mixer
    • Using a Backhoe
  • Cob Mixing – Problem and Solution

-          How to Build Cob Walls

  • Cob Loaves
  • Monolithic Building
    • Applying Cob
    • Connecting New Cob Walls
    • How Thick Do You Build Your Walls?
    • Making Your Walls Straight or Tapered
    • Trimming Excess Cob
    • Working Up High
    • How High Can You Build?
    • How Fast Can You Build a Cob Home?

-          Windows and Doors

  • Arches and Lintels
  • Wall Anchors
  • Non-Opening Fixed Windows

-          Roofs

  • Gable Roofs
    • Roof Pitch
    • Tying Your Roof Down
  • Ceilings
  • Sheathing Your Roof
  • Thatch Roofs
    • Strong Thatch and Maintenance
  • Living Roofs
    • How to Construct a Living Roof
  • Insulating Your Roof
    • Smart Insulation Options
      • Blown Cellulose
      • Recycled Newspaper
      • Sheep’s Wool
  • Roofing FAQ

-          Earthen Floors

  • Materials
  • Tools
  • How to Install an Earthen Floor
  • Earthen Floor Maintenance

-          Natural Plasters and Finishes

  • Materials for Plastering
  • Tools for Plastering
  • Earthen Plasters
    • How to Mix Earthen Plaster
  • Lime Plasters
  • Natural Plaster Suppliers
  • Additional Information

-          Electrical and Plumbing

-          Building Codes and Permits

-          Our Uncertain Future: Cob Offers Sustainable Solutions

-          Beginner Cob Projects

  • Cob Oven
  • Cob Bench
  • Cob Garden Wall
  • Cob Dog House or Play House

-          Bibliography

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