Cob is an ancient building material, which is made by mixing together clay, sand, straw and water. Since ages, the material has been used to construct houses. You can find cob homes in many places around the world, including Africa, the Middle East, Wales, Devon, Ireland, Cornwall, Brittany, as well as the countryside of the United Kingdom. Cob houses are easy to build and environmental friendly. Since natural materials are used to build such a house, you do not have to spend much to construct one for yourself. With the instructions given in the article, learn how to build a cob house.
Building A Cob Home
- First, choose a site where you want to construct your cob house. The location should provide the best exposure to sun and storm drainage.
- Make a rough sketch of the size, design and features needed for your cob home, depending upon your activities. Have a broad idea about the number of rooms you want in your cob house and how you want to inter-connect them.
- Have an idea of the number of doors and windows for your cob house. In addition to this, make a sketch of how the roof of the house is going to be supported.
- After drawing the sketches, it is the time to kick-start the task of building the cob home. First, get all the on-site supplies, including rocks, gravel, rubble and pipes.
- Figure out what needs to be added to the soil, to get the best cob mix for your house. Calculate the amounts of sand, clay soil, water and straw to make the cob.
- Clear the location and level it down, for making the foundation. Dig drainage and foundation trenches. Lay the drainpipe and insulation.
- Next, build a solid foundation for your cob house. For the purpose, dig a trench along the areas where you want to raise the walls of the house.
- The foundation should be made by making use of rocks, gravel and rubble. Stack them at a depth of several feet, so that the foundation remains firm.The cob home should be atop a sturdy base.Therefore, the foundation's surface should be jagged.
- Frame the roof for the house. You may do it either on permanent or on temporary posts.
- It is the time to build the home's walls. For the purpose, make use of quality cob bricks. You should stagger the bricks, so that their edges do not form neat lines.
- The walls should be either vertical or tapered. Be sure not to leave big bulges or hollows in them. As you go on building the walls of the home, set pipes, wires, outlets and junction boxes to them.
- Let the walls to dry for sometime. Now, it is the time to build windows. Bury wooden anchors in the walls so that, later on, you will be able to attach door frames, shelving etc.
- Now, add a floor roof to the walls. Next, you may do the ceiling work. Once the walls, floor and roof are built, it is the time to finish the interiors.
- Apply interior plaster and lay a final coat on the floor. Once the plaster is completely dry, apply lime wash or a natural paint. You may also plaster the exteriors.
- Hire a contractor to install the plumbing and electrical systems for your newly constructed cob home.