Cob Homes: Artsy, Inexpensive To Build
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The rising cost of a commercially built home has placed owning a home out of reach of millions. Advocates of earth friendly construction methods have revived the inexpensive ancient art of building with cob.
What is Cob?
Cob is a mixture of straw, sand, dirt, clay and water. Finished cob structures look similar to adobe. Unlike traditional homes, cob structures can be built in wet and earthquake prone areas. The construction process does not require a large construction crew or complicated machinery. To make cob all you need are a few happy feet to help mix the ingredients on a tarp and several hands to shape the cob into balls.
Builders can be more creative and organic with these types of building materials. Where as wood-framed structures have to adhere to angles, cob windows, hallways and doorways can take on organic, abstract or geometric shapes. Cob structures are only limited by one’s imagination. Cob homes can imitate the look of a hobbit’s home or a modern adobe home.
Cob homes are long lasting and energy efficient.
Many cob houses have been known to last up to 500 years and are found in most types of environments and climates.
Cob walls are generally 2ft thick and exceed insulation ratings. During the summer, these houses are cooler and in the winter retain warmth efficiently. Maintaining and repairing cob structures are as easy as mixing more cob and applying it where needed.
Cob advocates say that cob homes can be built by just about anyone. Cob builders recommend taking a class to learn how to build structures safely and effectively.
The only down side to constructing a cob home is the time it takes to build your home. The larger the home the more time it takes. Locating an area that will grant you a permit to construct a cob home is also troublesome. There are few counties, cities and parishes that know about cob . As more and more states begin to understand sustainable building methods you maybe able to acquire a permit to erect your own cob cottage. Texas, New Mexico and Oregon are a few places that have cities and towns that allow cob homes.
To see examples of various cob homes click on the videos below: