Updated: Aug 8
If you feel the pull of a more simple, inexpensive and idyllic life, if you dream of getting up in the morning in a home that you designed and built, of not having to work every hour that god sends just to pay the bills, if you're worried about the cost and restrictions of a "normal" self build house, then a cob home may be for you.
Contrary to popular belief you would not be slumming it. You can create the home you dream of for the fraction of the price of a standard home.
So what is a cob house. Cob is a mixture of clay, sand, gravel, straw and water that makes the most amazingly durable and eco friendly structure – no artificial materials – just beautiful earth.
So then, what makes a cob house SO special? Here are 5 great reasons to make your own cob home
1. Cheap to build:
You don’t have to buy-in many of the materials that make up the main structure . In my house the walls cost £60, you are after all walking on most of them. They’re found everywhere – literally found under your feet – all for free. Even the planning process can be much more friendly as cob is so super green, it is often looked upon favourably by planners. In addition you don’t need specialised house-builders. On my 4 day course you’ll learn everything you need to know to build your own beautiful home.
2. Cheap to run
Cob houses are incredibly energy efficient which combined with strawbale or other super insulative materials , and designed and built making use of passive solar gain principles. During the day the walls and floor absorb sunlight and store it until nighttime when the heat is released – a bit like a natural night storage heater but without the electricity required to run it. For this reason, you’ll need to spend very little on heating your home. And because the walls regulate heat absorption very effectively the house stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter. You’ll no longer have to worry about rising heating costs. Your pocket will thank you.
3. Good for the environment
Because a cob home is built from natural materials which don’t need heat treatment, much of it found on-site, embodied energy due to construction techniques, transportation of materials and construction waste are negligible. And for the reasons outlined in point 2, the environmental impact of heating your home is also vastly reduced.
4. Long lasting
Cob is infinitely more long lasting than “standard construction” houses. The oldest known cob construction is over 10,000 years old. Can you imagine one of todays “boxes” lasting even a 20th of that time??? Which is why so many people are switching to cob and bale.
A cob building is naturally durable and, built correctly with a 45cm over hanging roof, and a luscious lime render, can withstand anything the weather chucks at it. Sure, like any property a cob house needs care, attention and upkeep, but it’s a labour of love. It’s all yours. Speaking of which…
5. Beautiful, Bespoke and designed by you
If you build your own cob home, you can make it look any way you want; straight or curved walls, square shaped, rectangular or oval, a spiral staircase, round windows, the list goes on and on. You don’t need to compromise on your dream at all as cob is so wonderfully malleable. And it will be in a setting that you have chosen, surrounded by beautiful countryside and birdsong. Your home will be truly unique.
So there we are – 5 brilliant reasons to build your own cob home. Cob homes may be an ancient way of building, and they may have many benefits but if you were to build your own cob home I think you could still be regarded as a pioneer; for the environment and in home design.
Don’t forget to book on my 4 day cob course to learn everything you need to know to build your own unique home without breaking the bank.