When Ziggy of The Year of Mud began designing his house in 2008, his primary goals were to keep building costs low and to obtain as many of his building materials as possible locally. He definitely achieved his goals in the creation of this gorgeous cob home.
Cob building is an ancient technique that utilizes a mixture of sand, clay, and straw, which is then sculpted, or often stomped (yes, with your feet), into place to create structures. It makes a surprisingly durable home building material that can withstand all kinds of weather extremes. As you can see with this home, a cob home can be shaped and customized beautifully.
Here’s a breakdown of the costs that went into Ziggy’s “GOBCOBATRON”:
– sand (just over 30 tons total) – $507
– gravel (about 13 tons total) – $177
– straw (16 bales) – $36 (most was free)
– black walnut scrap lumber – $100
– misc. lumber – $20
– windows – $220 (two casement, one double hung window)
– electrical – $28
– galvanized wire – $30
– nails – $100
– raw linseed oil (for floor) – $72
– EPDM pond liner $622
– polycarbonate for skylight $400
and for the rocket stove:
– firebricks – $70
– flue pipe – $228
Though the costs are small, the work involved is significant. The home took about 9 months of nearly full time labor to complete. Still, the end result is absolutely gorgeous, on the inside and out. At 360 square feet, it has a small footprint but still plenty of room to be a comfortable living space.
I stomped 219 batches of cob* for the walls by foot, with the help of over 75 work exchangers, visitors, and friends throughout the year. The cob bed and bench took nearly 20 more batches of cob, almost 1/10 of the material it took to build the house itself!
Read more about the process involved in building this gem at The Year of Mud. Be sure to check out the slideshow of all the process pictures!