cob house building

What is a cob house?

What is a cob house?

Welcome. Today we will learn about a cobb house or a Clom house (Welsh). This is a natural building material that has been here for years, spanning many places, continents and time periods. Cob is a natural building material that is made from soil or clay, straw and water. It can also have some lime in it, and some people also use sand. You will be able to find cob house plans online as well as specialist cob house builders for the task ahead. 

clom house

clom house

What is cob made from?

What is a cob house made of? Cobb is made from subsoil (clay), sand and water. There is a specific ratio of these ingredients which could also depend on the quality of the ingredients, and the amount you have at a certain time, so the good thing is that you can always add more, or take some away if you have too much. 

What does the word Cob mean?

The first use of the word Cob has been traced to around 1600’s England. The generally agreed meaning is to ‘beat’ or ‘strike’, this would be attested to the way the materials are mixed together – often by using the feet to stamp it together and mix it. Of course the first cob homes were created long before this, possibly 11th century or older.

Where can build a cob house?

If you own the land you are wanting to build the cob house on, it is very likely you will be able to build a cob house on it. You may have to get planning permission from some places. The good thing about a cob house is that if you have any ECO based building regulations, because of the nature of this building material it often passes planning  with flying colours because it is so carbon friendly, and even carbon capturing. Where to build a cob home is often a hard decision to make

Where are cob homes used most?

The earliest examples of cob homes are in Afghanistan and warmer cooler countries, this is because they provide a lot of cool air within them, so it is well ventilated. 

How to make a cob house

Generally to make a cob house, you need a foundation made out of wood, and then you can fill in this space with your cob mixture. This will dry incredibly strong and be very effective in the making of a brilliant home. Check out for more info

cob house building

cob house building

You can also use stones to make the wall structure, and then fill it in with the cob. 

In England, there is a lot of chalk in the soil, so this gives the cob a white chalky look, and is sometimes called wychert. 

How long does it take to build a cob house?

Building a cob house could take longer than building a regular house because you need to mix the ingredients yourself, but the reality is, sand and cement also need mixing and bricks need precise measuring, so the time kind of evens out and it ends up not taking much longer than a regular house with bricks.

How to build a cob house?

Learn here how to build a cob house if you do not want to find a cob house for sale. How to build a cob house instructions are hard to find so I will be showing you how to build a cob house step by step.

Cob house how to: 

  1. Prepare site, so this means clearing the area
  2. Pour foundation, your foundation is very important because it sets the parameters for the whole house
  3. Complete the rough framing
  4. Complete electrics, and plumbing
  5. Install the insulation
  6. Complete the walls, and interiors
  7. Finish interiors and lime washing the exterior. 

You may be able to find out how to build a cob house step by step pdf.

How to build a cob house foundation?

You do need a strong foundation in order to build a good cob house, check out this video for how to build a modern cob foundation.

Benefits of a Cob house?

Interestingly there are so many benefits of having a cob house. This time honoured method of building really speaks for itself in the amount of positive uses it has – let’s go through a few of them now:

  • Fireproof. Fire cob is fireproof. Generally if you make it without the straw, it is totally fireproof, as it is really just unfired clay if you think about it so it is very resistant to heat. Because of this it is often used when making chimneys, forges and fireplaces. 
  • Thick Walls – This is an easy way to recognise a cobb home is the thick walls, these homes generally have a wall that is 60cm thick, so this keeps in the heat very well in the winter and the sun out in the summer. 

How long does a cob house last

The oldest cob house is 10000 years old. Hopefully this can give you an idea opf how long they can last if well looked after! This will be reliant on if the roof is maintained properly and the general property maintained well, and is patched when necessary. Modern cob houses will also last this long if maintained because the materials have not changed over this time. 

cobb house living roof

cobb house living roof

Although made of soil and water and straw, cob does not wash away once it is set. Think of it like brick in its material type.  

How to weatherproof a cob home

Using lime plaster will waterproof your home, as well as being a natural material it is also breathable and lets the air in and out which means it will reduce dampness.

How to add cob to my home that has siding

The lime would waterproof it, as well as this it has an overlapping roof which will protect from the most rain. 

Where to build a cob home in the us

If you own the land in the US you can build a cob home on your land as long as you get permission and have a good place to build. Cob house UK is a similar process. 

How to use the earth to cool a cob home

A cob home is a naturally heated and cooled place. In the summer, the walls will store an amount of heat, and not let any more through. Because the walls are often 60cm+ thick this is also beneficial at keeping the heat in or out. 

How much to build a cob house

A house on the small side would set you back around  20 to $50000 dollars, this is for a smaller hobby style home that is still liveable. The price ranges because you may want to do this all yourself, or get people in to help. It is really up to you and your level of confidence with this. Cob house Cost is very dependent on your materials, experience and size of house. Cob house for sale range a lot considering that they are in all parts of the world, spanning the globe. So there is not really one price that i can quote because there is not just one!

Cob house grand designs

You may have seen on grand designs a magnificent looking cob house. It retails at around Cob house cost £1million points, and we can see why. It is full of magnificent features including a living roof, plenty of windows and solar panels which really accentuates the fact it is great for the environment.