Today when to get a bank loan for a house seems to be almost unreal, it is good to know about other possibilities of building one`s own house with little money and much fun. A dream? Interestingly, no!
Apparently the best houses existed long ago, but along with industrialisation we lost this possibility to live in homes that would really make our life both comfortable and naturally enjoyable.
Let`s think why do we build square houses? A square form does not exist in the nature and in fact everybody hates corners 🙂 Normally people try to put a plant or a piece of furniture in the corner in order to “round ” the place. You may suggest that obviously to built a square house is technically much easier than any other form. But this is not true!! Just see what a wonder exists on this Earth and that already for a long time:
A Cob House
What is cob? Cob is a building material composed of clay, sand, and straw. Cob has been a traditional building process for millennia, even in rainy and windy climates like the British Isles, where many cob buildings still serve as family homes after hundreds of years. Many old cob buildings can be found in Africa, the Middle East, Wales, Devon, Ireland, Cornwall, Brittany and some parts of the eastern United States.
A Cob Cottage might be the ultimate expression of ecological design, a structure attuned to its surroundings like “an ecstatic house”. Cob (the word comes from an Old English root, meaning “lump”) is a mixture of non-toxic, recyclable, and often free materials. Building with cob requires no forms, no cement, and no machinery of any kind.
Isn`t is lovely? I would immediately move in!
What fascinates me about cob houses:
- Cob is very durable and requires little upkeep. They say: “It won’t burn, bugs won’t eat it, and it’s dirt cheap.” Additionally, it’s non-toxic, creates no waste, and requires minimal tools to construct.
- cob building is not about mud huts and primitivity. It is sophisticated technology to break free of the financial trap and general insanity of today’s wasteful McHouses.
- Builders sculpt their structures by hand: Instead of creating uniform blocks to build with, cob is normally applied by hand in large gobs (or cobs) which can be tossed from one person to another during the building process.
- It is amazing that literary everyone can built such a house, with very little training – and even children and elderly people can contribute as no heavy work is involved! The traditional way of mixing the clay/sand/straw is with the bare feet; for this reason, it is fairly labor intensive.
- The building process is very meditative and working with clay has a healing effect (people report getting cured from allergies only by working on such a house because of such clay-therapy)
- Apparently a small house can be built within one year at a coast of 5.000 (!) Dollars.
What I like the most about this idea is not only the natural origin and look of it, but also the possibility to create some rounded furniture with my own hands! -it feels expremely cosy and cute:
Another great point is that cob houses are not only compatible with their surroundings, they are their surroundings, literally rising up from the earth. They are full of light, energy-efficient, and cozy, with curved walls and built-in, whimsical touches.
Those who know me and my sophisiticated lifestyle will probably hardly belive I would go for building a cob house with my own hands, but I really would! I would probably decorate it in oriental/fairy style, and make a small design-wonder out of it… But I will definetely built one, together with my family. And then … everyone`s invited! 🙂
And seriously, if things will get worse with that crisis, the idea of a cob house will apprear as a healthy and probably the only alternative!
Here are some good links to get inspired: