Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cob House Built For Less Than $3,000

by Lloyd Alter, Toronto


Kent at Tiny House Blog notes that "you can build your own cob house with little money, but with lots of time and enthusiasm." He shows us 24 year-old Ziggy's cob (a mixture of straw, clay, and sand similar to adobe) with a footprint of 360 square feet built for under three thousand bucks. (Yes, that is $ 8.33 per square foot.)


Ziggy (shown above) calls it the GOBCOBATRON and built it at the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in Missouri. He provides a materials list:

* sand (just over 30 tons total) – $507
* gravel (about 13 tons total) – $177
* straw (16 bales) – $36 (most straw I used 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 (I couldn't believe how expensive nails are)
* raw linseed oil (for floor) – $72
* EPDM pond liner $622
* polycarbonate for skylight $400

Of course there is a price: Time. Ziggy notes that

I started digging a foundation on April 19, 2008, and moved into GOBCOBATRON on July 11, 2009. I effectively worked from April to November of 2008, and then April to June of this year. In total, I estimate that I spent nine months working on my house, full time.

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