There are many people who want to build their own homes, inexpensively using natural building materials. Building homes with a mixture of earth (clay), sand and straw called cob is one way to build a home with a natural building technique on a very limited budget.There are cob building homes and villages in England, Wales, Yemen and other countries constituting one half the world population living in some kind of earthen homes. Those wanting to live off the grid can build a cob house using alternative energy sources.
In the United states cob building homes are growing in popularity. Many people with little or no building experience have been able to create cob homes for themselves. Some reasons cob building homes are gaining popularity are that it is easy to learn to build them, they are inexpensive, they can be very beautiful, they can be healthy and comfortable to live in and the building materials used are easy to find. Houses built with cob, stone and wood are very strong and weather resistant. Building a cob home lets you use design techniques and building materials that are earth friendly. You can design your own home the way you want it with curved walls, niches and built in furniture, and save money by having friends help you with the heavy lifting during the building process.
Cob homes are most successful when the people who build them have taken the work shops and classes on how to work with the natural building material. These work shops will help the potential home builders learn to design a home that functions well and looks attractive. They will learn that these homes need the appropriate technology to make the home function well for a family. Workshops will touch on plumbing, electrical service, heating, carpentry and solar and wind power as well as basic building techniques. The home owner will do part of the work themselves and hire help for things like electrical and plumbing.