Recipe for Building a Cob House

Over the past nine months we have been following Brian or Ziggy as his friends call him build his cob house. You can check out the last two posts on the build here and here.

Ziggy emailed me Friday night to tell me he has completed his home and moved in and has set up a page with a recipe for building a cob house on his blog. Here it is in a nut shell:

With $3000 for supplies and nine months of full time labor, Ziggy was able to build GOBCOBATRON, a small cob house with interior dimensions of roughly 15’x13′, and a footprint of (again, roughly) 20’x18′. Practically all of the labor was completed by hand (and foot!), including making and applying all of the cob.


Here’s what Ziggy actually bought, and what he paid for in building supplies:

  • 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

and for the rocket stove:

  • firebricks – $70
  • flue pipe – $228

It’s true… you can build your own cob house with little money, but with lots of time and enthusiasm. There’s nothing quite like the experience of building your own home with little more than your hands.

Visit Ziggy’s blog for the complete story.

Thanks Ziggy for sharing your journey with us in building your cob house.



by Kent Griswold (Tiny House Blog)

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12 Comments Recipe for Building a Cob House

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  4. Brand

    Awesome house and link! I am constantly amazed at what people can do with their own two hands. I would love to build a cottage like this in the Rockies (perhaps with a different roof design). What a perfect getaway, or even a year off.

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  8. Brett

    My favorite detail here is what seems to be the two mini-shelves built along the cross-section of the wall, inside the triangular window.

    Anybody know if there’s a specific purpose there, or if it’s solely an embellishment? A mailbox, maybe?

  9. Alex

    The link to see the story has a malware/virus report in it and is considered an “attach page”. There is malicious activity on the link. Please go to Google Webmaster Tools. More information about the review process is available in Google’s Webmaster Help Center.

    Please get this fixed, we want to see the linked story! :)

    1. Kent Griswold

      I have deleted the old link and put a clean link in. It is working for me. Please let me know if you still have problems.

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