Electric pipes in a cob house

You can wait till you have built your cob house to install your electric pipes. This gives you a bit more freedom to place them once you have more of a feel for the room, but it means cutting out channels of rock hard cob, which is not easy, and then re-cobbing over them to…

Home made Scaffolding and Ladders

You can easily make your own scaffolding and ladders from wood if you do not want to use the metal commercially available ones. If you use a strong hard wood then they should last many years and serve you many building projects. We made some of the basic scaffolding below two years ago, they have…

How to build with cob

Building with cob is really easy. Anyone can learn in a few minutes and it just takes a bit of guidance as you go up the wall to make sure everything is on track. First up, for your first layer you are going to need a bucket of clay slip. This is made with filtered…

Making Lime Earth Paint

We have recently rendered the whole outside of our house with a natural finish made from clay, sand, cow poo and linseed oil. You can see the whole testing and application process here  Unfortunately, when working with cow poo on a large house, you are going to experience inconsistencies, mainly related to the cow poo….

How to make a stone road

Some guys were making a road next to our house recently, so I made sure to keep track of the stages of their work. They are using natural stones to build this section of road, and no machinery. First get your stones ready. For this style of road you will need your flat stones, and…

How to make Cob with a tractor

A good cob is made from 70-85% coarse sand (not beach sand) and 15-30% clay. If you are building a big house, or need to build quickly, then you may consider making your cob with a tractor rather than by foot. I have not made cob by foot whilst making a full house but I…

Make cob by foot

Making cob by foot is really easy. If you have a tarp and spades that is preferable but not essential. Firstly get your sand and clay ready. A good cob is made from between 70-85% sand and 15-30% clay with long straw or other available fibre, and water. Mix you clay and sand together till…

Can you use Tadelakt on a clay block wall?

If you would like to know whether it is possible to apply the Moroccan, natural bathroom finish ‘Tadelakt’ to a modern material such as a clay block wall, then we have done some small tests just for you. Tadelakt Test Conclusion…for those who just want the answer. Our small test on some blocks resulted as…

How to fit frames to cob AFTER building the walls

If possible I would recommend building your window and door frames before starting your walls, that way you can build up to and around them and keep everything nice and flush. However with the construction method we are using at this site this was not posible for the doors at least. The windows can be…

Can you fit vents to a cob wall

Yes. And actually, if you have them ready whilst you are doing you final render you can push them in to the wall a bit to make them absolutely flush. Also make sure to tilt the vent forward a bit to make sure that any water landing on top will fall away from the wall…