Considering Building a Cob House?


Grandpa Carl's Old Adobe House
Grandpa Carl’s Old Adobe House

The first house made of mud that I ever saw was the one my Grandfather Carl Romelsbacher built in a little town called Meridian California.   He and his father along with uncles cousins and friends farmed the land together.  By hand my grandfather built an adobe brick house some 60+ years ago to raise his little family and today it still stands.   It now sits vacant and it has been through floods, shot up by teenagers, baked in the many long hot summers in the Sacramento Valley and wet winters to boot.  Yet it still stands.  I think the idea of building with natural materials was inspired by my grandfather’s choice.  Someday I hope my husband to build us our own little house made of mud and so I frequently am drawn to books that describe the process.

BuildACobHouseRecently I was given a book called “Build A Cob House A Step-By-Step Guide” by Alex Sumerall.  It’s one of the most thorough books on how to build a cob house I have ever read.  It covers everything from Site Selection, Materials, Foundations, how to make cob to the actual building of walls and dealing with the whole issue of windows and doors.  One of the things I was happily surprised to see was that he also added a section on earthen floors.  When my husband was a young potter he actually helped his mentor to build house with an earthen floor and I am still dreaming of the day we will build our own little dream house with one.  I have several cob building books but this one has great detailed photos and instructions so I truly believe with the book and maybe a tip or two from somebody with experience really any of us could build a cob house.  If you’re interested in “Build A Cob House” or Alex’s other books and more instructions check them out on This Cob House

If you’re dreaming of building your own cob house I can’t recommend this book highly enough.  So what do you think?  Ready to get building?


2 thoughts on “Considering Building a Cob House?”

  1. You may want to check out “The Hand-Sculpted House: A Practical and Philosophical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage’ by Ianto Evans and Linda Smiley – the run Cob Cottage Co. in Coquille, Oregon and they offer many classes etc. Check them out online.

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