One of my dreams is to build my own cob house and only came to know about these wonderful economical and eco-friendly homes relatively recently. There are many different variations of the vernacular across the country and I was surprised to find that they were not restricted to the west country where the bulk of cob building remains. In my brief research over the last year some of the fascinating things I picked up along the way were the finding of the geological map and then through a program on canals the story of the man behind the map. Also from this online map the locations of bore holes and the documentation of these going back into the 1930’s fascinating stuff as one can see the composition of a certain local area more exciting information.
As part of the bigger plan it has become a bit of an obsession to build my own house. Now I am in no way oblivious to the pitfalls of this and also the effort needed to take it from idea to finished home. I certainly don’t have rose tinted specs and living in la la land is not my idea of fun. I wouldn’t put myself down as one of the tree hugging brigade and no offence to them but I am certainly seeing a new perspective from the received practices and wisdoms of our elders and the banking institutions; there is no such thing as good debt. The idea of owning a huge home and more importantly the huge mortgage is now so alien that I would do anything to avoid it. The main stumbling block to all these high falooting plans is getting land and a plot that one can build on suitably once the local building codes and regulations have been observed and adhered to. I do realise and agree with the fact that there needs to be a kind of order or the country(side) we love will be concreted over. I do wish that there was some more vision from the powers that be to assist the home builder in their dreams, rather than weakly or lazily giving into the corporate property companies. If one was somewhat cynical then it could be construed as control but as I am not a conspiracy theorist I think it is just the lack of vision.
When I first started out looking at the tiny living movement I looked towards the west and US and Canada for inspiration as to me the bulk of the information was coming from there. What triggered the journey of self discovery was randomly seeing a tweet one day on Tiny House Talk got me trawling the internet for all things tiny living. Having grown up in a pretty large family home and then subsequently lived in more than amply proportioned houses/flats others have asked why oh why do I want to go an live in a cardboard box? My answer is why wouldn’t I? Then listing off the cost and finance of large home living etc even down to not having to buy toilet paper for (n) bathrooms. I really like what is going on over there and think that the more grass roots level projects that get going the better. To just have that SPACE is, in the true meaning of the word, awesome. Having visited Canada last year and seen from a Europeans eyes the scale of it and the space it just blew my mind and on my return realised that space does have an effect on psyche and I definitely want to return one day to explore more. For some time I did wonder if I would ever be able to follow the dream over here thinking that it would be too difficult in the current “climate” but to my amazement I found a small tiny house community developing. You can’t keep a good idea and people down!
So how does this tie in with the Cob house? Well I am suspecting that although it would be a lot cheaper to build a TinyHome in the long run the need for a nomadic lifestyle would wain on me, this said out of someone with no experience of TinyHomeLiving (if you are not already listening to Tiny House Chat, you should be. However the alternative dream of own and building my own Cob home is going to be a much bigger and way more costly project. Like everything else I have done before I will research loads more until I can come up with a balanced justification for either project. But building ones own house with ones own hands to ones own plans has got to be a pretty amazing goal to achieve. What would you do?