Just a little cob dream.

The husband and I have been tinkering with the idea of downsizing our home.  Just pulling up stakes and moving on to something different.  He’s been really touched by the little house movement, and I – well, I just love a new adventure.

So we’ve I’ve recently been looking at properties for sale, what’s out there, affordable land to purchase.  And although there may be lots out there, just the cost of building a house seems completely out of our reach.

The other day I turned to Google for advice and inspiration.  I typed in, “How to build a house on cash.”  First Google took a long time to laugh in my face.  Then, as I was scrolling through the links provided, I kept running into one word.  Over and over again.


Yep, I never heard of a “cob” house.  I immediately imagined delicious, juicy corn on the cob, sitting on the front porch with butter dripping off my hands and a nice tall glass of cold sun tea by my side on a hot, clear sunny day, and burgers on the BBQ.

Wait a minute.  WHAT?  What the heck is a cob house?

It may have killed the cat, but my curiosity opened up a whole world of possibilities to me.

Here, guys, feast your eyes on this cob house:


Isn’t she dreamy??  Sigh…

So, behold my new obsession: the cob house.

But what is a cob house, really??  Well, here’s Wikipedia’s definition:

Cob, cobb or clom (in Wales) is a natural building material made from subsoil, water, some kind of fibrous organic material (typically straw), and sometimes lime. The contents of subsoil naturally vary, and if it does not contain the right mixture it can be modified with sand or clay.

Gah, that sounds boring.  So let me dress it up a bit: a cob house is basically a house made out of a mixture of free or very readily and affordable available materials (sand, clay, dirt, straw, water), similar to an adobe house.

Did you miss it?  The part about the materials are free.. ?  Ahhhh, that’s my favorite color, you guys!!!

The more I obsessed researched, the more in love I fell.  And the more I realized the possibilities are endless.  Really.

You can build a 2-story cob house:


You can have rounded walls:


You can put colored glass right in the walls for a stained glass, cathedral type look:


Granted, some of these are a bit much, but still.

The fact that it’s very feasible to build a normal-sized house for waaaaay less than the average $200,000 bare-bones new construction so appeals to me.

That’s my new dream.

I’m reminded that I never really much enjoy going with the flow of things.  The little rebellious girl inside me kinda always wants to do something different.  And I’m never really satisfied with the “that’s the way things are”mentality.  I mean, seriously, there has to be a better way to live than to be in the cycle of going to work to pay for the house and the stuff that you have, and paying for conveniences so you can go to work some more.

That’s why I really think I stumbled upon a way we can very reasonably (with a lot of sweat equity), live in a house designed and built by the Merrill clan, for the Merrill clan, which is paid for or with a very manageable loan, and which will last for years and years and years. And one other thing about cob houses: they’re healthy. As in “organic.” A house built of just organic, natural materials rather than synthetic, chemical-filled and chemical leaching materials that are harmful to humans (and their pets). For more on this, click here. We have to watch out for our health in EVERY way, guys!

Please stay tuned as I research more on this subject and continue on the path of figuring out how this little cob dream can become a reality.


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