5 Disadvantages of Cob Construction

Building a Cob House is a fantastic option to choose among modern building techniques. Cob construction is about efficiency. Cob houses are small and based around basic needs.

A cob house is built with resources found around it. That includes timber, gravel, sand, and stones. Cob house has that natural, romantic look and creative design, as it can be formed to any shape imaginable. It has an excellent thermal mass, so it absorbs the sun’s heat to keep it warm throughout the day.

It will be heated in the winter and cool in the summer. There is nothing more satisfying than building your own house with your bare hands. Cob houses are stable and durable and can last for longer than wooden constructions.

The acoustic insulation is also brilliant, and they are entirely fireproof. But there are a few disadvantages that you need to consider before starting a project of building a cob house.

1. The cob building process is prolonged, and it takes up to 15 months to allow all construction phases to dry. And even after drying, it can take several months for cob house to finish shrinking, which is a natural process when it comes to cob building.

2. Only a few builders are skilled in constructing or repairing cob house. They know that it can take a while to build a cob house because each layer has to dry, so it is a time-consuming process, especially if you are doing all construction by yourself.

Note: It can take an entire season to build, so you need to do some proper planning. Using straw-bales for your walls can help you build faster and reduce costs.

3. Cracks can appear at the corners of the old cob house for plenty of reasons, such as rotting or cracking in the timber frame of the roof structure. Cracks can occur when there is shifting in the stone foundation caused by a poorly built base.

4. Cracks in the cob walls may occur due to failure in the roof structure. These cracks may cause eventual structural failure. Another thing to consider is getting a permit to build a cob house.

5. In some places, you might have trouble with licenses for this kind of construction work. When discussing the disadvantages of cob building, it is evident that it is a very labor-intensive way to build things as the harvesting of materials is done locally.

If you want to avoid some serious physical labor, this is not something that you will enjoy. In this process, the house will be built from the ground up, rather than assembled like a conventional construction.

If you want to make some muscles but don’t like going to the gym, you will love cob building.

Cob houses are more creative and have a personal touch. With cobbing, new builders can become master masons as the wall goes up, but before you do, make a good construction plan and study all the advantages and disadvantages of cob construction.

Image courtesy to: Petr Adam Dohnálek