The end of the building season & a retrospective

by ziggy on November 24, 2008 -- 2 comments -- Follow


This is the official end of the 2008 building season for me. I am in New Jersey for the holidays. The work site has been cleaned up, the house has been sealed, and the EPDM pond liner has been tied down.

I didn’t quite meet my goal of finishing a cob house in a single season. Here’s what remains for next year (in rough sequence):

  • Finishing the living roof (constructing an edge board, creating a soil retaining system, loading soil onto roof)
  • Finish interior plaster
  • Finish floor layer
  • Build rocket stove and cob bed and bench
  • Finish exterior plaster


I figure this work shouldn’t take very long, especially since much of it is indoor and could happen during rain or shine.

I must say that I am very satisfied with what has been accomplished since April. The overwhelming bulk of the work has been completed. I will never forget the incredible rains of this year, and how much torment it caused me at times; I have many (fond?) memories of waking up at 3 a.m. during a thunderstorm to make sure the tarps were still covering my cob walls.

I owe many thanks to the dozens of people who have helped me this year. I have kept a list of everyone who has helped in some form, and it totals over 60 names. Dozens more have passed through my work site on tours and expressed their excitement and wonder, which has always felt inspirational and motivating to me.

But it ain’t over just yet. Once the weather warms again, I’ll be out there again.

The Year of Mud continues.


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  • Great work Ziggy! Congratulations. You’ve really done a great job and you should feel really proud of yourself. Not only did you create a beautiful building, just think about all the hands-on learning you’ve done. Takes time, dedication and a hell of a lot of hard work.

    It’s been fun watching your project. I look forward to next year, when it warms up a bit. It’s that time of year… brrrr. A perfect time to imagine the rocket stove that will keep you warm next winter.

  • Wow Ziggy! You are living my dream! I have been wanting to build a cob house for five years, but one thing or another has always held me back. But reading your blog has been almost like doing it myself. I am still holding on to my dream, and I hope to build my own cob building someday soon. Maybe when the kids are old enough to help out… 🙂 Keep up the good work, and I will keep watching for the updates.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with all of us!

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