What’s in store for 2010

by ziggy on January 1, 2010 -- 6 comments -- Follow

Winter is the time for planning for the year ahead, and there’s a number of building-related projects in the works for 2010.

Rocket stove overhaul

One of the biggest priorities is figuring out my home heating situation. The rocket stove clearly isn’t cutting it right now. It either needs some overhauling, or maybe even a complete redesign. I really hope I don’t have to take out the whole cob bed and bench, but I may have to forgo the rocket stove in favor of a masonry or cast iron stove if I cannot get the cob bed warm. I won’t be able to work on the stove until the spring, although I want to continue to research the possibilities this winter.

Create a mini mud room?

April has been pushing for something like a mini mud room extension on the house, or at least a second doorway. It would help in the wintertime to prevent cold air from rushing in so easily every time we open the front door. I’m not sure how this would work right now, but it’s something to consider. For example,  I don’t know how to extend the drainage trench to allow for a slightly extended foundation. There are a couple of potential design challenges. But it would be beneficial to have a sort of air trap.

Skylight upgrade

The single pane skylight needs a second pane. I could either spend another $400 on a piece of polycarbonate, which is a pretty big expense (especially relative to the cost of the cob house!), or try to find another piece of material to make a second pane. Either way, it needs to be done!

Install gutters?

The living roof does not have gutters. Any time it rains more than the soil can soak up, the rainwater sheds off of the roof. At times, it is quite heavy. It would be great to figure out how to set up some gutters on the roof to catch the runoff and store it. It’s a bit tricky with the eave design, but I keep imagining hand-carved wooden downspouts… although I have no idea how to do that…

Build a kitchen!

My friends and I have started to build a kitchen, and this is clearly the biggest building project for 2010. There are lots of details to work out this winter, and lots of construction work once it warms up!

2010 is going to be another big year for building.

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  • Eric (Knobbly)

    Great Blog Ziggy- I always love it when my Google reader says there is an update 🙂

    The mudroom- you could make it from light clay or even uninsulated boards- wouldn’t need much of a foundation if it is only a mudroom. You won’t be living in it.

    The skylight- if you put the second pane under the first, you can use regular glass. The plexiglass above it will protect it from hail. And glass is a lot cheaper and easier to scavenge.

    Just my two yen.
    Eric from Japan

  • There are a couple of difficulties I foresee with putting something under the current polycarbonate. The gap would be quite large between the two panes and quite difficult to seal, I think. I don’t know how I would attach the glass to the tire from the bottom… maybe something is possible, but I would have to look at it carefully when I get back home…

    Thanks for reading, Eric. I appreciate your comments.

  • abby

    Hello just would like to know if this type of building would withstand snow, rain and cold weather?

  • anne

    for the gutters there is a tool called a gutter adze, an adze that has a deeper curve and a skinnier body than a regular adze. you halve a small log, adze it out and hang it under the eaves on an angle with a rain barrel and there ya go. If you want to drink the rainwater i hear it’s best to place a few stones and some silver cutlery in the water to mineralize it.

  • Frank Hanlan

    Have you thought about creating a proposal for funding to go to Haiti to teach people how to build cob houses? Also, I wonder if you could build composting toilets out of cob? That way one multi-hole toliet could serve for a group of people.

  • Becky Sue

    It’s great to see a detailed blog like this! I was researching cob homes and your chronicle of building has been very helpful. Keep up the hard work!

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