Fall is for Cob Benches & Outhouses

by ziggy on September 6, 2016 -- 0 comments -- Follow

Framing the outhouse

Putting roof decking on the new outhouse

Our first official natural building project on the land this year is an outhouse. Ha! I kinda love that. Right now we’re in the midst of framing a small two stall outhouse that will be one of the site projects for work & learning during our upcoming Natural Building Essentials workshop. This outhouse is going to get a pretty special treatment in the form of light clay straw walls and a clay plaster finish. The finished product should be pretty de-luxe.

Simple outhouse foundationThe outhouse is, in my opinion, essential infrastructure for community / rural / homestead livin’. It’s a humble piece of infrastructure, yet it’s also very important in the nutrient cycle. Even though we don’t spend a lot of time every day in the outhouse, I think it should be an enjoyable few minutes, not something you dread because it’s nasty and dreary.

For me, the building also represents a creative and pretty low stakes opportunity to do some fun natural walls and natural plaster finishes.

The outhouse is/will be primarily be built out of rough-sawn lumber, reclaimed flooring, some stones & gravel for the foundation, straw, clay, and if we’re lucky… wood shakes for the roof. (If we can’t pull off the shakes, we have some old roofing metal — not as exciting, alas, but we’ll see…)

Outhouse 2x4 framing

We’re using rough-sawn lumber for framing the walls, just to keep it spicy

During the workshop, we’re also going to build a cob bench on the front porch of the house. We’ve prepared the “foundation” for the bench already. It’s hard to call it a foundation because the front porch is one of those raised concrete slab deals… so basically that is the foundation, and the stones simply lift the cob off the surface of the porch floor. I hope this bench will be a good example of how to incorporate natural building into existing conventional homes.

Dry stacking stone foundation

Stacking stones for the cob bench “foundation” on the front porch

I really like small natural building projects such as these every once in a while… manageable, highly achievable, and lots of room for creativity.

Dry stacking stone foundation - top view

Hmm… sorta looks like a sock, no?

Send Me More Updates Like This!

Previous post:

Next post: