new videos
hot off the press!  
    more about rocket
mass heaters here.

more videos from
the PDC here.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Virginia Cobbers?  RSS feed

 
Jeff East
Posts: 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I know it's getting late in the year now, but I am hoping to find some folks here in southwestern Virginia that have built or are currently building a cob structure. My wife & I are hoping to get ours underway within the next year or two, and would like to learn locally!
 
Gary Mosher
Posts: 12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Jeff. We live in south central virginia, if you ever find any workshops or need some inexperienced help let me know. I am a carpenter by trade but would love to build a cob house and outdoor oven.
 
Marianne Cicala
gardener
Posts: 676
Location: south central VA 7B
82
bee books forest garden fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey guys - nice to see fellow VAian. We have a pole barn that we want to cob & enclose. With the clay in south central VA it should to be perfect but the weather's turning and it's suppose to be a cold/wet winter, so we're going to give it a go in the spring....hopefully. If you beat us to it and cob a structure, we'd love to hear about it, or if you want to come and attempt it with us, this structure would be perfect as it's roofed so a lot of the building issues would not exist. Glad to see locals.
 
Amanda Wilson
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello!

I have no experience with cob but I REALLY want to learn and get involved- I dream of building a cob house for myself one day! I am a student at James Madison University in northwestern virginia. This is my last semester, but after December I will be free and I would LOVE to help someone/learn cob first-hand. I'm looking for wwoofing/cobbing opportunities for after graduation. If I could be of any help, let me know!
 
Jeff East
Posts: 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for the feedback guys, I am glad to see that we are not totally alone out here. I spent some time today walking the property, it's about 2.5 acres in a former cow pasture, reasonably level ground and most of the old fencing is still intact. I have yet to do soil samples but I feel pretty good about the quality of the earth here. The new question that I have is as you can see the land is pretty exposed, and vulnerable to some mighty breezes that whistle down the valley. What is a good way to shield the house from the winds and still maintain the view? I was thinking that since the winds here come from the West, and the house would be facing South, the rear wall could be straw bale faced with thick cob and maybe even sone reinforcing field stones, we have tons. Anyway, still in the sketching out process. Hope to meet more Virginia cobbers here, I would love to get a group together when it comes time to start the cob dancing!

 
Chris Griffin
Posts: 54
Location: Eastern edge of the Blue Ridge Mnts. Virginia
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just wanted to throw my name in the mix here. My wife and I live in the area referred to as Southside about 15 miles NE of Danville. I am planning a RMH and have quite a collection of the old oven bricks form discarded tobacco barns. We have clay and rock all over our micro farm and I am just looking to save money and use what I have. Chris
 
Jason Taylor
Posts: 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My wife and I are looking for some rural land within an hour of Richmond to set up our homestead. We are strongly considering cob, but I am a bit nervous about the potential code battles. We would love to get out from under our current mortgage, and build our own house out of the resources that we have available to us. I would love to hear of any other Virginians that have been able to get a cob house built legally, or any loopholes that you have found.

Jason
 
Chris Griffin
Posts: 54
Location: Eastern edge of the Blue Ridge Mnts. Virginia
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jason Taylor wrote:My wife and I are looking for some rural land within an hour of Richmond to set up our homestead. We are strongly considering cob, but I am a bit nervous about the potential code battles. We would love to get out from under our current mortgage, and build our own house out of the resources that we have available to us. I would love to hear of any other Virginians that have been able to get a cob house built legally, or any loopholes that you have found.

Jason


I have not built with COB yet, and suspect that there would be a lot of hassles with regard to inspections. The problem that you are going to have is getting engineers and architects on board. Remember, you are wanting to do this as inexpensively as possible. What caught my attention is that you want to stay with-in an hour of Richmond. I think you are going to find it more economical to extend your distance. Based on property values if you want to spend less and get out from under a mortgage you have to move west. Consider 2 hours. Places like Pittsylvania, Halifax, Charlotte, even parts of Henry and Franklin. We came out here from Virgina Beach in 2007 and found a 5 acre micro farm with 4 out buildings and a tiny house for $58,000. The issues? We are in the worst possible area for good doctors (in the state), and we have to drive at least 30 minutes to find reasonable shopping. It took some time to get used to, but now we go shopping once a month or just use the local country store. Remember when you leave the city your lifestyle will change and can change dramatically. It can be a good experience or a nightmare. We have seen people come and go pretty quickly simply because life was no longer convenient. I think that people wanting to do what we are doing have to have a bit of the Pioneer spirit in them. It has been tough sometimes, but it has also been rewarding. Don't plan on a COB house right away, first maybe try a small COB out building with no services. Look at how buildings were built 200 years ago. Not necessarily the materials that were used, but the layouts of the Homesteads. I am not talking about the large plantations, but the common farmer and pioneer family that only had what they brought with them, what they grew or what they made. I have more fun days here than work days, but I also love to be outside and love being with my animals. I love making things, growing plants and thinking outside the box. I also brought skills with me, welding, woodworking and electricity. I hope I have not scared you away, but given you some things to think about and plan for. Chris
 
Rodney Champion
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Jeff, My wife and I are in the same boat as you and your family. Except we are a couple hours south of you in North Carolina. We are about an hour from the Virginia Line. We are also looking for help in our cob home build. We just purchased a 3.7 acres homestead. There is an old house that isn't worth much other than to be torn down and 2 wells and a septic that needs some attention. The good thing is, it is part of an old farm from the 30's so the land is very nice. If there is anything that we may be able to help with let us know.

Rodney
 
Marianne Cicala
gardener
Posts: 676
Location: south central VA 7B
82
bee books forest garden fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
hey fellow VAians. we're about an hour west of Richmond - found exactly what we wanted and land price was far less than what we found elsewhere that checked out "want" list. We're in Lunenburg county, on the edge of Mecklenburg county. Bought about 15 years ago and moved here full time 4 years ago. Yes to the big adjustment on shopping but we ended up opening a nursery and produce store to counter the horrible produce available at the local grocery store. With on-line shopping, I can happily say that i've only made the hour trek to Richmond 2Xs in 4 years.
We have a polebarn we were going to retro-fit with cob, but with time constraints and the price to bring in someone with knowledge was really expensive. If anything changes, I'll certainly throw it out there.
 
Sarah McKeone
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We are in Northern VA and would love a chance for experience with cob construction, as well as to meet others interested in getting back to the basics of living. Cob houses have interested me for a couple years, but I have no experience.
 
ardilla Deneys
Posts: 11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Howdy Howdy!
I am new to Virginia and happy to be here. In Tennessee I was part of the upstart for Feral Feet Community, where we were planning many natural buildings, and started the cob community house. I have also worked on a somewhat hush hush cob house in Virginia and now I want to bring cob and natural building to the public eye. It is so discouraging to troll the internet for cob in virginia! The closest I found is one staw bale article. I want to change this. Even though my time in Tennessee didn't last as long as I had planned on, I was able to live in the woods and learn so much about my ideas of design and nature and how to start incorporating them into the rest of society. My long term goal is to bring natural building to Richmond in both the public and private realms in hopes of spreading an understanding of what sustainable design can offer.

So how can we get these projects going?!

Next week I am starting a new internship with Tricycle Gardens, a community garden non-profit organization here in Richmond. If the opportunity arises, and they need my knowledge with some natural building, we might be able to do a small workshop for a bench, or a wall, or an oven, or maaaaybe something bigger?
I am starving for cob. One friend of mine has been wanting a cob oven and we might be starting with that in the spring.
These projects are small to start. But over time I want them to be bigger and bigger. I am going back to school for interior design and I plan on combining that degree with natural building, and hopefully I will become a contractor too. Slowly, this will help our struggle with inspectors.

Let's keep each other updated and I would love to meet with any of you to get cob to virginia!
 
Marianne Cicala
gardener
Posts: 676
Location: south central VA 7B
82
bee books forest garden fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey Ardilla - being a former TNian and a current VAian - if you ever head west from Richmond, we're only about an hour. Let me know and you can stop in. I have almost given up on cob and have been exploring bale. Please post pics of whatever you're cobbing.
thanks
M
 
Karee Freeland
Posts: 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi, I'm in southside Virginia, extremely close to you, Chris! I've been looking into building a RMH for heat, cooking, and water heating. I'm new on permies, and so excited to see other folks from my area--I'll be watching this thread!
 
Marianne Cicala
gardener
Posts: 676
Location: south central VA 7B
82
bee books forest garden fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey Karee
I'm in southside!!! AKA Kenbridge/Victoria area. Welcome~
Marianne
 
Ross Ruffing
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey all, it's good to see an interest for cob alive and well in VA. My wife and I just moved to central Virginia from Colorado and are interested in attending any cob/natural building workshops within a day's drive. We're also working with our "landlords" on building a small cob oven so I'll surely keep you updated on any progress there. Looking forward to meeting some of you!
 
Marianne Cicala
gardener
Posts: 676
Location: south central VA 7B
82
bee books forest garden fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey Ross - VA's a great place to live~ please keep us updated on your oven.
welcome!
M
 
Stephen John
Posts: 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello everyone!

The wife and I may very well be moving to SW Virginia within a year. Our goal is to find some land and create an edible landscape along with a cob home. We both garden now, but the cob was kinda my baby as I've wanted to build naturally for the last four years. Now is the time.

We would love to see and/or help with any projects that develop once we get there. It's nice to see some excitement in the area for natural building and especially cob. Looking forward to getting to know new people!

Thanks for reading!

Steve
 
Cynthia Ashby
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I live in the Piedmont region and became curious about cob and whether it would truly work in this climate. Virginia has significantly more days of below zero weather than Oregon and I was concerned that the freeze/thaw would rule out cob as a viable building material. To prove it to myself I followed instructions from Yanto Evans book entitled, The Hand Sculpted House and I mixed up a small batch of cob and built a model and set it out in the backyard to see what would happen. In time the little roof blew off and the windows began to leak...but I am happy to report that three years later...the cob is still solid on this little model. This was a cob only structure with no limestone finish on the outside and it still held up. When it rains the outer layer gets a bit soft, but it dries out and holds its integrity. I was very pleased with this little experiment and it's given me the confidence to continue. The next step is a little studio down in the woods.
 
Marianne Cicala
gardener
Posts: 676
Location: south central VA 7B
82
bee books forest garden fungi solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Really nice to hear - I was more concerned with the humidity factor in southern VA.
thanks for posting
Marinane
 
Stephen John
Posts: 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes, thank you for sharing!
 
Frieda Byler
Posts: 11
Location: Virginia, USA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello y'all,
Looks like this thread is a couple years old, but I'm curious as to how everyone's endeavors are coming along. We live in south central Va., and have been very anxious to give cob a try. We did build a cob pizza oven and are very pleased with how it turned out, [Bakes amazing bread and chicken, too!] but next on our agenda will be a chicken coop and/or small shelter for our goats. Eventually, we'd like to build a natural house of some kind for our family of six. So far, we're leaning toward a timberframe with either cob or strawbale infill. In the meantime, we're "practicing"! We'd love to help some fellow Virginia folks with a build and learn along the way. We have kiddos in school and parents who need us, so time hasn't allowed us to attend a workshop, as much as we'd love to. We could do a Saturday at a time within a reasonable driving distance, though!
 
Lisa Shelton
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Good morning everyone. I am also looking to learn cob construction. My father was a master carpenter and I learned a lot from him growing up. I would like to build my own cob house in Virginia located between C'ville and Richmond. I am looking to help others locally to learn about soil qualities, building permits and construction. I am a contractor in IT right now so taking time off for workshops doesn't work very well. I would rather assist in building somebody's home for them so the purpose of the labor benefit someone. So even though we're headed in the fall if anyone is interested in any preplanning that can be done reach out to me and I'll be more than happy to join up and help.
 
Frieda Byler
Posts: 11
Location: Virginia, USA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello again!
Lisa, it sounds like there is definitely a lot of interest in cob/natural building here in Va.; we're all just waiting for someone else to build something first!
We were planning to build a small cob barn this last summer, after we finished our cob oven, and after participating in a workshop earlier in the spring. [A barn sounds pretty "safe" to us, since our goats and chickens need one anyway, and we'd rather practice on something we aren't going to be living in.] Unfortunately, my Mom had a stroke in March, and all of our family's plans had to be postponed, and are still somewhat on hold.......
So! We are enjoying the only project we managed to do [our oven] and wish we could go help someone else with a build not too far away. Lol, it sounds like many of us are in the same boat!
We'd love to have some help with our barn, but since we haven't managed to even get to a workshop [time constraints and they all seem to be far away], we feel too inexperienced to invite others to build with us, since we're pretty amateur and we wouldn't want anyone to learn something the wrong way because of our "practicing"! We do have [some] conventional building experience, but no experience with cob. To tell the truth, we've considered hosting a workshop just so we can learn along with others and get something done at the same time. We don't have the space or facilities to have a dozen people setting up tents and campers here, but a local workshop, where only meals are provided might actually work. We'd have to check with a couple instructors......
If we do, we'll certainly let the Va. folks know!
 
Katherine olivas
Posts: 1
Location: Richmond Va area
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Guys,

I am so excited to find other Virginians interested in alternative building methods and hope together we can get some workshops together so we can all learn how to build with cob. All the workshops I have found are out of state and I didn't know if it was because Virginia is so conservative and building codes wouldn't allow it, or if nobody was interested, but I found you guys. I will be following this discussion and hope we can come up with something. My landlord owns a solar power business here in Ashland and he also used to build dome houses before that. I have learned so much from him about passive solar and he is trying to start a community of like minded individuals.
 
John Seay
Posts: 26
Location: Richmond, Va
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I did a 5 month natural building school last year and haven't had anything to work on since. While I'm far from being an expert I feel like I have a fair bit of experience with cob and adobe and if anyone has something they want to build I would be willing to meet up and help out in anyway that I can.
 
jason cowan
Posts: 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello Folks,

I live in southwest, Va and may be building a cob house and may be open to having some folks lend a hand. feel free to pm me.

Be Blessed.

Jason
 
Frieda Byler
Posts: 11
Location: Virginia, USA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello again, folks,
Glad to hear that interest is still alive and growing here in Va.!
We are planning to attend a natural building workshop in July.
In the meantime, we've enrolled in an online cob building course that has [so far, for us] contained some useful info. While it's not as great as actually "being there", we feel confident enough to at least get started on a small barn. Hopefully, we can connect with some of you, as the project progresses. We can hardly wait!
Here's the link, if anyone's interested: http://www.members.thiscobhouse.com/online-cob-house-workshop/
 
Michael Grantz
Posts: 6
Location: Forest, VA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wow! It sounds like there is so much interest in cob construction, but a real lack of knowledge and experience in VA. My partner and I are starting a small farm here in Bedford county, just west of Lynchburg. I bake sourdough bread for market and would love to build a badass cob oven to make real wood-fired hearth loaves (right now I'm using a home electric oven). We built a small cob oven 2 years ago in a very rainy part of Tennessee. The oven is still holding up solid, but I haven't found any new outlets to learn cob construction.

There was talk earlier on the thread about having a workshop in the area, and we do have the space and amenities here at our farm where we could host a good number of people for 3-7 days. We could build an extra-large oven but also discuss construction principles, techniques, and other applications of cob besides ovens. Would any of you have an interest in planning or attending something like this, say this summer or fall? Excitement! But still just an idea at this point, it's encouraging to hear about your all's projects in central VA.

We certainly don't have the experience to lead the class, so any suggestions of who could teach cob, maybe someone based in the Asheville area? Look forward to hearing your all's feedback on this idea.
 
Heidi Allen
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi fellow Virginians! I am very interested in trying to learn about and build a cob house in Shenandoah County but don't even know where to start in terms of finding out if it is legal and what I need to do to make it happen. Can anyone point me in the right direction and maybe make some suggestions as to how to deal with the government bs? Is that book "Cob by Code" worth getting? I already have rough drawings made so I don't need design so much...thanks!!
 
Veronica Crusta
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi there, I live in Fairfax and wanted to pipe up about cob in NoVA. I've been to a strawbale workshop with Sigi Koko and she's an excellent resource for our area. She has a lot of info on natural building of all kinds, including how to make it work in our climate and to code! Her company is Down to Earth Design. Good Luck!
 
Michael Grantz
Posts: 6
Location: Forest, VA
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm working on designing a HUGE cob oven for small commercial bread production here in Forest (just outside of Lynchburg VA). Our hope is to get building in the next 2 months or so. It will involve lots of cob mixing of course, so if you are in the area and want to check it out or volunteer to get some hands-on-the-oven experience, please hit me up!
 
Don Benham
Posts: 2
Location: Central/Northern Virginia, USA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We (my wife and I) would be interested being helping out. Never cobbed before but I'm starting my small oven and garden wall this weekend.

We live in Fredericksburg. Could maybe help out on a weekend.
 
Natalie terrill
Posts: 3
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello All Fellow VA cobbers!!!
I am so stoked to see so many people excited about cobbing!!! Especially in VA!! It is my hope that more and more people will see the value in building with natural, green materials as well as mindful conservation of the environment while doing so as time moves on! My family and I(myself, fiance, two small sons) have been living in our owner built cob home for 4 years and counting!!! Right here in central VA. We are expanding the farm this year with my new round cob office and meditation studio as well as beginning on a larger cob home being as we started with a small cob cottage. We never attended any workshops or had any outside help. We are proven individuals that cob can be done with only a couple of determined minds and some know how!! I did study for approximately 4 months from books, web, etc. on the methods and I spoke with the local counties on building regulations of cob prior to construction and purchase of our 16 acres. My fiance has a background in conventional house construction and is a trained mason. I have some training in sculpting and a strong creative background. However, the best learning was to just get out there and do. We did decide to build off grid and simply with solar power and well water, but that was a matter of personal choice. To put it plain, I was sick of paying rising utility bills!! We love our cob so much that we have decided to start beginning in 2017 to host workshops and classes on our land for the benefit of allowing individuals to experience cobbing in VA. We will be working on a few smaller buildings to give curious individuals the opportunity to experience not only what it is like to build with cob, but to also see what it is like to stay in a cob building off the grid and in a country/woodsy setting. I look forward to hear or rather reading all about everyone's wonderful cob adventures and I' ll bring my adventures too!!
Peace, Blessings, and Happy Cobbing!!!
All of us @ Barefootmedicines!!!
 
Ian Robbins
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Natalie!
Hello,
My wife and i have been interested in building a small cob house for years. We currently live in Richmond, but are looki g for an area with suitable land for a micro farm/permaculture setup where we could build our own home. How difficult for you was the permit process?
 
Natalie terrill
Posts: 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello,
Someone asked about permits in the county we built our cobs in? When I first started seriously considering building my cob house, I made it a point to contact the county building inspector and speak with them first hand about the codes for cob in that county, that is after I looked it up myself before. In the county we are in, the inspector had never even heard of cob! So, there was my confirmation about codes and permits right there!! Of course I had to take my time and explain it in detail to them and surprisingly they were very open to the whole concept and seemed genuinely interested. There is also a regulation for the county that any building 120 sq ft and under is allowed as a agricultural structure. But mostly we decided to take a more "renegade" approach and bury ourselves deep 8n the center of our wooded property away from the road and neighbors. Our own little sanctuary amongst nature. Which ever way you decide, merry cobbing and all the cob joy imaginable.
 
Christine Steiner
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
@barefootmedicines My husband and I want to build here in Fredericksburg VA. Drop me a note if you can. Would like to get with some locals that have done it and to help each other out. Christinesteiner8881@gmail.com
 
Natalie terrill
Posts: 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello and Greetings to all VA Cobbers!!!

So, as you all know, back in Jan of this year I talked of starting the build of this years project and low and behold VA had typical VA weather, unpredictable at best!! So needless to say there was a couple of months of delay, however, that time was not wasted. There were several and I mean several different designs that I went through before I landed on my dream design. It is true what they say that cob building is 90% planning and design and 10% building!! Though we are currently about a month behind on my self imposed deadline due to the sheer size of the project, we are making it up with hard work and determination!! Yay!! I include some images of the new projects foundation and will update as I remember to here over the course of the build season. And to answer everyone's question, there are only the four of us ( as stated in previous post) working on this project. I figure that if we as a family can do this, really anyone can!! Happy Cobbing VA!!! 2016!!
phase-1-cob-foundation-2016.jpg
[Thumbnail for phase-1-cob-foundation-2016.jpg]
cob-foundation-2016.jpg
[Thumbnail for cob-foundation-2016.jpg]
 
colin stace
Posts: 6
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
the Australian meaning of cobber. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Cobber
 
Cynthia Rosdale
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Natalie terrill wrote:Hello All Fellow VA cobbers!!!
I am so stoked to see so many people excited about cobbing!!! Especially in VA!! It is my hope that more and more people will see the value in building with natural, green materials as well as mindful conservation of the environment while doing so as time moves on! My family and I(myself, fiance, two small sons) have been living in our owner built cob home for 4 years and counting!!! Right here in central VA. We are expanding the farm this year with my new round cob office and meditation studio as well as beginning on a larger cob home being as we started with a small cob cottage. We never attended any workshops or had any outside help. We are proven individuals that cob can be done with only a couple of determined minds and some know how!! I did study for approximately 4 months from books, web, etc. on the methods and I spoke with the local counties on building regulations of cob prior to construction and purchase of our 16 acres. My fiance has a background in conventional house construction and is a trained mason. I have some training in sculpting and a strong creative background. However, the best learning was to just get out there and do. We did decide to build off grid and simply with solar power and well water, but that was a matter of personal choice. To put it plain, I was sick of paying rising utility bills!! We love our cob so much that we have decided to start beginning in 2017 to host workshops and classes on our land for the benefit of allowing individuals to experience cobbing in VA. We will be working on a few smaller buildings to give curious individuals the opportunity to experience not only what it is like to build with cob, but to also see what it is like to stay in a cob building off the grid and in a country/woodsy setting. I look forward to hear or rather reading all about everyone's wonderful cob adventures and I' ll bring my adventures too!!
Peace, Blessings, and Happy Cobbing!!!
All of us @ Barefootmedicines!!!


Natalie terrill wrote:Hello,
Someone asked about permits in the county we built our cobs in? When I first started seriously considering building my cob house, I made it a point to contact the county building inspector and speak with them first hand about the codes for cob in that county, that is after I looked it up myself before. In the county we are in, the inspector had never even heard of cob! So, there was my confirmation about codes and permits right there!! Of course I had to take my time and explain it in detail to them and surprisingly they were very open to the whole concept and seemed genuinely interested. There is also a regulation for the county that any building 120 sq ft and under is allowed as a agricultural structure. But mostly we decided to take a more "renegade" approach and bury ourselves deep 8n the center of our wooded property away from the road and neighbors. Our own little sanctuary amongst nature. Which ever way you decide, merry cobbing and all the cob joy imaginable.



This is very exciting!! I just recently learned about cob and from the moment I realized this is something that is actually possible, it became my dream to build my own cob house. I'm completely obsessed. I'm trying to pull information from everywhere I can, but this post is the first I've found with even a mention of a workshop in the area. I'm definitely interested if you are still planning to host one in 2017. I do have to ask though about your second post... it sounds like the county didn't approved your plans, so instead you built your structure out of sight? I'm hoping to find a good architect or engineer that can help with my plans and stamp them so I can get them approved through the county. I don't know if anyone knows of any architect/engineer in the area familiar enough with cob building to do that... but I figured I would throw it out there. I can't wait to see this movement gain some momentum in this area.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!