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Newbie - Cob or Straw Bale house for rainy Oregon?

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Hi everyone!
I am new here as of today. I have been watching the videos and would like
some input as to which type of buildings work best for the rainy Willamette Valley
here in Oregon. (I am in the outlying Eugene area)

Also to see if there are people out there that can guide me and
help me in building. This may not be a "right now" project as the property is
not ready for any building yet.

As a newbie but an 51 year old half hippie type, I am wondering if I
will be getting started on this project too late in my life! Looking at the
videos of the cob houses, I am emotional about it. It is the way I want
to spend the rest of my life, but at this point bound to a 12 hour a
day job and needing a change...input please!
Posts: 960
Location: Appalachian Rainforest of NC, 2200' elevation, 85" precip, Zn 7
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Hi Kelly,
A few questions that might help clarify what is most appropriate for your situation-

Are you going to hire a professional builder? Or are you going to build it yourself? Building yourself is an enormously daunting task.
Does your land have soils suitable for cob construction? This would be an asset for sure.
What are your local building codes and regulations like? No fun to fight the system.
What size home do you envision? What kind of budget is realistic? This will likely be the biggest determiner.

If you are going with a professional builder, I would reccomend consulting with several reccomended local builders about what they think is most realistic for your situation. A given builder's experience will strongly effect the total project cost. So if you have a good cob builder you like, I would go cob, for example. Both building techniques can make for nice structures, but the practicality of how you get it built is a huge factor. A good builder will make you a quality home that is well suited for your rainy environment so I would not worry much there. A poor or inexperienced builder will make a mess of the best of laid plans.

Two good resources to read over are "Serious Straw Bale" and "The Hand Sculpted House" (for cob). Both definitely are a bit biased in favor of their technique, so consider them practical in an optimistic way.

good luck! enjoy the process, it will be worth it in the end.
Posts: 2413
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Hi Kelly,

I was going to suggest about the same thing as Adam K. did. That info would be of great help in understanding you goals. Also, your age should not be an issue in general unless you have some kind of health issues, I have been timber framing and wilderness guiding since the 1970s, I'm 52 now and build and climb everyday, so do let your age stop you.

SB in general is a wonderful thing. It will have to be designed very well in a raining climate like yours. I would probably recommend something else but without details it is hard to know.

Good Luck,

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