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Cob Garage  RSS feed

 
Evan James
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Hi there,

Has anyone built a cob garage? If so, will you be willing to share some pictures?

Is it a bad idea?

I need to replace my dilapidated garage, and cannot afford to pay for even 1/10 of the money that contractors are asking for. Cob seems like something that I, as an office worker, can learn to do. I'd also like to add a small workshop with a small fireplace, and a storage area for garden tools, and integrated exterior alcoves for rain barrels and bird feeders.

As this is not a house, but an outbuilding, I imagine the building code obstacle course will be less onerous.

Thanks for your time. Evan (Michigan)

 
Jami McBride
gardener
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Location: PNW Oregon
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It's not a bad idea, however you still would need some cash for the slab, stem wall, doors, etc. if nothing else.

One idea would be to see about having a pole building put up. Then put in the slab floor. Next, in fill the walls
placing windows/doors as you could afford to. Kind of a build as you go project. All of this would have the
protection of the roof, which would make it that much easier as a one person build. Once the floor was in you
could start using it as a carport until you finished it.

Just some thoughts
 
allen lumley
pollinator
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Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Evan James : As you say that you have a dilapidated garage, i amy thinking about the possibility of the condition of an already existing slab of concrete, there is a general
rule in building about sturdy galoshes and a good hat that is even more important for a Cob structure. a good foundation preserves the roof, a good roof with eves with
generous over hangs protect the foundation !

What shape is the existing foundation in ! If it is good and money is tight then build an open side pole barn structure over the top, plan your build to include wide over hangs
to move your buildings drip lines out away from where they can damage your Cob side walls, and plan on drainage improvements .

If the cement slab is all broken up think about saving the chunks of concrete as infill.

Now you have time to speculate on where might be a better place for your garage than its present location, you could have a pole barn up and park your car under it now,
and then in the spring do the cement work. in any case you will have to see if you can use parts of the existing footers that for your location in Michigan.Your footers must go
below the frostline or depth of frost ! a french drain will save your foundations much of the usual frost problems but I would not try to get by the Code enforcement officer
with just a concrete slab, any more than my code enforcement officer in New York !

So You have a slab with good footers and a french drain to carry water away, and a pole barn with wide eaves over head at that point it will be simple to follow Jamie McBrides
suggestion and infill with a couple of feet of stem wall to protect the cob and then just infill with cob, building on the windward side first seems most reasonable, you will have
time this winter to observe your prevailing winds and snow load ! Good Luck,BIG AL !
 
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