Alex Sumerall

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since Apr 13, 2012
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Recent posts by Alex Sumerall

Get Step-by-Step Video Lessons - How to build your own beautiful cob house out of earth and natural materials with online video workshops.

This Kickstarter campaign is to raise money to put together a series of step-by-step video lessons that will teach you how to build your own cob house from the ground up!

This is a monumental project and we need your support to make this a reality.

We have 28 days to reach our goal of $10,000.

You can visit the campaign page here for all of the details:

Through the site, you can back the project and pre-order your access to the video lessons. We are offering awesome rewards for any donations! Remember, you can back this project only through Saturday Feb 8, so donate now!

Thanks for your support and encouragement!

4 years ago

I just released my first set of tiny cob house plans. This premium design package is now available for sale on my website.

I named this model home “The Freeman” signifying its purpose of helping free people from the debt-driven housing industry we have today.

This home is designed for all kinds of people: minimalists, tiny home enthusiasts, cob house enthusiasts, preppers, homesteaders, business people, and many more.

It can be used for many different types of accommodations. The Freeman can be used as a home, an art studio, a shed, a backyard office, or whatever else you can imagine. It can also be used as a temporary home while building a larger home.

Click here to get all the details and specifications:

Thank you!
6 years ago
I just released my new book called "Cob to Code" at for $20.

This is the only Owner-Builder's Guide to Cob Homes and Building Codes!

I wrote this document to help owner-builders, like yourselves, who have dreams of building your own cob homes. I get asked all the time about how to deal with building codes and permits when building a cob house.

In "Cob to Code" I pulled everything together to try and answer all of the questions and concerns I receive on a daily basis about building a cob home according to code.

This is very important information and should be understood by cob builders worldwide.

Here’s what you will get inside:

- Overview of cob construction and building codes
- Learn how the IBC (International Building Code) applies to building with cob
- Alternate Materials and Methods Section of the IBC
- Building permit requirements for both rural and urban jurisdictions
- How to efficiently work within the government’s bureaucratic code system
- Learn how the trailblazers of natural building are working with or without codes!
- Discover the loopholes so you can build without permits or code requirements!
- 20 information packed pages – plus additional resources
- Geographically Specific building code information to help you build your cob home!
- United States (ALL 50 States included!)
- Great Britain
- Canada
- Australia

Get “Cob to Code” now so that you can learn the facts you need to know to build your cob home to code!

6 years ago
That is a good question. Can you post a picture of the tree and note where you would like to build the hut in relation to it?
6 years ago
I think the rock will just take away from the thermal mass. If you want better thermal mass just use mud.
For the insulating layer you should make a clay slip and mix it with fine saw dust or perlite. Putting rocks in there just doesn't seem like a good idea to me...
But I'm curious what turns out.
6 years ago
I've never read the Cob Builders Handbook, but The Hand Sculpted House is EXCELLENT. Building With Cob is pretty good too.
6 years ago
Hi Ray,

Let me quickly answer your questions before I leave work and I'm sure someone else can fill in the other details for you.

1. Is there a limit to size. Is a small two room cottage all that is feasible with this material or is a three bedroom two bath family home possible?

Not really. You can build a cob house as large as you like it. It mostly depends on your resources and time. 3bedroom, 2 baths is definitely possible.

2. Is the material strong enough to make story and a half or two level home possible?

I've seen many two story cob homes. I would definitely not recommend going higher than that though. I would just want to be confident that my building is structurally sound if doing two stories. Especially if you're building a large house.

3. Looking online I see a lot of color variation (beyond just various earth tones) So I am wondering if this cob material can be painted.

Yes! Cob can be painted. You can create all kinds of natural paints and pigments to paint your cob walls. I would plaster them first and then paint them.

4. Since this is basically a mud structure, how do you keep wet weather from undermining the integrity of the material (how do you keep it from melting in the rain?)

Create a good lifted foundation, good drainage, a good overhanging roof, and plaster your walls with a breathable plaster so water does not get trapped behind the plaster and saturate the walls.
6 years ago