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[Cob] Our futue Cob home

PHIL MOULTON philmoulton at
Mon Oct 6 21:21:29 CDT 2008

My mis understanding in writing..
The 6 inch wide stem wall would be under the North wall of the existing
Kitchen which is currently on blocks.
The other three sides of the Cob structure would be 18-24 inches wide to
accept the Cob building material.
At this point in planning I am trying to determine the issues in mounting a
Cob structure to a stickbuilt frame of questionable foundation.
As if I leave the kitchen alone I do not have to deal with electrical or
permit issues as baddly. However if I tear out the kitchen as well I have
more of a complete Cob home and better heating from the south face.
I will have to deal with a place to eat while its being built tho.

The large shed roof part is the mastrer bedroom which I do want to keep.

On Mon, Oct 6, 2008 at 8:53 AM, Dulane <silkworm at> wrote:

> I can't quite picture all this, but I am thinking a 6" wall isn't going to
> support much of anything. Mine start at 13" and thin down to 10" at the
> top.
> You should put your plans on photobucket (for free)and then link to it so
> we
> can see your plans.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: coblist-bounces at [mailto:coblist-bounces at] On
> Sent: Sunday, October 05, 2008 4:52 PM
> To: coblist at
> Subject: [Cob] Our futue Cob home
> I and my wife are going to be selling our home in Portland and moving to a
> cabin I have in Otis.
> The cabin was originally built in the 60's with lots of bottles of beer (I
> found one)
> And is substandard in every category.
> It was built in thirds over the years.
> The last built 1/3 being a legal inspected structure (Master bedroom) that
> I
> built in the late 80's and 90's. It has a slope roof sloping to the North
> with a 20 ft high South facing Wall, and has a footprint of 20x18
> 1/3 of the structure (living room one bedroom and bathroom) need to be torn
> off and rebuilt. Roof slopes East and West.
> Currently its about 20x16 and would be enlarged to approx 24x26 ft.
> The last 1/3 is the kitchen that faces south along its longest axis and
> although its fairly stable as far as foundation goes (I tore up the floor
> In
> the early 90's and rebuilt it) It is still Pier block and post. Roof slopes
> North and South.
> (photos are available upon request off-line)
> I am hoping to match a Cob structure to the longest wall of the Kitchen (
> That would be the North facing wall approx. 20 ft long. If so I plan to
> tear
> off the roof/roof trusses and built one roof of some type and shape over
> the
> entire Kitchen and Cob "addition".
> I would like to keep the kitchen but I accept that building a Cob home
> allows for passive Solar heating which I would not have as it would be to
> the North side of the Kitchen. I am however not married to the idea of even
> keeping the kitchen.
> The electrical service connects in the kitchen as well as water and
> although
> we are a bit away from incorporated cities we still have to deal with the
> Lincoln County building codes.
> The Master bedroom attaches to the Kitchen on the Kitchens West wall and
> that I do want to save, That wall would be modified to incorporate part of
> a
> Kiva Fireplace or 2nd wood stove.
> We are going to have to live in this structure of perhaps get a small
> trailer while we do this project and as we are both over 50 it will take I
> am guessing at this time about a year to complete.
> The Cob structure if attached to the Kitchen would consist of one Great
> room, a Kiva fireplace in the South West corner that would interconnect
> into
> the Kitchen and Master Bedrooms threw the modified walls in that corner, A
> bathroom and a utility room would be included.
> If we tear down the Kitchen as well I know I would have to deal with
> Electrical permits but it would allow a more Solar friendly home. However
> we
> could then build a larger Cob home with rounded corners that would match
> better astatically and not have concerns with the substandard walls in the
> kitchen. We could keep the kitchen intact and after tearing off the roof
> and
> roof trusses rebuild the south wall into a Thrombe wall or some variant.
> I plan on a Poured concrete stem wall foundation approx 2 ft high with 1/2
> of that under ground level with a built up Cob/Adobe floor that would have
> a
> set of steps into the Kitchen/ or Bedroom.
> The stem wall on the North side of the kitchen would be 6 inches thick and
> would support that end of the Kitchen floor as well as a inner wall for
> internal support for the roof and keep my roof trusses a manageable length.
> The roof would be a Wood truss roof of unknown shape and composition. As
> this is Oregon Coastal range it does get wet. I am very open to ideas on
> the
> roof and even its shape so skylights and a inner Thrombe wall are also
> options.
> My wife also has asthma so my primary concern is keeping her in a dry
> non-moldy environment if that means we buy the neighbors cabin and live
> there while this is built or we get a small trailer both are options. I
> will
> have approx $20,000.
> out of the equity that will go toward materials, foundation work and
> building the Cob home.
> Now that you have a small idea of what we have :-)
> 1. Can I attach a Cob home to an existing stick frame. As the Kitchen North
> wall would come out and a foundation poured under that wall it would be
> more
> stable then it is now, But what about sealing that walls together ?
> 2. Is the issue with the kitchen on the south wall of the Cob and the
> possible solar loss significant enough to not even consider keeping the
> kitchen.
> 3. Regardless if we keep the kitchen or not the Cob home has to be attached
> to the existing Master bedroom. What about real world issues with sealing
> the two given that it does rain a LOT.
> 4. What about non-standard roof construction as in creating a dome that
> somehow matches into the existing Master bedroom.
> 5. Is a one year timeframe reasonable if I can find a concrete company to
> subcontract the foundation work to this winter and start the Cob portion
> after Spring rains. We are both no longer in our 20's or even 40's and
> would
> seek out others who would be interested in assisting, learning as we build.
> Phil and lilpony.
> --
> Phil Moulton
> Locopony Racing
> Able Office Machines
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Phil Moulton
Locopony Racing
Able Office Machines