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Showing 1-10 of 51 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 70 reviews
on March 13, 2014
This is a very informative book for those looking into alternative building methods. The amount of detail on how to build a cob structure is more than you will need to make it work for you. I've not yet began working on my alternative built home, but the information from this book will come in handy on a few aspects of the home that I may look into building with cob.
As a side note, building with cob is an extremely labor intensive task and won't happen as quickly as some other alternative building methods. I can't stress this enough and after reading the book you'll be clear that that authors inform you of the same. That said, if you're looking for something as suitable and much quicker to start on the path with, you may want to look into straw bale homes. This book actually turned me off to the idea of a complete cob structure due to the time that would need to go into it. I don't have an army of folks waiting to help me build and when I am ready to build, I want to get it up and ready to move into ASAP.
But I digress. If you're wanting cob info, this is the book for you. But if you're new to the idea of alternative building materials there are other books out there for you pertaining other methods that may be more suitable for you, as I found out after reading this book.
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on June 15, 2015
When I bought this book I was at the process of preparing to build m own house. Also when I was a kid the house of my Grandmothers before they tear it down so my parents will build their house was made out of cob. I distinctly remember the hot summer in Cyprus was not an issue for us because inside my grandmother house was so cool like you were sitting next to the edge of a river up in the' mountain the temperature was amazing, it was cool during the hot summer and warm during the cold winters.
I don’t build my house with cob but a lot of the techniques of it I incorporate it.
In the future I hope I build a cob house and this book has anything you need to accomplish that, it is actually a complete guide to build your own house, it tells you even how to manufacture the tools you will need, everything this book is a gem. Highly recommended it.
Also if you want to check out my book Thirsty For Health I would really appreciate it.
Thank you and have a healthy day!
Andreas Michaelides
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on June 1, 2009
While reading this book, I got the overall impression that the authors experienced the construction, took a few photos and notes and later had the epiphany, "I think I'll write a book". This isn't meant to sound heartless toward the authors, but the book just doesn't carry you along. Too many times they make references that just seem redundant like they were getting paid by the word rather than reading well or just plain good instructions. It is enjoyable as light reading and some good pictures about the couples' experience, but just needs some more work to rate higher. I haven't compared it with other cob books but it falls short compared with most of the other earth construction books I've read. It's a good book at first glance but just "OK" once you get into it.
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on April 30, 2016
There is great information if you are building in cold areas, but because I am looking to build my cob house in Thailand, over half the book, which focused on how to keep warm was irrelevant, and in fact, even counterproductive.
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on August 6, 2015
I like the book. It is thorough and well done. The only problem is that it is definitely directed at a UK audience, so a lot of the technical info on planning, land use, siting, and such isn't very helpful for North American builders. I think most of it could be figured out, and I enjoyed reading about this timeless construction method, but an American edition might be nice. I've lived in England, so could appreciate the differences more than some.
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on January 13, 2013
We are new to cob building and need all the help we can get. There are no classes nearby and we are relying on great books like this one to help us through the process of building our own cob home.

Illustrations are great too :)
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on February 17, 2014
I may have to get another copy of this book, since my original copy is so tattered and dog-eared, from so much use. I love the photos and the easy step-by-step procedures. I built a green house using this book, now I'm working on a small guest house, all with materials at hand! Thanks!
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on August 23, 2010
With the increased interest in creating more environmentally sound dwellings as well as a need for less expensive housing, building with cob is an intriguing method that satisfies both desires. Home owners can build their own homes with materials that are local and sustainable. Building with cob may be fairly labor intensive, but the rewards can be countless.

"Building with cob, a step-by-step guide" by Adam Weismann & Katy Bryce gives you an in-depth look at many of the items you need to consider when planning to build a cob home as well as the instructions on how to do it yourself.

The book includes 13 chapters packed with information.

Chapter 1 - Earth Building around the world
Natural building with the materials that are local and easily available has always been a popular choice. There are many earth buildings around the world. In this chapter the authors discuss the vast range of earth buildings and provide an outline of their history.

Chapter 2 - Site & Design
This chapter gives you some great tips about what to look for in a property as well as how to situate your home. It discusses things like the best way to capitalize on passive solar and other environmental considerations.

Chapter 3 - Identifying and testing soil
Knowing exactly what kind of soil you are working with is essential so that you can include the right materials in your cob mix.

Chapter 4 - How to make a cob mix
The fun part! Instructions on mixing cob with your feet are included as well as other methods which the authors have worked. Detailed information is included so you'll know if your have it right.

Chapter 5 - Foundations
Any building is only as good as the foundation it is placed on. Included in this chapter is how to create the best possible foundation so your building can last for generations.

Chapter 6 - Building with cob
How exactly does all this mud turn into a structure? This chapter describes multiple ways to build as well as discussing drying times and other important details.

Chapter 7 - Roofs
For cob to stand the test of time, it needs a good roof. Different types of roofing choices are discussed including the option of creating a turf roof. Specific instructions for creating a living roof are included.

Chapter 8 - Insulation
This chapter discusses your different options and ways to make your home comfortable all year long. They recommend natural materials that are sustainable and renewable.

Chapter 9 - Lime & other natural finishes
Specific recipes are given to create natural finishes for your home. The tools and methods are described in wonderful detail.

Chapter 10 - Earthen floors
Yes, your floor can be dirt also. The method to create an earthen floor is mapped out in this chapter. Instructions on how to care for your flooring are included.

Chapter 11 - Cob fireplaces & earthen ovens
Not everyone will want to put the time and work into creating an entire home, but cob can also be utilized to create wonderful fireplaces and ovens. Varying styles of both are discussed as well as instructions on how to create them.

Chapter 12 - Restoration
In the UK there are many cob building that have stood the test of time and survived for hundreds of years. Some of these homes are in need of repair and the authors discuss the best ways to make those repairs. They also give you some ideas about what types of problems you are most likely to come across when working with an older cob home.

Chapter 13 - Planning permission & building regulations
Because this book was written in the UK, all of the information in this chapter is only valid for that area of the world. Different countries and even different states will have varying regulations. If you intend to build a cob home, it is always advisable to check with your local government officials to find out what you need to do to make sure your home is legal and complies with all building codes.

Overall, this book is a wonderful primer filled with great information. It also includes many full color photographs that provide both insight and inspiration. Cob building is a growing building medium that creates community as well as structures.
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on April 20, 2014
This is a good book to use if you need to visualize construction of a cob home. It talks a lot about legal issues that you need to address, how to build with cob and combine it with certain other materials, many of them recycled materials. Has some truly wonderful pictures and a great section on how to make cob fireplaces. The descriptions are great, and the examples are nice. I could have used more information on planning the structure of a home like this, but it was a very good read.
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on April 19, 2014
This image-heavy book revealed some of the limitations of early ebook releases, mostly around the way text reflowed. If you want this title, go ahead and get the print version.

Otherwise, this book seems to be a fine intro to building with cob.
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