This past weekend I finally managed to make it up to my brother’s property, located near Lone Butte BC, to have a look at the patch of ground that he is going to allow me use to build the cob/hobbit house. I took 2 of my son’s up with me and we spent the Saturday pulling nails and sorting lumber from the cabin my brother and his friend salvaged. We didn’t finish all of it but we did manage to deal with the most valuable cuts at least.
While I was up there inspecting the potential building sites I snapped a few pictures to document the process of building the little cob/hobbit house. The first picture is facing south (it may be off a few points) and I took the rest turning slightly to the right to approximate the main compass points.
As you can see in the pictures we will have some decent trees surrounding our little cob house once it is done but we will certainly need to do some clearing as well.
What you can’t see in the pictures is the location of the road, our site will be about 75 yards off of the main road and it is off to the East. Also it may be hard to notice but the site is at the top of a little hill that levels off quite nicely to the North. The steepest part of the hill is to the South and will work well for drainage.
I brought back a soil sample so I can test it to see the clay content, make sure that it is suitable to build this hobbit house. There was a very thin layer of top soil but under that it looks like there is a lot of sandy material and rocks. Looks pretty good for drainage but I will consult my “How To” books to make sure it is going to be adequate to our needs. If the soil isn’t suitable I would be left with the choices of either selecting a new building spot or scraping off the unsuitable soil until I find a decent sub-strait. If it is too deep it will drive the cost up for foundation stone which would force me to find a new location.
For those of you who are curious I am basing the construction of this project from a book called “How To Build A Cob House – Step by Step” by Alex Sumerall. His site is a good resource on building with Cob.
On a slightly different note; my brother’s property is divided in two by a road and the section of property across the street from his house has this old dilapidated cabin on it that seems to garner a lot of people stopping on the road to take pictures of it. Oddly, the old cabin also seems to receive a lot of visitations by some of the local deer as they can hole up in it from time to time. Below is a picture of that old cabin.