Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Spiritwood cottage

As per request I will begin posting about the second part of our foray into the world of natural building. This second house will be the permanent home for Katherine and I, and hopefully become the staging ground for natural building instruction for others. It is impossible to know everything about natural building, as both old and new information is becoming discovered.

As we predicted, and one of the many reasons we decided to build our first cob home, there are many things we would like to improve upon in our permanent house. I will comment on each of these things as they are addressed during the next build and hopefully give satisfactory answers to any questions. The main improvement will be in insulation. Rather than an entirely cob built home, we will be adopting a bale/cob hybrid that will greatly improve the building speed and the insulation of our house. The other great change will be in our selection of material for a stem wall. A rubble trench foundation is currently being installed--check for a follow up post dedicated to the great architect Frank Lloyd Wright's greatest innovation--on top of which, rather than urbanite, an earthbag stem wall will be built.

A quick comment on the goals of Spiritwood Cottage. Spiritwood will hopefully become the central location from which we are able to build a company around natural building. We are responsible not only to ourselves, our families, our communities, but also to our planet. Instructing in natural building will hopefully be our way of maintaining all of these responsibilities.


  1. I'm so proud of you and Katherine...Love you with all my heart. Can't wait to see it...I was really impressed with the land!

  2. Your journey is so beautiful....proud of you both!

  3. This is so awesome. I live in missoula montana and it seems impossible to get around building codes to work with cobb. How did you address those?....if you don't mind me asking.

    1. No problem, we enjoy questions. Missoula county is terrible for building codes, you would have to address each and every one of them before you built with cob. I think that if you build under 120 square feet the building won't count as a dwelling and you don't need the same permits.

      Ravalli county has very limited codes in term of building. As long as you have a piece of property that is approved for a dwelling you can basically build what you want. We did in fact have issues with the local government after our house appeared in the paper, but this was resolved easily. I'll make a post about those issues next.

      My advise would be to get familiar with your local codes and covenants. Cob is not an approved building material, but if you build wisely you can sidestep a majority of those building codes and permits.

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  5. I would love to learn more about cob homes. Nice post, thanks for sharing.