In the past few weeks Alexor and I have been hard at work. Our main focus was the foundation. We walked up and down the creek bed looking for the flattest and strongest rocks. Carrying them up the steep bank was a job in itself! In two weeks we probably loaded and unloaded the jeep with a few tons of gorgeous stone.
After collecting as many stones as we could we started mortaring the foundation. Alexors brother Trevor, cousin Mitchell, and our friend Paul came out and helped us! None of us had ever done it before and were flying by the seat of our pants. I think we did pretty good for our first try.
We decided to use mortar. Finding hydraulic lime where we live is virtually impossible and expensive. For a 40lb bag it was $60 not including shipping. Unfortunately that isn’t in our budget!
Another project we have been slowly working on is re-pointing the chimney. Alexors Mother, DMarie came up and helped us. Whoever had built the chimney used clay to fill in between the stones, and over time weather and age took its toll.
I also took a chisel and hammer to the front to remove the wall they had built to convert the fireplace into a wood stove exhaust. Only to find that after they built up the wall a little they poured concrete in and filled it to the top.
As tedious as mortaring is, all in all, it was a lot of fun.
We worked on a ton of small projects. Screening clay, digging a hole for our cellar and building a bird feeder kept our down time productive. We also started a medicinal herb garden, a vegetable garden and planted some tobacco. And… we got our new baby chickens!! Sophi loves them more than we do.
Finally after all of that we were ready to start cobbing. Our local 84 Lumber started saving us their used wood tarps. Thank you! After that everything just seemed to fall perfectly into place for cobbing.
We are trying to use everything from our surroundings. We have screenings and sand down in the creek that are perfect for our cob mixture. There is clay right under the house where we want to build a cellar. For some reason, everything just seems to keep working out perfectly.
It was extremely enjoyable to start cobbing! It was immediately like second nature. My mom, Virginia, and my sisters Emma and Audrey came up to help us cob. We mixed 5 batches today!
Today was a very rewarding day. Thank you to everyone who has helped us this far!
Our total cost for the house at this point is $129.95