I am very new to these forums, so if this isn't the place to post this, I apologise.
I'm in the crawl phase of planning a small homestead and cob house, and one of my major concerns is the worst case scenario of me spending a few years cultivating this lifestyle, just to have a man in a suit come along and tell me I have to tear my house down.
I looked up building codes for my state, but reading it was like trying to translate an alien language...
Does anyone have resources for what I need to make my cob house legal? If I make it small enough, does it even need to abide by those rules? If there's a minimum size for a 'house' in Virginia, I don't think it would be a problem for me to stay under that.
Any help would be a Godsend!
Things that man in suit check for.
5) Wind/Snow Loads on Roof
6) Foundation/Stem Wall
8) Shell (Timber vs Brick/Cement Block/Earthbag/Cob/Masonry)
Don't be afraid to let the man in suit check off 1 thru 7 and then be certain to explain cob as just a type of veneer, even if it is 24inches thick.
So to recap:
A) awesome foundation,
B) timber post and beam to support the roof
C) insulation in addition to cob thermal mass
D) Add 5% cement to cob mixture
E) Bond Beam
F) Architectural plans even if they are just off the internet
G) Keep the design conventional, e.g no dome roof/etc
I particularly like timber/lumber for the post,beam,roof and strawbale for insulation, with a much thinner layer of cob on the bale. It's called balecob.