So plans for the house are well under the way. I made up a list of what we'd need (based on The Cob Builder's Handbook) and posted it in a note on Facebook, asking for help/materials. We're pretty inherently broke, and a lot of the point of cob building is using green materials and reclaimed materials, so asking seemed like a good idea. We had several people offer to help with stuff/lend tools/give materials, including Mike's fiancee, who says that her uncle is always tracking stuff like that down for people. I feel really blessed to have such a wonderful group of friends who will help me with this. :)
I'm struggling with the dimensions in our plans, though. I'm honestly not really sure how big I want everything to be. Our plan is to build 3-4 rooms by the end of summer/fall - a kitchen, a bathroom, a living room, and a bedroom. Then, next spring, we'll add a hallway and attach to it 1-2 more bedrooms, an office for Shane, and maybe a 2nd bathroom. Since we won't have a dining room, our kitchen has to be largeish, I'd like a decent sized living room, and the bedroom and bath sizes are kind of in the air, too. I certainly want things bigger than we have here - we're so crowded here that it's insane. But I don't want to over-do it, either...we have a limited amount of time to complete this before bad weather comes, and, let's face it, it's not like Missouri always has the most cooperative of climates even in the right seasons. So I want to be reasonable, but comfortable. I'm not sure what size that would be, and we kind of need an idea of how large everything is so we can start clearing the ground and readying things for building. I tried looking at blueprints online, but the issue there is that building with cob is a lot more fluid and rounded than building with "normal" materials. So blueprints don't mesh correctly. :/ And, for some reason, most of the free blueprints don't have dimensions, anyways. Which I kind of thought was the point of blueprints. But whatever.
Luckily, with cob, you can build in lots of storage and even some furniture. So our rooms don't have to be massive to hold everything. For instance, I have a bajillion books, so we plan on making the future hallway have book shelves up and down the entire length. Shane's room will also be full of shelves so that his office space can be quasi-organized.
The more I think/talk about this, the more excited I get. Which is weird, because, originally, I was against the idea of building here. I don't want to stay in Missouri forever. Neither does Shane. I thought doing the mobile home thing might be a better idea. But the thought of constructing something exactly as we want it is so appealing. And, honestly, we'll have a larger, nicer space for close to the same amount that we would have spent on a larger trailer.
Anyways. So, my goal for this week is to get the plans finalized and start working on readying the ground for building. I also need to track down sand, clay, and straw - the three most important components in this endeavor. :) Wish me luck!