Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

Introduction to Cob Workshop


July 10, 2017 - July 14, 2017 Contact

Dates: July 10 – July 14, 2017

Location: Keystone Heights, Florida


Come and join us down in sunny Florida this summer for our Introduction to Cob Workshop! We will be constructing a small cob cottage. A perfect project for beginners and experts alike!

This workshop is a great experience to learn how to build with cob and to get a broad learning overview of natural building techniques. You will get a solid foundation in cob building fundamentals. We will be constructing cob walls on a 140 square foot cob cottage and studying Natural Building together each day. After this workshop, you will have the basic know-how and confidence to design and build your own simple cob constructions or cob building.


Hands-On Work Topics:

–          How to make cob (with tarps and with a mortar mixer)

–          Selecting and testing soils for cob (Learn several ways to test your soil composition)

–          Building cob walls (learn my four steps to efficient cob wall building)

–          Installing window and door frames (attaching frames to cob walls)

–          Carving out wall niches (add extra depth and character to your cob house)

–          Rammed Earth Demonstration (building rammed earth forms and compaction process)

–          Earthen Plaster Demonstration (learn to mix and apply earth plaster)


Classroom and Discussion Topics:

–          Site selection and design (includes Passive Solar design principles)

–          Materials and tools (covers traditional and modern cob building toolset and materials)

–          Rubble trench foundations (Plus general foundation building)

–          Drainage principles (Important: water can be cob’s worst enemy)

–          Basic Electrical and Plumbing integration for cob homes

–          Installing windows and doors

–          Roofing and Bond Beams

–          Natural plasters and finishes (Vapor Permeable / “Breathable” finishes)

–          Overview of Natural Building materials


This workshop is a unique experience for people to learn about building cob homes and to get an overview of Natural Building. Not only are there plenty of hands-on lessons to learn from, but we will also have ample discussion and informal classroom time. Most cob workshops don’t cover this many topics. But here, you will learn all the core lessons needed to start building from this one workshop!

Plus – there will be many hours of discussions about building cob homes and natural building throughout the workshop. Its a great way to get your questions answered and brainstorm your building ideas!

The workshop will be held at a private property in Keystone Heights, Florida.

We will begin each day with a short discussion about cob and natural building topics, and then begin work around 9:00 AM. We will break for lunch at noon and return to our projects at about 1:00 PM. We will complete hands-on work around 5:00 PM, and complete the day with more class discussions. They will be full-packed days! Worth your every penny!

The workshop will be taught by Alex Sumerall, an east coast Natural Builder who has a focus on creating earthen structures that are healthy, aesthetically pleasing, and functional for modern life. He is the owner of This Cob House, LLC, which is dedicated to teaching people about cob and natural building techniques. Alex has a background in business and advertising, and has been practicing Natural Building since 2011. He graduated from the Aprovecho School of Natural Building in 2013 in Cottage Grove, Oregon, and continues to teach, present, consult, and construct.

Listen to the great things that our workshop participants are saying!

“The cob workshop was a life-changing experience. I learned a lot about natural building, not only from Alex’s instruction, experience and demonstrations, but from interacting with people from different backgrounds who were a great source of collective knowledge. The hands-on experience was priceless!”
Tony Romo, Texas

“The Cob Building Workshop was a great investment of my time!  It was well organized, extremely inspiring, and FUN!  Alex was able to explain construction basics to neophytes like me, yet he could also answer the complex questions asked by the more experienced workshop attendees. I can’t wait until the next workshop!”

Marybeth Babos, Tennessee

Click to read more participant testimonials from Alex’s workshops.



There are two options for lodging: free camping on site, or making reservations at one of the local hotels. Hotels are available in the neighboring towns of Stark and Waldo, per Google maps, and possibly in Keystone Heights.

Camping is FREE and is available throughout the property. There are plenty of great locations to set up a tent here. Multiple camp areas are available with oak trees shading the majority of the property. Trees can be used appropriately for hammocks & camp gear. Campers will have access to a clean bathroom and private outdoor shower.

A modernized, yet simple, building contains a flushable toilet with a private outdoor shower that’s tucked away. It is spacious with room to keep things up and dry.
Our location has electricity & water. Electric outlets are minimal, with the ability to charge phones & power tools, in a single location. The water is well water and is drinkable, yet you may wish to bring your own.



Meals will not be included in this workshop so participants will need to provide their own food. There are several local restaurants and grocery stores nearby the workshop site.

Each is responsible for their own meal preparation, unless decisions are made to share or combine.  An hour for lunch is provided, allowing adequate time for a quick nap, a trip into town, fast food, cooking over the fire, or utilizing the grill. There is no official kitchen on site, but there is a small operational microwave, and a few pieces of kitchen camp gear available for use. Coolers are welcome and encouraged.

Local Places to Eat: McHenry’s (food & pub), Keystone Inn (country buffet, known for chicken) Hardee’s, McDonald’s, Subway, Johnny’s BBQ


Recreation & Surroundings

Bring a camp chair for some quality R&R. Build a community camp fire, while reflecting on the day.  Enjoy the grassy area to throw a ball, walking trails through the woods, blackberry bushes, slightly traveled road that’s great for a leisurely walk, and the open field in the distance to spot deer, crane, & rabbits in the early mornings.


Family & Groups

Ask about discounts. We encourage group & family activities because it enhances learning among your support group. Email me at alex@thiscobhouse.com for custom group/family invoice.

Children/young people of any age are welcome to join in and learn. Please be aware that some areas are under construction, as is the purpose of this workshop. Previous workshop parents have brought playpens, pop up tents, outside toys, and so forth. Children are welcome to explore through “hands-on” learning. It’s okay if they play in the dirt.


Free Extras!

Everyone who signs up for the workshop will receive my downloadable eBooks, FREE:

  • Build a Cob House: A Step-By-Step Guide
  • Cob to Code: The Owner-Builder’s Guide to Cob Homes and Building Codes


Price: $399 if you register and pay before July 3rd

Regular Price: $499

Click here to register: https://thiscobhouse.samcart.com/products/introduction-to-cob-workshop-florida-2017

If you have any other questions about the workshop, please feel free to email me at alex@thiscobhouse.com

If you have a large party of people registering, they can all register separately, or contact me for a custom invoice.



July 10, 2017
July 14, 2017
Event Category:


Unnamed Venue
Keystone Heights, FL United States


Alex Sumerall