Alternative design of Cob and Under ground living-part 4

Hi there,

This time we will be talking about cob houses and underground homes, both designs having there own pros and cons. These two styles are definitely worth considering when planning an alternative home, come and read with me and i will explain why.

Cob is a very old traditional method of building buy combining dirt, clay, and straw or other fibers. Cob is normally applied by hand in large gobs (or cobs) which are tossed from one person to another during the building process. The traditional way of mixing the clay/sand/straw is quite unique by using your bare feet; Reason being, it is quite labor intensive. One of the luxuries of living in this day and age is that we can utilize plant and machinery ie. an excavator or a backhoe, to take some of the manual pain out of the equation. Although it considerably diminishes the organic nature of the design and does boost the overall cost of the project.

“you want roughly between 2 parts clay, 1 part sand, a sprinkling of straw and a little water”.

Straw cob can have some insulation it would not make a very comfortable house in a climate of extreme temperatures. The wonderful thing about cob construction is that it can be freeform, and turned into as modest or as sculpturally desired. Cob was a common building material in England in the nineteenth century, it was cheap and plentiful and a lot of those buildings are still standing today.                 (pic-)

You’ll need to do a soil test on your own dirt to see if it’s suitable for cob building, but generally, most sites have some sort of usable soil.

Cob is also very durable if it is properly sheltered from the rain.  A good roof will protect the walls and has the potential to last for hundreds of years. When the house started to weather and begins to look bad, you can actually just re-apply a new layer of cob on to the outside to make it like new again.

Cob is very affordable in most cases, all the materials can be found on your own land or can be obtained in large quantities for quite cheap.

For example the $500 house…


Cob houses are very fire resistant because they are built out of mostly clay and sand, you don’t have much for a bushfire to catch a light.  Cob is a popular choice for areas that prone to wildfires or other extreme weather.

Creating a cob house can create a very healthy air quality for a home. Once you make your cob, it will need to dry out fully and that can take months to years.  The bulk of the moisture will dry out of the walls in the first year, but will not fully cure for 1-2 years after that.

Once you build the house and add a roof, you should allow it to breathe for many months before moving into it so you’re not exposed to the mold and mildew. Then I’d start the internal sealing process. When you do move in, a dehumidifier will be important to draw a large amount of moisture out of the air

There is something so cozy, appealing and comforting about the curves in a cob house.  You can have these organic forms that allow elements just flow into each other.  It is hard to put your finger on exactly what it is about cob houses, but they definitely have this magical quality, unlike no other home I have walked into.

check out the link below for some fantastic advice and tips on building a cob home.

Underground home

Underground construction is not a new concept, it has been around for thousands of years or so.  Mainly developed through mining and more currently in the transport, housing, and commercial industries. Making it easier to go underground with a more of a controlled environment as opposed to building on some of the harshest environments in the world.

Underground housing (earth-sheltered housing or earth ships) refers specifically to homes that have been built underground, sometimes either partially or completely buried underground. This style of home has grown increasingly popular since the ’80s because of there diverse and extremely low impact on the environment and supports the green building movement.

Thousands of people around the world live in underground homes. There is a misinformed belief that underground homes are dirty, damp, dark, claustrophobic and unstable places to live. This is generally due to a lack of information and knowledge about building regulations and specifications, as opposed to traditional building practice they have become used to.

Underground Dwelling Design

The design of an underground home is determined by the conditions and layout of your site, which makes all the homes unique. You must carefully consider the soil type, density and compaction levels, groundwater levels, load-bearing properties, and slope stability. Construction materials need to be waterproof, durable and strong enough to withstand underground pressures that’s why concrete is considered a perfect choice.  Not only can you turn it into any shape or size,  durable, strong and (quality concrete it also gets stronger with age as it never entirely goes off). Commonly used in the roof areas of the dwelling.

Concrete pic

  Underground building methods and styles

  1. Constructed Caves – made by tunneling into the earth. Its a popular method around the world, although an expensive and very dangerous procedure.
  2. Cut and Cover – these are made by assembling precast concrete pipes and containers into the required design of the living space, and then burying them in the ground, basically a culvert home.
  3. Earth Berm – home is built on a flat bit of land or a small hill and then buried, only leaving a wall or roof open for sunlight.
  4. Elevational – the home is built into the side of a hill with the front of the home left open.( similar to 3)
  5. Atrium – Courtyard homes, the rooms are built below the surface and around a sunken garden or courtyard that lets in natural light.
  6. PSP – stands for post, shoring, and polyethylene. House is built by excavating the ground, ramming in posts and placing shoring (boards) between the posts and the earth. Then placing polyethylene plastic sheets (for waterproofing) behind the shoring boards.

All underground homes need well-designed and have ventilation systems to control indoor air quality and humidity. Natural daylight design using light atriums, shafts and wells can be used to improve the quality of underground living.

Advantages of Building Underground

they can be built on steep surfaces and can maximise space in small areas by going below the ground. The materials excavated in construction can be used for the building process (saves digging).

Underground houses have less surface area, This means less building materials which means cheaper overall cost of the build. They are also wind, fire, and earthquake resistant, providing a safe environment in extreme weather conditions.

One of the greatest benefits of underground living is energy efficiency. The earth’s natural subsurface temperature remains surprisingly stable, so underground dwellings benefit from geothermal mass and heat exchange, stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. This saves on average 80% in energy costs. For a very educating read its a little pricey but totally worth the read its a small cost considering the information you get click on  Sustainable Built Environments

By also incorporating solar designs, this energy bill can be reduced to zero, by using hot water and heat to the home all year round. An additional benefit of the surrounding earth is noise insulation (no noisy neighbors lol). Underground homes are exceptionally quiet and peaceful places to live.

Click below to find out more…

GOWE Grid tie solar power system from 1500W to 10KW(3KW)

My thoughts…

A well-designed underground or cob home can be a stylish, comfortable, secure, bright, unique and inspiring place to live. More than that they can be an excellent example of the ideal eco-home, demonstrating energy efficiency, low-impact design, and harmony with its natural surroundings. With the increasing demand and ever diminishing real estate and not to mention the prices involved in traditional building methods. It seems only natural that people are now looking at building alternative sustainable life-styles. For me, it just seems an obvious way to go for a brighter future.

Thank you for reading

Shawn Fitzgerald





off-grid living achieved with affiliate marketing

Have you ever dreamed of living an off-grid and debt free lifestyle? Whether you’re interested in the privacy, the freedom, or the sheer flexibility of an untethered lifestyle, thanks to the rise of affiliate marketing it’s never been more possible to go off-grid. Even if you don’t have any resources to start with, you can do it without compromising a debt-free lifestyle. Today, we’ll talk about how affiliate marketing enables and supports off-grid living, to whatever extent you desire. It’s a debt-free lifestyle where your effort becomes your reward, instead of simply allowing you to pull one paycheck you’ll immediately turn over to utility companies, cable companies, landlords, and others.


Financing your lifestyle

Living an off-grid lifestyle can be very difficult and very expensive, which often keeps it in the realm of dreams for your average 9 to 5 worker. Of course, the expense can vary wildly depending on whether you want to be truly off-the-grid, with no dependence on utility companies, grocery stores, or other outside groups, or just want to be able to cut the cord and live as you like without worrying about your job or going into debt.

Regardless of which you’re interested in, the principle remains the same: You need money in your pocket and you need flexibility in your lifestyle. Affiliate marketing gives you an opportunity to achieve both, quicker and with less start-up capital than any alternative—a truly promising start for a tether-free, debt-free lifestyle. You’ll be able to move somewhere cheap and build yourself a self-sustainable high-efficiency home or take your life around the world, living in hotels and room rentals with nothing but your laptop for work.

Relative to other businesses you might start online or off, affiliate sales allows you to start earning money at a nearly unmatched speed. As soon as your content goes live, it can potentially start sending visitors through your links—then it’s just a matter of how quickly your affiliate program of choice pays out. This means you could potentially start earning from affiliate programs in under a week, depending on how quickly your content gets in front of the right eyes and how much effort you put in.


No more spending money just to get by

Just imagine how great it would feel be to be bill free, to never see another piece of mail charging you for living your life, to never drag yourself into work because the alternative is going hungry, or having your power cut off, or losing internet access. Every dollar you earn can be earned for yourself, paying to build your own property value or pay for a new exciting trip. It’s the lifestyle everyone dreams of, but puts off for retirement—or forever.

But affiliate programs can complement this off-grid debt free lifestyle with multiple income streams, and make your dream a reality now. Whether you keep grinding away at your career while using affiliate programs as additional income or go all in on multiple channels of affiliate marketing, you’ll soon find that your effort doesn’t fade away and leave you struggling for the next paycheck. It adds up, with new work connecting with old to create more and more streams of revenue.

You’ll also notice that over time, affiliate marketing can become a self-sustaining business. A new piece of content doesn’t just bring eyes and earnings for itself, but for all other content, you produce. You can put together entire websites that require only a tiny bit of attention to maintain earnings, which in turn allows you to put together other sites and earners. You can do all of this on your own, or outsource upkeep when you’re big enough to spare yourself even more time.


Promote and endorse the products you purchase and receive money commissions on sales

One of the best aspects of affiliate marketing is that you get to turn your hobbies and interests into a career. Think about all of the times you’ve given a friend or acquaintance a gushing review about a favorite product, just because you wanted them to try it. Affiliate marketing is that as a job. You promote products you like earnestly, and people who share your interests will learn to trust your recommendations and follow through on your suggestions.

It’s far easier to be a success in affiliate marketing with an earnest interest in what you’re promoting and endorsing, so don’t distract yourself with worries about what ‘makes the most’—what makes the most is what you can create the best content about. It’s a perfect fit for living an off-grid and debt-free lifestyle because it rewards staying true to what you enjoy.

As a side benefit, you’ll find it’s much easier to justify experimenting with products and trying new things related to your interests when it’s a critical component of your ‘job’—no more lengthy debates with yourself over whether to try something new, when trying something new gives you new insight and knowledge you can share as part of your affiliate marketing endeavors.


Mobility and flexibility

Living off-grid doesn’t have to mean buying the cheapest parcel of land in the middle of nowhere and fortifying it like a bunker unless that’s your dream. As an affiliate marketer, you can pull regular income without tethering yourself to a location or lifestyle, meaning you can go wherever you like whenever you like. You can do what you want and buy what you need, without putting yourself back into the rat race and participating in a system you’re no doubt tired of. A debt-free lifestyle off-grid is the best thing you’ll ever experience.

Feel under the weather for a few weeks? You can change your workload without worrying about bills. Have a little self-sufficient off-grid farm and need time for your harvest? No worries, your affiliate sites will keep earning while you spend some time in the sun.

Don’t feel like being self-sufficient this month? This year? Then dive into your marketing work and earn a bit more to cover the items and labor you need to keep your lifestyle comfortable. It’s all up to you. There’s no career where it’s easier to stay flexible so you don’t get bored while still living debt free lifestyle.

After all, affiliate marketing covers a huge range of day-to-day endeavors. You can move from blog posts about fine watches to YouTube videos about consumer electronics, or work on both at the same time—as long as you’re willing to put in the effort to support each channel and revenue stream, the sky is the limit.


Success is waiting

Countless affiliates live a debt-free lifestyle from their YouTube sites, their blogs, their Instagram accounts, their social media posts. There are channels and mediums out there for every audience, every product, every market imaginable. A single motivated person with an interesting way of reviewing products can become an international celebrity from their endeavors on a single YouTube channel, without ever doing more than honestly appraising their favorite products.

You can do it too. You just need to figure out what you care about, what interesting things you have to say about the things you care about, and who your audience should be. Be funny or serious, be focused in an industry or honest to a gimmick, stick to a single brand or diversify across different products, channels, and audiences.

You just need to work for it, and you’ll be able to live the off-grid debt free lifestyle you desire. Free from an office building, and bills in the mail, and debt collectors, and worries about how you’ll pay for the next holiday or medical bill or car repair.

Off grid living part-2=Styles, Designs & Concepts

Hi there,

I’m Shawn Fitzgerald and I am glad to have you back. This time we are going to dive into the design phase(as a carpenter/builder i  love this phase), and really get those creative juices flowing and look at all the “different styles, of off-grid homes and concepts. People from all around the world are embracing” this new trend and lifestyle with no regrets, so come on a journey with me and lets jump right into it…..

Tiny House Ideas

There are many advantages to building a tiny house,   it’s the fact that majority of owners do not have a  mortgage on their tiny houses.  to give you an idea, your monthly mortgage will often be comparable to a luxury car payment or money for that trip of a lifetime. “It can generate a sense of freedom that an outdated crumbling society cannot offer”. Some of you may be thinking how can you to truly make such a small space and turn it into your home. Let’s take a look at how a  tiny house can highlight and demonstrate how versatile, unique your living experience can be! changesssImage result for house on wheels




“This picture cracked me up,lol”

House on Wheels

Everyone loves going on holidays, road trips, but when you’re away you always forget something and wish there was a way to get it. Well, there is. some examples of homes on wheels, check out the link below there is some great examples of styles and interiors. These unique living spaces look like their straight out of a fairy tale. They’re also highly functional.

Building your tiny house on a trailer tray can be a perfect way to see the country without leaving the comfort of your own home.  Making your own custom or buying a trailer can really be a fantastic platform to work from. You can even incorporate retractable or fold up sides for transport which will, in turn, give you more space. For example, build a small deck that folds down for your entry area. Create a lightweight fold-up deck on a side of the trailer

So when it comes down you instantly end up a deck and the same principle applies if you wanted a roof for the deck, with a set of hinges at the top and a little creative design you could have twice as much living area. the possibilities are endless. There are all kinds of storage and living possibilities with tiny house designs.

” Australian rules and regulations, i found this site of the ABC-trippleJ and they had some good information and some good discussions at the bottom of the page for some questions that i found helpful to check out the link below. if you are curious about your own countries laws and regulations strongly urge you to check with your local authorities to have a clear idea of the do’s and dont’s. as there would be nothing worse than building something to only have to pull it apart and start again, as this is apart  of any design phase.” 

Now you let get the imagination running wild here. i  recommend getting a pen and paper and sketch out a tonne of ideas. Rember you have some very powerful tools at your disposal such as Youtube, Google, blogs etc. Take a good look around and see what other people doing and creating, really get inspired and pay a fine attention to detail. Check out the materials they use, how they stop drafts, Insulation techniques, and the mounting methods and so on and so forth…

So you can take ideas and concepts others are doing and roll them into your own unique design which best works for you. Keep in mind when design your idea home the materials you would like to use, i say this because for it to be mobile it needs to be able to tow it.  You don’t want it to weigh 15tonne as less you have a truck to pull it so just keep that in mind everything you do adds weight so get resourceful and really think what you would like it to look like on your sketch so you can execute, and achieve your desired result.

(EGGCRATE Square, 8 Pack) – Mybecca 8 Pack Premium Convoluted Egg Crate Design Acoustic Wedge Panel Studio Soundproofing Foam Wall Tiles 30cm x 30cm x 5.1cm (High Quality)

Check out Bryce Langston’s youtube channel for some amazing ideas and concepts as he travels all around the globe checking out peoples designs and dream off-grid homes..“.

Personally: “It is definitely better to have a plan as a bit of a guideline to what you want to build. For example a sketch, a picture, sometimes its a vision in your head but if you can’t translate it to paper it’s going to be a hard struggle to build or get someone to build it for you. Hoping for the best is not a plan, as it doesn’t always work, you end up wasting money time and materials”.

 Bus  Designs

That’s right, old buses are a perfect platform for a mobile tiny home! These types of living spaces need a bit of creative planning and ideas, although it’s not impossible. The biggest obstacle is figuring out the layout so plenty of research on narrow floor plans. The best thing about a bus is there plenty of layout tips and flow ideas out there because it is very similar to an RV. .

You can pick up buses in all kinds of places like:

  • ex-government Auctions
  • Auction houses
  • eBay
  • Gumtree
  • wrecking yards
  • Facebook marketplace
  • Grays online       “These are just a few of the top of my head”


These unique living spaces look like their straight out of a fairy tale. They’re also highly sustainable.

Makita RM02 12V max CXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Compact Job Site Radio, Tool Only

 Living on the Water

Houseboats make wonderful tiny homes. You always have 100% water views, and if you don’t like your neighbor or you just want a change of scenery simple un-tie your boat and head off on an adventure to look for a new place to stay.

Image result for houseboat community living

As with tiny house communities, there are also houseboat communities. Houseboats all in a row, form a unique community and desirable lifestyle. While living on the water may not be for everyone, it’s worth a look for those who like to feel free by living on the water.

Rock the Boat: Boats, Cabins and Homes on the Water

Living a simpler life often starts with adjusting our daily habits, but for others, it can also mean swapping a big house and stressed out lifestyle, for the more laid back quieter approach.

While there are some rather pricey-looking modern and minimalist versions check it out some of those boats are unbelievable….

This boat below captures a brilliant example, of what patience, time, planning, skill, and research can accomplish.

This next video combines to of my personal favorites witch I personally will be building in the future is a shipping container houseboat. I just think it is the truly awesome concept”

That brings us to the end of another blog, Please feel free to leave your comments below and if you have any questions i will do my best to answer if not ill find somebody who can”.  in part 3 I will be taking you on a journey covering  shipping container homes, cob houses,  and permanent off-grid homes of all sizes l. I hope your this blog got your creative juices flowing and ill see in part 3. Thank you

Shawn Fitzgerald.