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Man lives debt-free in cob home that only cost $200 to build: ‘It’s just beautiful’

“I believe in a future where natural building and self-made homes are accessible.”

"I believe in a future where natural building and self-made homes are accessible."

Photo Credit: Natural Buildings

Sage Stoneman’s home only cost $200 to build and allows him to live debt-free. How is this possible? He built his house out of natural materials like cob.

Cob, a mixture of clay, straw, and sand, has been used since ancient times to construct sturdy, rock-hard structures, according to the University of Oregon

“I choose to live the way that I do because it’s a matter of mental health for me and emotional health, physical health as well, spiritual health,” Stoneman said in a video posted to YouTube by Natural Buildings.

Stoneman told the filmmakers that he crafted his home in California to feel closer to the environment and to make a living space that “feels like it’s a reflection” of nature by design. 

“I like to think of myself as the beetle, and on a more basic level, just the organic, flowing shapes are like — that’s where it’s at. It’s just beautiful,” he said. 

The cob and wood he used to build were free since he found them on the property. He also used secondhand glass for the windows and reclaimed other wood materials from construction waste from other building projects. He only paid for screws, glue, and silicone.

The house doesn’t appear to be particularly large, but it has enough space for all of Stoneman’s essential pursuits, including music-making and writing.

“I believe in a future where natural building and self-made homes are accessible. And not only accessible but guaranteed to all humans,” Stoneman said.

Using natural materials for construction has other perks, too. 

A Colorado startup is using mud bricks to build houses because of its ability to withstand fires, which have become more prevalent because of rising global temperatures. Meanwhile, bamboo-based buildings are a ridiculously cheap option for residents in Myanmar.

The video was viewed more than 170,000 times on YouTube and received nearly 6,000 likes, and people expressed their admiration for Stoneman’s home in the comments section.

“People say my generation is entitled and expect luxuries handed to them, but this is literally all I want. A little hut in the bush where I can grow vegetables and chickens and make art,” one person wrote.

“I love it! Nothing like sleeping under a roof you built with your own hands at the expense of time, creativity, and mother Earth,” another commenter said.

“If all humans shared in his consciousness what a beautiful world this would be for all,” a third person commented.

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