New to the forums here, but it's what I've been looking for for some time. Glad to find some like-minded souls.
However, I'm in a bit of a quandary. I'm looking to buy some land soon and build my own house on a shoestring budget, but I'm concerned because living in Oklahoma causes lots of problems when trying to build.
I originally wanted to build a bermed house, but don't think it's maybe the best idea here because the clay soil just retains water and expands etc. Not to mention the high water table.
I considered building a house out of cob (clay, straw, sand, gravel mix mushed up by your own feet and therefore darn cheap), but the water problem kind of steered me away from it. Cob doesn't do so well with constant wetness on it. Then I thought about rebar and concrete walls and floors, but then I worry that it will crack because of the soil expanding etc.
To combat cracking concrete slab foundations, it seems that piering up your foundation is one of the best bets, using the steel ones that go really far down until the clay becomes less unstable - the concept is sort of push the foundation piers down until they meet enough resistance to keep steady while factoring in just how heavy your home will be.
I also have been considering making a house of CEB (compressed earth blocks) which looks pretty viable with the abundance of clay in our soil here, but it is very heavy like cob and I'm not sure it withstand the wet so well either. But it looks like it would be another great cheap alternative for building.
I've read that bermed houses tend to be humid and it's plenty humid here in the summers. But....I like the way they're hidden in hillsides and I am looking for a tornado proof house, which bermed housing affords. CEB also seems to be very good at keeping humidity around 50% and is very strong. So I am wondering if anyone knows if a CEB bermed house in humid Oklahoma would work or if anyone has some ideas of ways to build with these challenges.
Any ideas would be much appreciated. Thank you and glad to meet you all once again.