Kevin McCloud’s Man Made Home, Kevin McCloud’s Shed. Cheese floor notes for the self-builder

one mand and his shed - cheese

An earthen floor

An earthen floor is not the obvious choice for a building on wheels. Heavy building materials need proper foundations. This being a fun experimental project for TV is an exception. The weight of clay was kept to a minimum as its only 75mm thick. It sits on battened plywood between the floor joists.

The main components used here were sand and chalk, with clay and milk as binders. Clay shrinks as it dries and cracks; sand, grit and chalk reduce the shrinkage. You can of course just keep filling the cracks up with more clay until it looks ok.

In the past I have made earth ovens, cob buildings, wattle and daub walls and earthen floors. Each has a different requirement for clay/sand mix and different properties in terms of thermal mass. If you are going to try something like this it’s worth doing your research. Do experiment and break the rules – sometimes it’ll work and if it doesn’t you’ll know quite quickly! In which case, re-hydrate the clay, change the mix ratios and re-use. Generally: too much sand = a crumbly mix; too little sand = a cracking mix.

Books ;
Build Your Own Earth Oven – Kiko Denzer
The Hand Sculpted House – Into Evans

3 thoughts on “Kevin McCloud’s Man Made Home, Kevin McCloud’s Shed. Cheese floor notes for the self-builder

  1. junohorse

    You need to keep the water content as low as possible and ram it in, there’s no reason why you can’t use this in a movable building as long as the construction is strong enough to take it !

    Using and walking on the floor will tend to sort the cracks out, using a wacker plate on it may help while its still damp ?

    Put heavy building on steel skids there easier to makeup and cheaper than axles and wheels etc, it only has to be capable of being moved, you should resist all a tempts by whoever to make you demonstrate that it can be moved, as some councils are trying to insist on one moving it at least once a month but there’s nothing in the law that says this is a requirement SO LETS NOT HELP THEM make it so !

    As moveable units do not ‘ constitute a development ‘ they are not any concern of planning so they have no size restriction. And you can have as many as you need !

    And you can have services attached, as long as you use quick release umbilicals, eg, water, electric, gas, beer, etc

    But it helps if whatever you plan it blends into the background, grow you hedges up plant trees, even put up a wall of round strawbales, or heather, cover with seeds wild flowers etc, over a period of years they will rot into a grass and flower covered mound, if you can’t be seen from public rights of ways, roads etc it helps big time as you may go totally unnoticed.

  2. Phil Davis

    I’m inspired by the shows. Milk and Clay, Brilliant. I’m planing for my Mountain Bike Accomodation huts with…Activated Clay Walls… Poured earth with milk. Must do some experimentation first. …. Thank You for the Insiration.


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