Kevin McCloud says homes could be built with mud to tackle cost-of-living crisis

A cob house, made with mud and water, uses approximately 20 percent less energy compared with a typical modern house

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Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud has suggested homes could be built with mud as part of the bid to tackle the UK’s cost-of-living crisis.

The property expert insists homeowners could save significantly by swapping out bricks for cement and water.

Mr McCloud told Chris Evans' Virgin Radio Podcast: "In the last recession people said: 'Oh it's just going to be so difficult and hard and tough.'

"But when they think their way out of a hole, that's more fun. Then you get people building their own fence panels and plastering walls with mud."

His comments come as experts warn of a shortage in construction materials such as plaster, which could push up prices.

Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud
Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud
Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud 'trying to explain the thermal lapse of soil'
Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud 'trying to explain the thermal lapse of soil'

The price of raw materials in March was the highest in six months, which could also constrain the availability of certain products.

It comes amid a cost-of-living squeeze as energy bills, fuel prices and inflation soar, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ukraine-Russia crisis.

Today, it was revealed almost four in 10 people (38 percent) are worried about their finances an increase from 32 percent in January and the highest level since the start of the pandemic, according to researchers at University College London (UCL).

In one episode of his infamous Channel 4 show dating back to 2011, Mr McCloud followed a couple who built a mansion out of mud for half the price a home of that size would normally cost.

They used the prehistoric art of cob building where walls are made using subsoil, straw, water and occasionally lime.

The gradual layering of the soil, makes the walls strong and durable, and allows for two-story builds.

Cob specialist Kevin McCabe says a cob house will use approximately 20 percent less energy compared with a typical modern house that meets the same building regulation insulation requirements.

He warns though that a disadvantage to cob houses, that as the material is mixed wet, it can take months for the walls to finish shrinking.

It is also recommended that you need to wait at least six months before fitting windows and doors.

The building process is therefore at least 15 months long.