Building Earthen Homes Using the Original DIY Material

Adobe, cob, compressed earth blocks and clay-straw building methods are labor-intensive but tremendously rewarding.



Building Earthen Homes
A sturdy adobe home in Santa Clara Pueblo, N.M.
PHOTO: BILL STEEN
Making Adobe Blocks
Making adobe blocks is time-consuming but not difficult. Getting the mix right is key. 
CLARKE SNELL
Cob Houses
Cob houses can feel snug and cozy, as this hand-built home in southern Oregon demonstrates.
WARREN KRILENKO
Bottle Windows
Unusual and beautiful, "bottle windows" are a hallmark of cob houses. When colored bottles are used, the effect is that of a stained glass window, but even clear bottles make a pretty display. 
WARREN KRILENKO
Compressed Earth Blocks
Compressed earth blocks can be made with a manual or a powered machine. 
CLARKE SNELL
Applying Earthen Plaster
Applying earthen plaster to a wall is simple to do, although it can take time for multiple coats to dry. 
CLARKE SNELL
Clay-Slip Straw
Clay-slip straw is the easiest DIY material for building earth homes, but it can't support heavy loads.
CLARKE SNELL
Unusual Glass Windows
Wall niches and unusual glass in the windows are hallmarks of the hand-built earth home, as in this cob and wood house in Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada. 
WARREN KRILENKO











Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.