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.
Making Adobe Blocks
Making adobe blocks is time-consuming but not difficult. Getting the mix right is key. 
Cob Houses
Cob houses can feel snug and cozy, as this hand-built home in southern Oregon demonstrates.
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. 
Compressed Earth Blocks
Compressed earth blocks can be made with a manual or a powered machine. 
Applying Earthen Plaster
Applying earthen plaster to a wall is simple to do, although it can take time for multiple coats to dry. 
Clay-Slip Straw
Clay-slip straw is the easiest DIY material for building earth homes, but it can't support heavy loads.
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. 

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