DIY & Projects, Journey

Mud House 101- Basic Info about Adobe House

‘House’ is a one of the most important things in life. We all need a house as a shelter, a place to rest, enjoy life and gather with families and friends. House is also our identity, where our souls feel like home. In humans’ lives, food, water, clothes and medicines are things that we need to survive and retain quality of life. One good question is, if they are, why are houses barely affordable these days for most people? To own a house in one’s life is like one of the biggest dream and mission to pursue. Does it really have to be this way? Is there any other way to own a house without being in debt for quarter or half our lives? What did people in the past do when there were neither concrete, construction workers, nor other fancy materials we use to build houses these days?

The answer is, there are many options that we can do to be self-reliable and build our own place to live. Check some out here.

What is mud house?

Mud house (adobe house) is another alternative of building your own house, by yourself. It is possible and safe. In the history, there are traces of mud house building around the globe. Many of the constructions are still in use these days after hundreds of years. Some of them are also massive and very impressive. See examples below;

So why wait? As Jon Jandai once asked a very interesting question, “If all other livings can build their own shelters, why can’t human, who is considered to be the smartest one?”


Followings are some benefits of mud construction. Mud house;

  • is all natural, healthy, and flexible
  • is environmental-friendly
  • keeps us cool in summer( and afternoon), keeps us warm in winter ( and night)
  • has great air circulation as it has breathable walls
  • is affordable and sustainable
  • promote self-dependability, simply anyone can build
  • is fun to build, especially for community bonding
  • is beautiful, creative and unique

Things to be aware of/ consider;

  • Flood!! (choose high location/ or ensure the foundation is high enough that flood can’t reach)
  • Good bricks are important as they take the weights. There are many formulas and they are not complicated.
  • Choose location that has closer access to soil (preferably stony or sandy) and other materials, so that they are not too far or difficult to transport.
  • Choose location of bricks producing which is not too far from the construction site (same reason as above.)
  • Too close to water source is risky! Make sure the water can’t reach the house.
  • Build a good foundation to protect termites.

How long does it take to build one?

This depends on the size, complexion of design, weathers, time, labor, and other factors. The best idea is to start just after the end of wet season so that we have a decent dry time to complete it. It’s also the best to keep the work ongoing every day. Mud construction also teaches us an art of adjusting ourselves to the nature. When it rains, don’t worry, take a break and just make sure your construction and bricks are safe in under the cover in dry area. When it’s too hot, do something else in the shadow like preparing bottles and any other materials for decoration. Like this, we learn the lesson that not everything is under our control, but in the end, it’s going to be fine. It just takes patience and the ability to make the best out of the situation.

How long can it last?

Mud house is really strong and can last up to hundreds of years when it’s built properly in the first place, and also depending on other factors like care, climate, and location, for example. Mud constructions can be stronger than the concrete ones (which rarely last longer than 50 years without problems.)

Adobe small constructions

We can make so much more with adobe constructions. Before building the whole house, if you are not so confident about it, build something small to try out. Followings are some ideas of what we can create as a trial.

  • Pizza oven
  • Gazebo
  • Planting bed
  • Table/ bench
  • Fire place
  • Chicken coop
  • Community shop

I have joined an adobe construction course in Chiang Mai, north of Thailand and would really love to share my experience and useful information. So, stay tuned for the following articles as we will get into details how to complete each part of the house step-by-step.

What do you think aout this article? Let us know by leaving us a comment.

More information about mudhouse:

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