How to Build an Adobe Home

Lead Image
  • 400-500 hours
  • Beginner
  • 10,000-60,000
What You'll Need
Roof Trusses

An adobe home is one of the most common types of homes in the southwest United States. Many people still continue to use this natural building material for a very cost-effective, and energy-efficient home. Adobe is a material that is made from sun-dried mud, clay, and straw. Building a home with adobe bricks can be done, but it is something that requires skill and knowledge of structural construction.

Step 1- Excavate Land for Home

Before you begin building your adobe home, make sure the land is prepared. Remove any trees, plants, grass, and lay a firm foundation on which the home can rest.

Step 2- Test Soil

Adobe bricks are all-natural building materials. They consist of soil, straw, and water. To ensure that the soil is suitable for forming the adobe bricks, you will need to test it. There are some test kits available for this, but the end results should be equal parts of sand, silt, and clay.

Step 3- Form Your Adobe Bricks

Making adobe bricks for your adobe home is not that difficult. It is a lot like making cement. However, you are only using natural building materials. You will mix the soil with the water and straw to make a paste. This should not be too watery, but you also do not want it to be firm. It should have the consistency of glue.

Pour the paste into the brick forms. These should be laying on the ground in a flat area. You can do several at a time. These molds are usually 4 inches wide, by 10 inches long, by 4 inches in depth. After your molds are full, let them dry for at least 10 days.

Step 4- Remove Bricks and Start Building Walls

After the bricks have dried thoroughly, remove them from the molds. Begin laying out the walls of your adobe home from the corners and work your way from there. Lay each new adobe brick down and join it to the others with mortar. When you come to windows and doors, install wood frames.

Step 5- Build Roof for Adobe Home

With prefabricated roof trusses, you can begin building your adobe home's roof. Set the trusses across the top plate of the home and attach it with nails. Keep them stable with 2x4 braces until you can lay the sheathing. Once the plywood sheathing has been installed on the roof, lay down the roofing felt and the shingles to finish it.

Step 6- Finish House

Now that the walls and the roof are set, you can finish the adobe home. Build the floor out of adobe bricks. Keep it level throughout the home. Once the bricks are down, use any underlayment that you like and put on the finished floor. Install the doors, windows, drywall, and other finishing touches to your adobe home.