How to Build a Pueblo House

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Pueblo houses are southwestern-style houses made of adobe bricks. They are very sturdy (lasting centuries) and are resistant to fires and earthquakes. They are also very energy efficient, because their thick walls and mass serve to keep the interior much cooler in hot climates. If you want to build your own Pueblo house, just follow the steps outlined below.

Things You'll Need

  • Clay
  • Sand
  • Straw
  • Wood
  • Trowel
  • Shovel

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Create a framework mold for making the adobe bricks you will need. The mold should be about 28½-by-25 1/2 inches across and 2 inches deep, with compartments allowing you to make four bricks that are about 14-by-10 inches.

Dig a small pit near the construction site, and toss in a mix of sand (60 percent), clay (40 percent), Mix with a shovel. Add enough water to make it a bit muddy.

Jump in with your bare feet and start dancing. Your goal here is to thoroughly mix the ingredients until you have something roughly the consistency of pancake mix. Now take part of the mix and place it on a large plastic sheet. Toss some of the straw on top. The straw should be 20 percent of the total. Now dance on it again.

Gather the mix together on the sheet and start kneading it. Continue until the mix becomes stiff. Lay the mold on the ground, and trowel some of this mix into it. Use the trowel to smooth off the top so it’s flat.

Remove the bricks after half an hour, and let them continue drying. It will take two weeks or more for them to be dry enough to use. Turn them once or twice. Meanwhile, put more of the mix into the mold and make more bricks.

Begin laying the walls of your building with the dry bricks. Alternate the layers for increased stability. Between each layer, use a trowel to spread a slightly wetter version of the brick mix to act as mortar.

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