What is a cheap way to build a house?

How do you build a house using mud-bricks?

How do you make mud-bricks?

If you've thought of building a mud brick building, this course can be an excellent starting point. Its very practical, with some hands on work to get you started; helping you begin experimenting and planning ongoing projects, whether they are a modest garden wall, or more complex buildings. Learn to test soil suitability for mud building, how to make a quality brick & how to test its strength. The course takes you step by step through the building process, showing how to plan a building, sorting through permits and other legalities, doing the site works & foundations, different construction techniques,laying bricks, frames & roofs, installing services, wall finishes and more.

Learn about earth construction, for any type of building: from house to garden shed; garden wall to community hall

Mud Brick Construction aims to develop an understanding of how to approach building with mud bricks. Mud brick building is also known by the alternative name 'adobe'. There are other ways of building with mud brick apart from 'adobe'. These will be covered briefly in this course. For the novice, there is not a lot which can go wrong if you choose to build with mud brick.



The content of each of the ten lessons is outlined below:

1. Scope of Mud Brick
Covers history and types of earth building and construction. Also involves analysis of your soil with respect to suitability for mud bricks.

2. How to make a mud brick
You will get to make a mud brick mould; test your soil, classify it, and check it for ability to withstand compression. You will also be expected to assess other soil types and their suitability for mud bricks.

3. Planning and Site Works
Selecting a home site, designing a house to maximise energy efficiency.
Introduction to building biology (ie. healthy buildings).

4. Legal Considerations
Permits, specifications etc

5. Foundations
Strip foundations, slabs, earth floors.

6. Laying Bricks
Step by step procedure, strengthening/reinforcing walls, load bearing compared
with non load bearing walls, rendering finished surfaces.

7. Doors, Windows, and Roofs
Roofing methods, fixing doors & windows, general fixing, joinery, plugs etc.

8. Finishes
Alternative wall and floor finishes.

9. Services
Electricity, gas, water etc. Designing & costing a small building (eg. store or

10. Other types of Earth Building

Wattle & daub, rammed earth, cob.


Duration: 100 hours (study at your own pace, the average time to complete this module is 5-7 months part time)



  • Discuss the nature and scope of Mud Brick construction
  • Identify the legal considerations which need to be met when building in mud.
  • Determine the requirement for foundations for a mud construction.
  • Determine options for building doors, windows and roofs into a mud building
  • Analyze options for coating or finishing the surface of a mud wall or other mud construction.
  • Compare options for providing water, electricity or any other required services in a mud building.
  • Describe a variety of mud construction techniques other than mud brick.


Examples of some of the Assignments You might encounter

  • Get together a sample of earth which you might like to use to make mud bricks. This earth might be on a property where you wish to build a mud brick house, or it might be from a friend's property. Collect earth from at least a few inches below the soil.
  • Find different types of soil. Give your assessment on the suitability of each for making mud bricks. Send a sample of each soil type along with your assessment of it's suitability for making mud bricks
  • Using different types of soil make test mud bricks. One mud brick should be made with each type of soil plus straw. Make another brick out of each type of soil without straw.
  • Visit or contact your local council's building department. Find out from them where you can obtain a copy of `Standard Specifications' from
  • Explain step by step how you would go about putting down a concrete strip foundation for a small single storey mud brick workshop


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