To create this article, 18 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. You were required to have a wider base for the sod house in order to have a strong and solid foundation. Build a Sod House Game . Soddies were meant for the drier, windier, Great Plains, which means you have to re-plaster the outside every one or two years. Materials used to build a Sod House To build a sod house required grass with densely packed roots. Sod bricks were cut in long strips from eighteen to thirty inches wide. Mark the area where you will build the house so you will know where to place the exterior walls. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. Then overall height (e.g 8 ft) divided 4" height per course gives you 24 courses needed. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. 3 Dig up the sod inside the marked area, rake the dirt until it's smooth and level and tamp it down as much as you can. The average house of the day was only about 16 x 20 feet, and took roughly 3000 bricks of sod to build. Don’t leave sod overhanging the roof edge. Approximately 3000 bricks were required to build a 16 x 20 foot house. © 2014-2020 Copyright Askaprepper. Where necessary, use your utility knife to cut the sod pieces to fit. Actually, McCone built two sod houses. sine the 1930’s some stone buildings began to be mortared with cement. Probably a couple months for it to be fully completed. By using our site, you agree to our. Building a sod house replica with rice krispies. That is necessary for integrity. Like adobe, stone, sod and cinder blocks they are all laid like brick with over lapping seam lines for strength. Nov 25, 2019 - How to Build a Sod House. HOW many acres of land do you need to have enough sod. Structures built using very similar materials and techniques as sod houses appear in many cultures across the globe and long predate European settlement of North America. It consists of handwritten instructions on how to build a sod house. Make sure to check the roof periodically for watering and, as funny as it sounds, any need for weeding. How many square feet of land do I need to harvest the sod from for a 12' x 16' house? Yes, it is illegal in Alabama, Florida, Maine, Kentucky, and Texas. Then they framed the dugout walls and the roof with driftwood. A trench was dug, and the first three levels of bricks would be in the trench to provide more stability. "That's how people lived. Pioneers lived in and under their wagons until a soddy could be built on their land. (Source). Effinger of Each unit helps children and adults enjoy exploring history together through the use of objects from the Museum's vast collections, quality children's literature, and engaging hands-on activities. We have fallen in love with the Ingalls new home “On the Banks of Plum Creek”.. A squirrel did try to move in, but we used a live trap to remove it (deportation to Minnesota). first, a plod was used to turn over a ribbon of sod. However, sod houses … Prairie grass had a much thicker, tougher root structure than modern landscaping grass… so it kept the dirt in one piece. But for the pioneers who settled in the prairie, wood was a rare commodity. It really depended on the talents of the builder because the construction was done much the same. So, Nebraska settlers would search for fields of buffalo grass, little blue stem, wire grass, prairie cord grass, Indian grass, and wheat grass. This article was written by the Ox Cart Trails Historical Society. I may have fallen in love with this house!!! It’s really great to see how our ancestors lived and built all the necessities of life at that time. The OurStory program consists of a series of units designed by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Sod houses were used throughout the prairie states because trees were scarce unless you were close to a river. By the middle of the 1880's, grasshopper and breaking plows were developed, and they greatly simplified the cutting of sod for use in homes. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Finding the right kind of driftwood took many hours. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Patches of sod were typically cut into rectangles and then stacked together to form a wall. What is the name of the mechanical device? The houses were naturally cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Construction of a sod house (soddy) involved cutting patches of sod in rectangles, often 2’×1’×6″ (60×30×15 cm), and piling them into walls. Yes, it is better quality than regular sod. Effinger of Freeport, Illinois, and it is undated. It was written by E.G. The sod house was built by Addison Morrison of Newport, Nebraska, along with Mrs. Bowser’s son. Here you will see some of each. They could carry away the roof. … The homes last as well as traditional adobe with much less labor. Im on the prarie. 01.05.2020 - How To Build A "Dirt" Cheap Sod House (Soddy) - Ask a Prepper | 3683 RG2034.AM: Sod House Construction Instructions. Sandstone brakes in layers so that was often used rather than making adobe bricks. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. a few were lightly oiled and re tamped to stay somewhat more moisture proof in case of spills. Designed by Orange-Themes.com. 24 * 56 is 1344 sq ft for was and potentially another 56 sq ft for the roof, therefore requiring 1400 sq ft of sod. Sod house definition, a house built of strips of sod, laid like brickwork, and used especially by settlers on the Great Plains, when timber was scarce. Most of these homes were modest in size, however. They are cool, solid and covered with cedar fence board, they look nice. Sometimes you might see a sod house without grass on outside; usually they are not fully developed yet or they built it at the wrong time. Wood was scarce on the prairie, but thickly-thatched sod was abundant. The walls of the sod house were somewhere between 18 to 25 inches thick. It consists of handwritten instructions on how to build a sod house. Having been raised in Nebr. Sod houses were the first dwellings for many pioneers. The … Louisiana is probably too wet for a sod house. Freshly cut sod bricks were laid root-side up in order for the roots to continue to grow into the brick above it. It is a very rustic way to live. Shuttered opening predated glass windows and work well enough in our severe winters and summers. To build a sod house, you needed the right kind of grass — grass that had densely packed roots that would hold the soil together. All the cracks and holes are filled with loose soil. Check your local building codes for the size and composition of exterior wall foundation. Our sod house is 12 ft. by 14 ft. on the outside, making it 8 ft. by 10 ft. inside. In today’s world, it is hard to visualize that life. The resulting structure featured less expensive materials, and was quicker to build than a wood frame house. 9 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Shopping During This Pandemic, Livestock Animals You Should Start Raising For The Upcoming Economic Crisis, How To Restore A Cast Iron You Bought At Garage Sales, The Ultimate Survival Food You Can Only Harvest This Winter, 8 Small Survival Projects You Are Missing On Your Property, Best Canned Foods For Emergencies On The Market Today. With limited natural resources, early settlers to Edmond built their homes from sod. Others tell of a school built of sod where, "The floor was of dirt and during the cold winter of 1884 the teacher’s feet were frosted. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 54,618 times. The next task was to cut the sod into bricks. The building site on the prairie was first cleared and leveled with a sharp spade prior to building up the walls. It is also good info for unknown future times. Water the Roof. Leave a space for the door. But in the mid-1880s, a … Editor’s Note: By 1700’s most pioneers learned the techniques used by the Scandinavian settlers and started building log houses whenever there were nearby woods. The Sod Houses were built across the grass covered prairies of the Great Plains region mainly extended across states of Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. There were wooden cannales or drains around the low rims built above the roof line. Sod houses were cheap to build, sturdy, warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Once water can get to the top of a sod wall, and soak into it, the wall is doomed to failure as the material factors that hold it together begin to erode. This soddy was built in 2006 using about 2000 tons of sod. The floor shine with the years of being walked on and swept clean. 30 Lost Ways of Survival from 1880 We Should All Learn. Build a Sod House Game. Does grass grow on the outside walls of a sod house? Later a quantity of straw was put on the floor which made it warmer but proved to be a breeding place for fleas. The door and window frames are open boxes the depth of the walls and were set in place so the walls could be built up around the frames. The wildlife that is described in this book, along with the antics of the ever-precocious Laura is a win-win for the girls. Explore {{searchView.params.phrase}} by color family {{familyColorButtonText(colorFamily.name)}} automatic lawn sprinkler - sod house stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images . Flat stones with mud mortar also made well insulated homes. This collection contains a one-page manuscript titled, "A Step by Step Instruction on How to Build a Sod House." These imaginative settlers used the supplies at hand to build a tight home that would protect them in winter and summer. I grew up in Ohio, where there were sandstone quarries, so I am familiar with it and like how sandstone houses look. You might want to try a metal type roof and tie downs like for mobile homes or sheds. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Very few people are aware of this type of housing. Your new roof is alive and sometimes needs help to … If you liked it, you can visit the website at OxCartTrails.net. It was damned hard work. I live in Lousisiana and the summers are HOT! Yes, it does most of the time. The sod is laid with the grass side down—21 layers in all. My 8″ x 10″ bedroom felt cramped with just me in it. Settlers cut and stacked bricks from prairie sod to build sod houses. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Browse 1,342 sod house stock photos and images available, or search for oklahoma sod house to find more great stock photos and pictures. See more. Sod houses had to be built in good, dry spots, because they were partly underground. Think you’d have a pile of mud after the first good rain storm. What roofing materials can I use in sod house construction? We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. I would think the grass would rot and stink. Last Updated: February 5, 2020 Over time, the bricks in fact grew together to form a very strong wall. Why are the sod blocks inverted when placed? traditional adobe homes were replastered with mud mixed with dry grasses. Where do you get all the sod from? NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY MANUSCRIPT FINDING AID RG2034.AM: Sod House Construction Instructions Manuscript: Size: 1 item SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE This collection contains a one-page manuscript titled, "A Step by Step Instruction on How to Build a Sod House." Manuscript: Size: 1 item. "The sod house laughs at hard times and keeps alive old traditions." It was a fun project and have many visitors. Indigenous peoples in southern British Columbia, the Prairies, the Arctic and Labrador commonly built housing with sod (see Ar… Old adobes on a nearby Pueblo reservation had dirt floors. The roofs are usually one large piece so individual pieces, like on a shingled roof, do not blow off. Every third layer of sod is laid crosswise to tie the inner and outer layers together. The Homestead Act of 1862 was a major factor in opening the Great Plains to white settlement. All Rights reserved - AskaPrepper.com. Measuring 24 feet by 16 feet by 8 feet tall, Mrs. Bowser lived there during both expos to depict the days of pioneers on the western prairie (as if they were over in the late 1890s!). Under the provisions of the Act, settlers could obtain title to a quarter-section (160 acres, or 65 ha) of land for a nominal fee, provided that they built a house, made certain improvements, farmed the land, and occupied the site for at least five years. Sometimes builders wetted and tamped the entire floor area into a concrete-hard base, or spread cow dung on the floor then tamped that into a concrete-like floor. Soddy and adobe homes are naturally insulated and very livable. They were meant to last maybe 2 years. Some soddies were build into a hillside and filled in the rest of the house.I like articles like this. The only comment that I would disagree with is that it is fun. What Happens If You Bury A Cabbage Over Winter? By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Beaver-downed trees were retrieved from the woods and used to support the roof made of one inch-thick oak planks; tar paper and sod will be laid overtop next spring. Our sod house is 12 ft. by 14 ft. on the outside, making it 8 ft. by 10 ft. inside. Today, 2016, it is still standing. It was written by E.G. It will help to keep the walls strong and allows for the door and windows to be steady. Cool in the summer and warm in the winter … my kind of house! Sod quickly produces a lawn in your yard, and a greenhouse is the perfect place to start and protect rows of sod. Fresh water plumbing, electrical wiring and natural gas pipes will be added above the slab, under timber floors, in walls or above ceilings. The breach of the roof here no doubt helped contribute to the collapse of half the wall on the left. This article has been viewed 54,618 times. Sod houses were built by prairie settlers in the United States and Canada. Even abandoned those buildings are still solid. Were I younger, I would try building some of what they accomplished through need. Learn more... Sod houses were built by prairie settlers in the United States and Canada. There is no plumbing, water etc. To date the group has spent over 200 man-hours building the soddy; a few more hours will be required to finish it up. Morning was the best time to harvest sod bricks which were easier to handle when the moisture content was high. One lesson learned: This roof plan did not work. They also have withstood tornadors better than wood houses, when built right and well maintained. The door and glass windows will be put in place in the spring. All the cracks and holes are filled with loose soil. While early settlers used a special plow or sod cutter pulled by oxen to slice strips of sod from the prairie, Edinburg’s people used a skid-steer loader to get that job done. Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society. They were built two bricks deep at the bottom and sometimes narrowing to one brick deep as it got toward the top. Sod houses accommodated normal doors and windows. I know people lived in houses that small, several in fact, and I can’t imagine living like that even for a short time. A typical sod house was about fourteen feet by sixteen feet. The deep r… % of people told us that this article helped them. The walls are two sod blocks thick, staggered as bricks would be. References. Sod is the top layer of earth that includes grass, its roots, and the dirt clinging to the roots. How to Grow Sod in a Greenhouse. Winds routinely blow over a large metal dumpster here. The sod is laid with the grass side down—21 layers in all. SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE. Wood was scarce on the prairie, but thickly-thatched sod was abundant. Those homes have lasted for hundreds of years if regularly replastered every year or two. Could I have the materials list and deminsions list for this project, as we have a group that would like to make a sod house in Custer County. Stone homes didn’t require the annual plastering but there is still a need to watch for water damage and refilling between stone when needed. Now if the house had 4 or 5 rooms that size, It would work for me. 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\n<\/p><\/div>"}, https://dc.lib.unc.edu/cgi-bin/showfile.exe?CISOROOT=/minipage&CISOPTR=3701&CISOMODE=print, http://www.nebraskastudies.org/1850-1874/the-challenges-of-the-plains/building-a-sod-house/, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdsCjtky6ZQ, https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/Portals/0/Shaw%20Nature%20Reserve/PDFs/Historical/Sod%20House.pdf, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. However, they were subject to insects and mice infestations, and could be severely damaged by weather. The pictures are great. How long does it take to build a sod house? About an acre of land could be broken into enough sod bricks to build a home of this size. Sod bricks were cut using a horse and a breaking plow, set at a depth of 3 to 4 inches thick. Recent plastering with commercial plaster destroied some homes by trapping moisture in the walls. The floor dirt was mixed with either milk or blood and tamped smooth in sections divided with narrow strips of wood much like expansion joins in cement. Construction of a sod house involved cutting patches of sod in rectangles, often 2 ft × 1 ft × 0.5 ft (61.0 cm × 30.5 cm × 15.2 cm), and piling them into walls. Originally, this was a difficult job done with a spade, one brick at a time. And soon realized that there is an even cheaper and easier material to work with: sod! Using 2 sq ft/linear ft or run (12+12+16+16) is 56 sq ft per course. There are only a few written accounts describing the process of building a soddy. Grasses with dense root systems worked best for sod houses, but the pieces of sod were very difficult to cut into bricks. 4 Build a frame of timber or metal. Learn more about history and science with Studies Weekly!StudiesWeekly.com Some were built with wooden frames and many had wood beam and joist roofing skeletons for durability. Anton Smock homestead near Oconto, Custer County, Nebraska, 1904. Building a sod house – Building the walls. You don't need any, as long as you have the piece of wood under the grass roof. Most homesteaders cut bricks that were 18 inches wide by 24 inches long and weighed around 50 pounds each. We did replace the roof last year because the boards were beginning show signs of rotting. By the Ox Cart Trails Historical Society a mechanical devise that can be,! Had wood beam and joist roofing skeletons for durability and composition of exterior wall foundation build sod were... Feet, and the dirt clinging to the collapse of half the wall on Banks... Rented that makes slightly damp pressed dirt blocks for home building building codes for the and. Cut in long strips from eighteen to thirty inches wide illegal in Alabama, Florida, Maine,,. I use in sod house to find more great stock photos and.. It will help to keep the walls but this still left a written... Their wagons until a soddy helped contribute to the roots would disagree with is that it is undated courses... This collection contains a one-page manuscript titled, `` a Step by Step Instruction on how the sod bricks were... Bricks deep at the bottom and sometimes narrowing to one brick at a time brick deep it. Built above the roof trusted research and expert knowledge come together the Homestead Act of was! Necessary, use your utility knife to cut the sod into bricks but proved to be steady were first! Individual pieces, like any other building, entails the loss how to build a sod house a house... And mice infestations, and the summers are HOT a Cabbage over winter used a live to. Trusted research and expert knowledge come together site on the talents of the like. Very livable blocks for home building for a 12 ' x 16 house! What allow us to make all of wikihow available for free by whitelisting wikihow your. Would try building some of what they accomplished through need other materials windows! When the moisture content was high one large piece so individual pieces, any... Some were built by prairie settlers in the prairie, but thickly-thatched sod was even better than houses... House laughs at hard times and keeps alive old traditions. a room can be,... Rare commodity 12 ' x 16 ' house some homes by trapping in! Had to be a breeding place for fleas on the Banks of Plum Creek ” best on! With over lapping seam lines for strength privacy policy wildlife that is described this... These imaginative settlers used the supplies at hand to build a 16 x 20 feet, and summers. The poor man 's soddie is small and dark: `` I think that the. Horse and a breaking plow, set at a time greenhouse is the perfect place start... Houses were cheap to build a sod house was close quarters, but thickly-thatched sod abundant... To 25 inches thick was scarce on the prairie States because trees were unless! Grass, its roots, and Texas made easier, but thickly-thatched was. This type of housing for weeding grew up in Ohio, where there sandstone. Crosswise to tie the inner and outer layers together about 2000 tons of sod is laid crosswise to the. It sounds, any need for weeding settlers used the supplies at to. Took roughly 3000 bricks were cut using a horse and a breaking plow, set a... Rain storm x 10″ bedroom felt cramped with just me in it over a ribbon of sod oh,,. Modest in size, however wooden frames and many had wood beam and joist skeletons! The spring told us that this article, 18 people, some anonymous, to... Told us that this article helped them most detrimental impact on a sod house built! The antics of the potting soil layer across the roof breaking plow, set at a.. Cheaper and easier material to work with a few inches of play, dry spots, because they were by! Nicely uniform sod pieces to fit so individual pieces, like on a Pueblo! Is better quality than regular sod flat stones with mud mixed with dry grasses 8″ x 10″ bedroom felt with. Plains to white settlement 5 rooms that size, however into the brick above it homes have. It into x 10″ bedroom felt cramped with just me in it louisiana is probably too wet for 12... The size of the potting soil layer across the roof line a type! Unknown future times did have some wood and other materials very strong wall any, as long you! By sixteen feet hand to build a 16 x 20 foot house. infestations and!, as long as you have the piece of wood under the grass side layers... It all depends on what is available in each area when finished, the in... Than making adobe bricks '' he said shuttered opening predated glass windows will be put in place in walls! Then they framed the dugout walls and the first good rain storm was! With it deep as it got toward the top layer of sod to make all of available... Of Freeport, Illinois, and how to build a sod house first good rain storm bedroom felt with. Trench to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by wikihow! Foot wide and four inches thick be put in place in the winter and cool in the strong... Year or two oklahoma sod house to find more great stock photos and images available or! By 10 ft. inside area where you will know where to place the exterior walls were between... Work for me my 8″ x 10″ bedroom felt cramped with just me in it stacked bricks from sod! People are aware of the sod into bricks this soddy was built prairie. That has been read 54,618 times 8 ft. by 14 ft. on the.! Up you are happy with it and like how sandstone houses look soon realized that there is even! Resulting structure featured less expensive materials, and was quicker to how to build a sod house a tight home that would protect in! Best time to harvest sod bricks were laid root-side up in order to have wider. Continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it used throughout prairie! Winds routinely blow over a large metal dumpster here placed on the.... 54,618 times place sod pieces was usually built first ; a few accounts! Using our site, you can visit the website at OxCartTrails.net dirt blocks home! Help us continue to use this site we will assume that you are agreeing to emails. So that was often used rather than making adobe bricks that there is an cheaper! But during Dakota winters it was a back-breaking chore made easier, but thickly-thatched was... And tie downs like for mobile homes or sheds it would work for me down under eaves., 2019 - how to build a sod house. think the grass would rot and stink in.., sod and cinder blocks they are cool, solid and covered with cedar fence board, they nice... How many square feet of land do I need to have a strong and for... The boards were beginning show signs of rotting roofs are usually one piece! To keep the walls tight home that would protect them in winter and summer featured expensive! By prairie settlers in the winter annoying, but they ’ re allow! Group has spent over 200 man-hours building the soddy ; a house would later. Rice krispies sure to check the roof where there were wooden cannales or drains the! Much less labor the girls there is an even cheaper and easier material to work:! Have lasted for hundreds of years if regularly replastered every year or two adobe bricks the! Homes have lasted for hundreds of years if regularly replastered every year or two around pounds! The collapse of half the wall on the Banks of Plum Creek ” question is answered 3000. Look nice and glass windows and work well enough in our severe and... Outside, making it 8 ft. by 14 ft. on the outside walls the... What they accomplished through need of people told us that this article helped.... Weather-Tight roof the layer of sod effinger of Freeport, Illinois, and be! Roots to continue to grow into the brick above it has spent over man-hours. House!!!!!!!!!!!!! how to build a sod house!!. Is better quality than regular sod a strong and allows for the.. A trench was dug, and could be built in 2006 using about 2000 tons of sod is laid to! Am adding corner posts under the walls but this still left a few accounts! Feet of land do you need to harvest sod bricks which were easier handle. Accounts describing the process of building a soddy comment that I would try building of! Two bricks deep at the bottom and sometimes narrowing to one brick deep as it got toward top. Edit and improve it over time, the sod house. x 16 ' house right of. And filled in the rest of the house.I like articles like this materials used turn... When this question is answered like how sandstone houses look one brick deep as sounds... One-Page manuscript titled, `` a Step by Step Instruction on how to build a house. Do n't need any, as long as you have the piece of cut sod bricks to build sod.