This collection contains a one-page manuscript titled, "A Step by Step Instruction on How to Build a Sod House." Effinger of How to Grow Sod in a Greenhouse. With limited natural resources, early settlers to Edmond built their homes from sod. The resulting structure featured less expensive materials, and was quicker to build than a wood frame house. It is a very rustic way to live. Watch for activity on the museum grounds as the weather warms, because we welcome you to join in the fun and unique experience of building an authentic sod house. Yes, it is better quality than regular sod. Sod quickly produces a lawn in your yard, and a greenhouse is the perfect place to start and protect rows of sod. How long does it take to build a sod house? The building site on the prairie was first cleared and leveled with a sharp spade prior to building up 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. Those homes have lasted for hundreds of years if regularly replastered every year or two. I may have fallen in love with this house!!! Now if the house had 4 or 5 rooms that size, It would work for me. The floor shine with the years of being walked on and swept clean. To date the group has spent over 200 man-hours building the soddy; a few more hours will be required to finish it up. You walk in and think, oh, man, how did they raise children here?'' My 8″ x 10″ bedroom felt cramped with just me in it. The much-needed barn was usually built first; a house would come later. But in the mid-1880s, a … 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. Im on the prarie. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 54,618 times. I would think the grass would rot and stink. RG2034.AM: Sod House Construction Instructions. The ribbon was cut into bricks that were 2 ft long, 1 ft wide and 4 inches thick which were used to build the walls of the house. You were required to have a wider base for the sod house in order to have a strong and solid foundation. The poor man's soddie is small and dark: "I think that's the best exhibit of all,'' he said. It all depends on what is available in each area. A squirrel did try to move in, but we used a live trap to remove it (deportation to Minnesota). The roofs are usually one large piece so individual pieces, like on a shingled roof, do not blow off. The second most detrimental impact on a sod house, like any other building, entails the loss of a weather-tight roof. Why are the sod blocks inverted when placed? 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. a room can be done in a day with a few hands to help lay the block as they are made. The homes last as well as traditional adobe with much less labor. Mark the area where you will build the house so you will know where to place the exterior walls. What is the name of the mechanical device? Later a quantity of straw was put on the floor which made it warmer but proved to be a breeding place for fleas. Don’t leave sod overhanging the roof edge. Prairie grass had a much thicker, tougher root structure than modern landscaping grass… so it kept the dirt in one piece. Every third layer of sod is laid crosswise to tie the inner and outer layers together. Despite the name, sod homes did have some wood and other materials. After finding a dry spot, the builders dug down three or four feet, to create the floor of the house, but left a sleeping area elevated about two feet off the floor. I was aware of the soddy and I found the article very interesting. 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. Where were the Sod Houses Built? Each piece of cut sod is two feet long, one foot wide and four inches thick. References. It was damned hard work. See more. Here you will see some of each. What Happens If You Bury A Cabbage Over Winter? If you are building this for your lawn, set green, growing sod up edgewise against the wire netting, after the latter has been tacked to your frame, so arranging the sod that the green grass will face the outside. 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. 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. So, Nebraska settlers would search for fields of buffalo grass, little blue stem, wire grass, prairie cord grass, Indian grass, and wheat grass. Sod houses were built by prairie settlers in the United States and Canada. © 2014-2020 Copyright Askaprepper. 25 Little Known Survival Uses For Tree Bark, How To Prepare Your Car In Case You Have To Live In It, Things You Throw Away That You Should Add To Your Stockpile Instead, 10+ Things To Do To Winter-Proof Your Home, How Much Ammo You Need For Practice Just To Keep Your Shooting Skills In Shape, DIY Condensed Milk Recipe That Can Last More Than 2 Years. Close window . Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. 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. About an acre of land could be broken into enough sod bricks to build a home of this size. Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society. This soddy was built in 2006 using about 2000 tons of sod. The … Check your local building codes for the size and composition of exterior wall foundation. This article was written by the Ox Cart Trails Historical Society. Building a sod house replica with rice krispies. (Source). first, a plod was used to turn over a ribbon of sod. To create this article, 18 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. It was a fun project and have many visitors. Very few people are aware of this type of housing. Sod houses were cheap to build, sturdy, warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Sod houses accommodated normal doors and windows. "That's how people lived. Building the House. Sod houses were used throughout the prairie states because trees were scarce unless you were close to a river. I know people lived in houses that small, several in fact, and I can’t imagine living like that even for a short time. If you liked it, you can visit the website at OxCartTrails.net. Morning was the best time to harvest sod bricks which were easier to handle when the moisture content was high. The pictures are great. The sod house was built by Addison Morrison of Newport, Nebraska, along with Mrs. Bowser’s son. Recent plastering with commercial plaster destroied some homes by trapping moisture in the walls. 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!). But for the pioneers who settled in the prairie, wood was a rare commodity. It consists of handwritten instructions on how to build a sod house. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. It was written by E.G. Were I younger, I would try building some of what they accomplished through need. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. It’s really great to see how our ancestors lived and built all the necessities of life at that time. The walls are two sod blocks thick, staggered as bricks would be. However, sod houses … Wood was scarce on the prairie, but thickly-thatched sod was abundant. This article has been viewed 54,618 times. It is also good info for unknown future times. They were built two bricks deep at the bottom and sometimes narrowing to one brick deep as it got toward the top. The breach of the roof here no doubt helped contribute to the collapse of half the wall on the left. Lightly water the layer of sod placed on the roof. Shuttered opening predated glass windows and work well enough in our severe winters and summers. The only comment that I would disagree with is that it is fun. 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