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Pueblo Homes

Pueblo homes, also sometimes referred to as "adobes" because of the material from which they are built, take their inspiration from Native American earthen dwellings that have been in use for centuries.

Pueblo Home

The main features of pueblo homes include gigantic, rounded adobe walls, flat roofs that lack overhang, heavy timbers (or vigas) that extend through the walls to provide roof support, latillas (or poles) angled above the vigas, rounded parapets that contain spouts for rain water, simple windows and deep door and window openings.

The homes also contain bancos (or benches) protruding from the walls, beehive fireplaces in the corners, nichos (or niches) that are carved in the walls in order to display religious icons, stepped levels, and floors made of wood, brick, or flagstones. Pueblo Revival homes, with their Spanish influence, may also have enclosed patios, corbels, porches supported by posts and heavy doors made of wood.

There are variations on the Pueblo revival style. Contemporary Pueblo is unornamented, and lacks vigas, posts or beams. Pueblo Deco combines Art Deco with Pueblo Revival, and is characterized by Native American designs and geometric patterns. The Territorial Pueblo has square corners as opposed to rounded, and the window frames are straight moldings made of wood. The Santa Fe style has become the standard for New Mexico, following the Santa Fe Historic Zoning Ordinance in 1957.

Modern Pueblo House

Since ancient times, Pueblo Indians built large, multi-family houses, which the Spanish called pueblos (villages). In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Spanish made their own Pueblo homes, but they adapted the style. They formed the adobe into sun-dried building blocks. After stacking the blocks, the Spaniards covered them with protective layers of mud.

Pueblo Revival has been a popular architectural style since the early 1900s in the southwestern portion of the United States, and also in California and Florida. In the 1920s, Glenn Curtiss, the aviation pioneer, partnered with James Bright to create an entire housing development of buildings made from concrete blocks or wood frame in the area that is now known as Miami Springs.

Modern Pueblos are frequently made with blocks of concrete, or from other materials, and then covered with plaster, mortar, stucco or adobe. This has its history in the construction methods used by West Texas Indians, who lacked materials like hides or grasses to cover their houses. Instead, they had rocks, straw, and dirt, and they used these materials to make their adobe homes. Adobe is simply straw mixed with mud and then dried to make bricks.

Pueblo with Desert Landscaping

Having made the bricks, the Pueblo people then stacked them to construct walls. Gaps were chinked with additional mud to block the elements and prevent insects and vermin from entering. Each room had wooden posts to support the roof. The roof was created by using a layer of sticks covered with grass, then mud, and finished using plaster.

The Pueblo people also used plaster on their floors and walls. The floors were then frequently painted in bands of black, yellow, white and red.


Pueblo architecture, in its many variations, remains popular to this day.


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