The RIC Good Wood Guide

Stick and Mud Building

by Merrick Fry*

The Stick and Mud method is related to a very old building method called 'Wattle and Daub', whereby mud is pushed between small interlaced sticks attached to posts. In the Stick and Mud method, stud poles are place with boarding on the outside and wire netting on the inside. The mud goes in the cavity covering the poles and keys into the netting and the planks. Larger pier posts act as a foundation, supporting the main load and protecting the corners.


· Stick and Mud is the quickest method of building and requires the least skill;

· A comfortable, permanent dwelling can be built for only a few hundred dollars, if necessary;

· Almost any sort of earth can be used because it is a secondary support for the house;

· One person can do the work, if necessary;

· A flexible range of materials can be used, saving costs on one specific material;

· The structure would withstand earthquakes better than other methods; It can be used for any shape of house - curved walls are really simple;

· By getting the roof on early in the construction phase, there is shelter while building and protection for the walls, allowing them to dry slowly without cracking;

· Mud itself costs nothing, is readily available, is fireproof, termite-proof and soundproof;

· Mud gets stronger as it ages, having very little capillary action for water;

· Mud has good insulating properties, staying cool in summer and keeping in the warmth in winter;

· Mud has an aesthetic quality which will make the finished result unique.

* From the book 'Stick in Mud' - see Books - Earth, Adobe, Mudbrick in the Alternative Directory.

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