Friday, July 04, 2008


How do I enter code on this blog?

What Makes a Good Representative?

Senator Jesse Helms may well have well represented a bigger portion of his potential constituents then the overwhelming majority of Representatives or Senators we have elected.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Battered Adobe

I am still sometimes attracted by what might be called called construction curiosities.

Building with adobe requires a great deal of hard physical work. It takes perhaps two to three thousand man hours to build a home, more if you are unpracticed with adobe.
Still, if you are digging a basement or pond and have that pile of sand and clay soil and some water, you have your raw material at hand.

A development in the adobe industry is a hydraulic pressing machine which makes about ten bricks a minute. The advantage of the bricks so produced is more time saving than may be evident at first. The great thing is that the bricks are ready to use without further curing.

During most of my life using steal reinforced concrete has been the only way to build a good foundation. No longer. For example field stone foundations have be found to last many, many decades through flood and quake. Still best to chat with your building inspector.

A clear title well registered is best well assured before building starts. A land surrey is good too.

Don't let using adobe keep you from from a complete set of building plans. Or, from carefully planning your order of tasks.

We know that earth building has been around for a very long time, probably much more than the evidence reveals so far. Excavations at the site of the smelters for King Solomon's mines at Aquaba in North Africa reveled the use of adobe bricks in construction. Mud wall construction was done at Casa Grande in Arizona. Rammed earth or pise has been used all over the Americas, including Washington, D.C.

Location, location, location. A swamp may not be the best place for an adobe building.
Seek a neighborhood with pleasant features. Don't expect many changes for the better. Conditions, like prevailing wins and a hot afternoon sun, may make the west side unsuitable for living rooms and patios.

It seems good to let the design be at home with its surroundings. A structure is more at peace with its surroundings with a a careful selection of materials, textures, and colors., Using earth color has been the most economical way to key a structure to its surroundings. Local plant colors my be echoed in trim colors.

A battered wall in adobe construction is a term describing a wall that is wider at the bottom than it is at the top.

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