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Mistakes you want to avoid when building with an earthbag house

Superadobe and Earthbag Building Videos

Quick Summary: Here are the five mistakes to avoid when building an earthbag home:

  1. Neglecting to cover the earthbags with a tarp during rain: This can lead to the structure becoming mushy and unstable, potentially causing collapses.
  2. Failing to align the earthbags properly: Each row of earthbags should be carefully aligned to ensure a solid and stable structure. Rushing through this step can result in future collapses.
  3. Not placing frames for doors and windows early on: Frames provide crucial support and stability to the earthbag walls. It’s important to install them during the early stages of construction.
  4. Overlooking the reinforcement of the structure: Barbed wire placed between the earthbags acts as a Velcro-like mechanism, but if one bag falls, it can cause instability in the surrounding bags. Reinforcing the structure with rebar can help prevent collapses.
  5. Inadequate compaction of the earthbags: Properly tamping down the bags is essential to ensure the stability of the walls. Insufficient compaction can lead to future problems.

YouTube video

In  this this excellent YouTube video above from Spiritual Development Channel, they will be discussing the concept of an earthbag home and the five common mistakes that can occur during its construction. So, what exactly is an earthbag home? It’s a home constructed using sandbags. Throughout this video, they will delve into the common pitfalls to avoid and share valuable insights based on their own experiences.

The first mistake that can be made with an earthbag home is not covering the bags with a tarp when it rains. As seen in this video, this can cause the structure to collapse. It has happened almost eight times, but only in certain areas, not the entire structure. Therefore, it is important to ensure that after each day’s work, a tarp is placed over the earthbags to protect them from rain. This step is vital to prevent the structure from becoming mushy and unstable.

Next, they will discuss the second mistake, which is not aligning the bags properly. Throughout the video, various examples will be shown where the bags are not completely aligned. Although it may be tempting to come back later and readjust them, this will only lead to further collapses. It is emphasized that taking time and aligning each row properly as they progress is crucial. Rushing through the process should be avoided, ensuring that each row aligns neatly and securely.

Moving on, they will address the third mistake of not placing frames early on in the construction. The importance of installing frames for doors and windows during the early stages of building an earthbag home will be highlighted throughout the video. This step provides crucial support and stability to the structure.

Additionally, they will explore the impact of barbed wire placed between the earthbags. This wire acts as a Velcro-like mechanism, holding the bags together. However, it also has its limitations. If one bag falls, it can potentially pull down the surrounding bags, leading to instability. In this video, techniques to reinforce the structure, such as inserting rebar halfway up the walls, will be discussed to ensure their stability.

Another significant mistake that will be covered in this video is not properly tamping down the bags. Visual demonstrations will be shown to illustrate the proper techniques for compacting the earthbags. This step is crucial to avoid future problems and ensure the stability of the walls.

Throughout this YouTube video, valuable insights and lessons learned from their own experiences with earthbag construction will be shared. Join them as they explore these mistakes and offer practical advice to help you avoid them in your own earthbag home projects.


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