What was life like in a sod house?

What was life like in a sod house?

Since the house was literally built of dirt and grass, it was constantly infested with bugs, mice, snakes, and assorted other “varmints and vermin.” One sod-house settler lamented that, “In the afternoons, every afternoon, the rattlesnakes would come out of their hidden dens in the walls and roof, and sun themselves on …

What is inside a sod house?

Sod houses, or “soddies,” were a common style of dwelling built in the Prairies during the second half of the 19th century. Soddies were small structures cheaply built out of blocks of sod and rudimentary house fittings. Sod refers to grass and the soil beneath it that is held together by the grass’s roots.

What is a sod house called?

The sod house or soddy was an often used alternative to the log cabin during frontier settlement of the Great Plains of Canada and the United States. The resulting structure featured less expensive materials, and was quicker to build than a wood frame house.

Are sod houses fireproof?

Many people were surprised by the coziness of dugouts and sod houses. They were cool in the summer, warm in the winter and good shelter from the wild prairie weather. The fact that they were basically made of dirt made them virtually fireproof.

What creatures are prevalent in a sod house?

If the soddy was built into a hillside and the family cow decided to graze on the roof, the cow could come crashing through the ceiling, especially if it had rained or snowed recently. The worst drawback was insects and critters. Blocks of sod were home to fleas, ticks, mice, worms, and even snakes.

How long do sod houses last?

Settler families tended to live in their sod houses six or seven years. If the exterior was covered over with whitewash or stucco, the houses could last much longer. But sod construction had it’s limits.

What was an advantage of living in a sod house?

But sod homes had advantages, too. They were fireproof, a distinct advantage in a region where grassfires raged. Also, houses made of dirt stayed cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter than those constructed with traditional building materials.

What are the benefits of living in a sod house?

What were benefits of sod houses?

The thick walls and insulating ability of the material provided good insulation so that it was easy to keep a sod house warm in the winter and cool in summer. The sod houses were virtually fireproof, an extremely important advantage for those living in areas where prairies fires were common.

What were the advantages and disadvantages of living in a sod house?

Sod was a natural insulator, keeping out cold in winter, and heat in summer, while wood houses, which usually had no insulation, were just the opposite: always too hot or too cold. Another advantage of a soddy was that it offered protection from fire, wind, and tornadoes. But a soddy also had drawbacks.

Who invented sod houses?

Native American Indians living on the grass covered plains and prairies of the mid-west, where there was a scarcity of trees, utilized sod or turf to construct Earth Lodges. American Homesteaders moved to the prairies and also used earthen material to build the rectangular shaped Sod House.

What is the average size of a sod house?

Building a sod house would also help to develop a community. Most of the records from that period describe the typical sod house as being a single room approximately 16 feet wide by 20 feet long and eight feet high. Every sod house was built following seven basic steps, as you will see in the following lines.

What was the sod house used for?

The sod house or “soddy” was an often used alternative to the log cabin during frontier settlement of the Great Plains of Canada and the United States. Primarily used at first for animal shelters, corrals and fences, if the prairie lacked standard building materials such as wood or stone, or the poverty…

What kind of roof do you need for a sod house?

Several styles of roof were used on sod houses, ranging from flat roofs made from a lattice of tree branches, to traditional gabled roofs made from lumber, tar paper and shingles. A quality roof can protect a sod house for many years with little need for maintenance.

Are there any legal issues with building a sod house?

That being said, you may still have to deal with some legal issues if this is your building material of choice. Housing codes for size, location, and plumbing will typically still apply if you build a sod house. There are likely to be no contractors or other professionals who would be willing to work with sod in your area.