The house in front is made of mud. The thatch is a reed found near the banks of ponds and rivers. The structural supports are from palmyra trees. The house is given a protective and antiseptic finish with a slurry of cow dung which is repeated weekly.
The house in the rear was originally mud. It has been made here with compressed mud blocks, more durable than plain mud, and a technique now being introduced to villages to ugrade their mud construction. The blocks are stabilized with 5% cement.
Mud and thatch houses are the most prevalent form of housing in Tamil Nadu. They are constructed by all communities. Since the materials and labour are local this building represents the most economical means of initially building a house. However, upkeep of the house is both material and labour intensive.