Prehistoric Mayan homes were constructed of organic materials such as a mixture of mud and straw known as adobe, and the roofs were thatched with palm fronds and constructed with wood. Some houses included walls constructed of stacked stone, called albarradas. The Mayans spread their walls with lime to whiten them. The floors were constructed of gravel covered with soil. However, some homes did have wooden baseboards.
Ancient Mayan family lots were comprised of the family home, a well, latrine, chicken coup, garden and a laundry room, or batea. As the Mayans had no nails, homes were constructed in a rounded rectangular shape. Structures of the home were tied together using liana, a tropical vine. Homes were traditionally one large room, though some homes separated the kitchen and chicken coop into a separate hut. Hammocks were hung in the homes as resting areas. The houses contained no windows and one door, which faced east. Women cooked on grills set over rocks.
Mayan houses were built on low platforms, as opposed to religious and government buildings, which were always constructed on high platforms.The Mayans felt that these buildings were more important than common homes, which is why they were constructed of brick and mortar.