Man builds “Hobbit house” for under $5000

The man that you see above is Simon Dale, a new home owner who did things differently. Dale, who obtained a free plot of hillside land in Wales, in the United Kingdom – he then spent four months building a “Hobbit house” for the very reasonable sum of £3,000 (about $4,700).

Dale, who had no experience in carpentry or architecture, built the home from the ground up with the help of his father-in-law, a builder. The timber-framed home uses plastic-covered straw bales for insulation. The walls are finished with lime plaster, as opposed to cement. A layer of earth covers the building and helps Dale’s home blend in with the surroundings.

Dale outlined the features of his home:

  • Dug into hillside for low visual impact and shelter
  • Stone and mud from diggings used for retaining walls, foundations etc.
  • Frame of oak thinnings (spare wood) from surrounding woodland
  • Reciprocal roof rafters are structurally and aesthaetically fantastic and very easy to do
  • Straw bales in floor, walls and roof for super-insulation and easy building
  • Plastic sheet and mud/turf roof for low impact and ease
  • Lime plaster on walls is breathable and low energy to manufacture (compared to cement)
  • Reclaimed (scrap) wood for floors and fittings
  • Anything you could possibly want is in a rubbish pile somewhere (windows, burner, plumbing, wiring…)
  • Woodburner for heating – renewable and locally plentiful
  • Flue goes through big stone/plaster lump to retain and slowly release heat
  • Fridge is cooled by air coming underground through foundations
  • Skylight in roof lets in natural feeling light
  • Solar panels for lighting, music and computing
  • Water by gravity from nearby spring
  • Compost toilet
  • Roof water collects in pond for garden etc.
All up, the construction took around 1000-1500 man hours – time well spent, I say.

[Nerd Approved]

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C.S. Magor is the editor-in-chief and a reporter at large for We Interrupt and Uberreview. He currently resides in the Japanese countryside approximately two hours from Tokyo - where he has spent the better part of a decade testing his hypothesis that Japan is neither as quirky nor as interesting as others would have you believe.
2 Comments on this post.
  • How to Build Your Own “Hobbit House” For Under $5000 | The UberReview
    23 November 2011 at 7:17 pm
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    […] more over at We Interrupt, and check out Simon’s latest project […]

  • Resources and inspiration for DIY super low cost homes | Elemental Cheapness
    1 December 2011 at 3:28 pm
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    […] Man builds “Hobbit house” for under $5000 ( […]

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