Yes you read the title correctly. Hobbit homes are no longer a work of film or fiction. Eco-extraordinaire Simon Dale went into the woods one day and built a sustainable, eco-friendly, and above all functional hobbit house for him and his family to live in whilst they worked on an ecological woodland management project.
The house was built with a view to have a low impact on the environment and be in keeping with its surroundings. It was also built on a tiny budget, proving that dream homes (if in fact you on occasion lust after a hobbit abode) don’t have to cost the Earth (Middle or otherwise…).
The budget for this stunning residence was around £3,000 in materials which equates to roughly £60/sq m excluding labour. According to Dale it took approximately 1,000-1,500 man hours plus the help of his Father-in-law and some helpful passers by and visiting friends.
So what do you need to build a house like this?
- A Chainsaw (try not to have any Texas Chainsaw Massacre moments when DIY takes a more stressful turn of events…you know it will, DIY projects always do)
- A Hammer
- A 1 inch chisel
- An appropriate woodland area
- A fair bit of time, determination and love of the environment
- 3,000 of your finest English pounds or around 4,876 lovely American dollars
- Hairy toes…(this one I believe is optional…maybe)
Once you have assembled these tools and found the right plot of land all you need is the sheer will and a little bit of skill to build your new home.
How did he do that?
If you are feeling in awe of Simon Dale a little bit, you are in good company. Being able to create something that not only looks impressive, but is actually fully functional is an amazing feat.
On how he managed to build this home of Hobbit proportions he had this to say:
“I was not a builder or carpenter, my experience was only having had a go at one similar house 2yrs before and a bit of mucking around inbetween. This kind of building is accessible to anyone. My main relevant skills were being able bodied, having self belief and perseverence and a mate or two to give a lift now and again.”
On the appeal of building your own eco-friendly home, Dale explained:
“Since 2003 we have been living and building on the land, working in environmental projects and community. We have found that for a few thousand pound and a few months work it is possible to create simple shelters that are in harmony with the natural landscape, ecologically sound and are a pleasure to live in. There is something powerfully alluring in such natural buildings. Their simplicity and cost makes them accessible; their beauty and use of natural materials remind us of our ancestral right and ability to live well as part of the landscape/nature/earth. We believe this dream is possible for anyone with genuine intention, will and hard work.”
It’s all about looking good
Below are some of the finer points of the design and construction:
- 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
- Reclaimed (scrap) wood for floors and fittings
- Woodburner for heating – renewable and locally plentiful
- 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
- Roof water collects in pond for garden etc.
You can see more of Simon Dale’s projects and find out all the details, including the plans and the photographs of the house in various stages of build here.
This hobbit house is a truly epic project of awesome proportions. I really love that not only is it visually stunning, it is eco-friendly, which is in perfect keeping with hobbit aesthetics. Simon Dale’s hobbit house is, in my opinion, exquisite.
Would you live in a house like this…would you build one?
Image source: All images are from Simon Dale’s website