Architecture

Low-impact Hobbit home only cost US$4,650 to build

Low-impact Hobbit home only co...
The 'Hobbit home' took three months to complete, and came in at under US$5,000 (GBP3,000) (Photo: Simon Dale)
The 'Hobbit home' took three months to complete, and came in at under US$5,000 (GBP3,000) (Photo: Simon Dale)
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Plans for Dale's Hobbit home (Photo: Simon Dale)
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Plans for Dale's Hobbit home (Photo: Simon Dale)
Ecovillage plans (Image: Lammas)
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Ecovillage plans (Image: Lammas)
Hobbit home window (Photo: Simon Dale)
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Hobbit home window (Photo: Simon Dale)
The house has been built from local and natural materials, with a goal of having as little impact on the environment as possible (Photo: Simon Dale)
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The house has been built from local and natural materials, with a goal of having as little impact on the environment as possible (Photo: Simon Dale)
The 'Hobbit home' took three months to complete, and came in at under US$5,000 (GBP3,000) (Photo: Simon Dale)
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The 'Hobbit home' took three months to complete, and came in at under US$5,000 (GBP3,000) (Photo: Simon Dale)
The house has been built from local and natural materials, with a goal of having as little impact on the environment as possible (Photo: Simon Dale)
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The house has been built from local and natural materials, with a goal of having as little impact on the environment as possible (Photo: Simon Dale)
Plans for Dale's Hobbit home (Image: Simon Dale)
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Plans for Dale's Hobbit home (Image: Simon Dale)
Plans for Dale's Hobbit home (Image: Simon Dale)
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Plans for Dale's Hobbit home (Image: Simon Dale)
The house has been built from local and natural materials, with a goal of having as little impact on the environment as possible (Photo: Simon Dale)
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The house has been built from local and natural materials, with a goal of having as little impact on the environment as possible (Photo: Simon Dale)
An ecovillage house prototype (image from Lammas)
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An ecovillage house prototype (image from Lammas)
Building the Hobbit home (Photo: Simon Dale)
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Building the Hobbit home (Photo: Simon Dale)
This low impact Hobbit house is located in the woodlands of West Wales (Photo: Simon Dale)
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This low impact Hobbit house is located in the woodlands of West Wales (Photo: Simon Dale)
A wood burner has been fitted to heat the house and the fridge is cooled by underground air flow (Photo: Simon Dale)
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A wood burner has been fitted to heat the house and the fridge is cooled by underground air flow (Photo: Simon Dale)
The Hobbit home is made from local oak wood, stone and mud retaining walls, with straw baling for insulation (Photo: Simon Dale)
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The Hobbit home is made from local oak wood, stone and mud retaining walls, with straw baling for insulation (Photo: Simon Dale)
The Hobbit home is made from local oak wood, stone and mud retaining walls, with straw baling for insulation (Photo: Simon Dale)
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The Hobbit home is made from local oak wood, stone and mud retaining walls, with straw baling for insulation (Photo: Simon Dale)
The Hobbit home in the snow (Photo: Simon Dale)
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The Hobbit home in the snow (Photo: Simon Dale)
Lammas promotes the development of eco-housing and a low-impact lifestyle that treads lightly on the earth (Photo: Simon Dale)
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Lammas promotes the development of eco-housing and a low-impact lifestyle that treads lightly on the earth (Photo: Simon Dale)
Simon Dale, with the help of his father in-law, has single-handedly built this low impact Hobbit house in the woodlands of West Wales (Photo: Simon Dale)
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Simon Dale, with the help of his father in-law, has single-handedly built this low impact Hobbit house in the woodlands of West Wales (Photo: Simon Dale)
Ecovillage house model (Image: Lammas)
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Ecovillage house model (Image: Lammas)
The 'Hobbit home' took three months to complete, and came in at under US$5,000 (GBP3,000) (Photo: Simon Dale)
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The 'Hobbit home' took three months to complete, and came in at under US$5,000 (GBP3,000) (Photo: Simon Dale)

Simon Dale, with the help of his father in-law, has single-handedly built this low impact Hobbit house in the woodlands of West Wales. The eco-house, which rose from a muddy hole in the ground and took three months to complete, came in at under US$5,000 (GBP3,000) - demonstrating that you don't need to be architectural school graduate to come up with the goods. There's no need to be envious, however, because Dale will give you the plans and know-how to build your very own.

Dale calls himself a "have a go architect" and he is proud of his family home made from local oak wood, stone and mud retaining walls, and straw baling for insulation.

"Some past experience, lots of reading and self-belief gave us the courage of our conviction that we wanted to build our own home in natural surroundings" says Dale.

The house has been built from local and natural materials, with a goal of having as little impact on the environment as possible. Lime plaster was used to coat the interior walls, which provides a breathable and greener solution to cement. Scrap wood was used for the flooring and fittings, a wood burner has been fitted to heat the house, and the fridge is cooled by underground air flow. A central skylight allows natural light to filter throughout the eco-house, and solar panels are used to generate electricity. Water is pumped from a nearby spring and the bathroom features a compost toilet, whilst rain water is collected from the roof for garden use.

The Hobbit home is made from local oak wood, stone and mud retaining walls, with straw baling for insulation (Photo: Simon Dale)
The Hobbit home is made from local oak wood, stone and mud retaining walls, with straw baling for insulation (Photo: Simon Dale)

Evidently the success of his woodland home is just the beginning for Dale, who is currently building his next project as part of the first authorized low-impact ecovillage in Wales. The ecovillage is an initiative of the Lammas Organization, which promotes the development of eco-housing and low-impact lifestyles.

You can check out the plans to Simon Dale's Hobbit House on his website.

28 comments
BigGoofyGuy
It is way cool and an excellent way to \'connect with nature\' since it is so \'organic\' in design. I would not mind living there. The price seems so affordable. :)
TECHautomation
Very nice and very creative. Only limited by the imagination and time. Rain water recovery assume! We should all build along these line incorporating natural black water conversion and grey water. Any number of heat systems from bio mass, rocket stove. Fridge by under ground air flow, very nice. This way of thinking is an intelligent and practical move forward. A little Jealous i am..
calders888
Didn\'t dwellings like this used to be called dugouts? There is a collection of photographs from depression era America, some taken in Pie Town NM, one of them a timber house built into a hole in the ground.
Jay Lloyd
even if this were just a weekend getaway place, it would be an excellent home. i want one!
James Tennyson
Less than $5000.00? BULLS@*T!!!! You can\'t buy timber for that to build a teacup, much LESS a house!!! Did he STEAL the wood, or did he already OWN a MILLION DOLLAR forest to cut it from? Where did the the HUGE WINDOWS come from? Melt his own SAND, did he? Where did he get the HEAVY EQUIPMENT to build it with? I\'ll bet he didn\'t lift those timbers with his bare hands! And where is the wood for \"the woodburner used to heat the house\" going to come from? A forest that took 500 YEARS to grow? Yeah, THAT\'S real GREEN, alright!!! Burn 1,000 YEARS worth of TREES to heat your HOUSE for a winter!!!
aaronhero04
James Howard, fueling a woodstove doesn\'t require cutting down any trees! You obviously have zero experience in construction or woodstoves! People use dead trees that would go to waste if not used, you don\'t cut trees down! The timbers used do not require heavy equipment to maneuver, a simple block and tackle is all you would need. The timbers used in this building are not milled therefore can be had relatively cheap! Old windows scavenged from old buildings can be had for free or next to nothing! There isn\'t any reason that house couldn\'t be built for 5 grand, if not less! I have been in similar homes that were actually free and even made a profit for the owner who was paid to tear down buildings and haul off the old windows, doors and lumber used to build the home!
scooterdave
Beautifull, warm and inviting design. Love it.
Jim Andrews
Very good old lumber and timbers can be had by tearing down old barns , warehouses and the like. You just have to put in the labor to get them much of the time. Many times the land owner just want them gone and as soon as possible. If you use your bargaining skills they can be had for free or even get paid by the land owner to take the buildings down and haul them off. What could be more greener that recycling or re-purposing used things? It would be a bigger waste to just send the stuff to the landfill. The underground house has many intelligent and smart ideas built into it. Just look up earth and underground homes and the such. The largest problem with them is the control of moisture or humidity infiltration from ground water seepage and the air quality for control of molds.
agulesin
A great home, well done to Simon and his dad, but I can\'t imagine the insects and other living creatures that you\'d have to share it with! Anyone fancy sitting down for dinner while mice scurry around the living room? ;-))
Doug MacLeod
Agulesin, for the mice get a cat. For the insects just let the stove leak a bit of smoke. This works like those occupied by my ancestors on the Isle of Skye. At certain times of year the area is infested with tiny but ferocious midges. Visitors would scoff at the primitive arrangements in the houses, where a peat fire burned in the centre with no chimney. But as soon as the insects arrived those same visitors were in there like a shot. No midges here in West Wales, plenty of other bugs though. Smoking preserves lots of foodstuffs by gently poisoning insects and bacteria, but at too low a dose to hurt humans in the short term. It works for roofs too. Traditionally smoke was allowed to trickle though thatch, but the fire risk is large.