I’ve never known a kid who, after reading The Hobbit, didn’t spend days and weeks dreaming of living in a hobbit hole. I’ve even known a few who made abortive attempts at constructing their own (I apologize again for the big hole in the yard, Dad). But in Wales, one man (well, one man and his family…apparently this kind of geekiness is genetic) has gone above and beyond that childhood dream and actually built what more or less amounts to a hobbit house.
Okay, it’s not exactly a hobbit hole, but it’s darn close. Any geeklet I’ve ever met would adore this house. The builder’s kids certainly seem to. Amazingly, he’s only got about $6000 (at current exchange rates) in the thing. For recycling geeks like me, the key quote is this: “Anything you could possibly want is in a rubbish pile somewhere (windows, burner, plumbing, wiring…).” I like the man already, and I want his house. His site includes a basic plan illustration and a smattering of construction shots. Not a definitive how-to, exactly, but enough to get you started. If you don’t need another house, you might consider building a smaller-scale playhouse or workshop using the same techniques. If you’re looking for starting points, consider Rob Roy’s Earth-Sheltered Houses: How to Build an Affordable Underground Home, Malcolm Wells’ The Earth-Sheltered House: An Architect’s Sketchbook, and/or Lacinski and Bergeron’s Serious Straw Bale: A Home Construction Guide for All Climates.