How To Build A Hobbit House
Hobbits are mythical creatures that have been portrayed as lovers of simple, green living that enjoy living in cozy homes. Their little houses are often built into hillsides, with unique features that make them stand out from other structures. If you are looking to tap into your inner hobbit and build your very own hobbit house, then this article is for you. In this guide, we will cover everything from the materials you will need to the steps necessary to complete your hobbit house.
What Is a Hobbit House?
Hobbit houses were first described in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” and later in the “Lord of the Rings” book series. Generally, they are imagined as small, cozy homes built into the hillsides that use materials from the surrounding environment to create the house’s naturalistic look.
While you can buy prefabricated hobbit house kits, building your own gives you the freedom to customize your home to fit your preferences and needs. Building a hobbit house takes a lot of time, effort, and creativity, but it will be an ultimately rewarding experience that will give you a home that is completely unique.
Materials You Will Need
Unlike traditional house builds, hobbit houses rely heavily on using natural materials available from the surrounding environment to create a natural and organic look. So if you reside in an area with few natural materials, you may need to purchase some of the items needed to build your hobbit house. Here are some of the essential items you will need:
1. Lumber and Plywood
You will require wooden supports, frames, and beams in the construction of your hobbit house. Most people use pine, cedar, or redwood, but any wood species that is robust enough to withstand the elements will work fine. Good quality plywood sheets are also necessary for the sub-floor, walls, and roofing.
2. Stone and Gravel
Stone is one of the most important materials used in hobbit house construction. It is commonly used to create a foundation, steps to the entryways, and even walls in the living area. A high-quality stone such as sandstone or granite will work best. Gravel is used to fill in spaces above the foundation and before the floor installation.
Straw or hay is a natural and inexpensive insulating material that can be placed in between the walls of the hobbit house. It is commonly used in place of standard fiberglass insulation and is better suited for the naturalistic style of the hobbit house.
4. Soil and Grass
Grass and soil mounds are necessary to create the hobbit house’s signature look. You will use the soil to form the hobbit house’s walls and cover the roof in a layer of grass.
5. Windows and Doors
Hobbit house builds require custom-made doors and windows. Using standard-sized windows or doors will be hard to fit due to the hobbit house’s unique curved structures. You can get a skilled carpenter to design and create doors, or you can attempt DIY with a DIY guide.
How To Build A Hobbit House
Now that you’ve got all the necessary materials let’s begin constructing your hobbit house.
1. Find a Suitable Site
The first step in building your hobbit house is to select the perfect site. Look for a location that is on a slope that faces southeast, because this will give your hobbit house the best combination of light, drainage, and temperature. The ideal location should be a hill or side of a hill, giving you the chance to burrow into the earth while still having access to light and air.
2. Excavate and Create the Foundation
Excavating is crucial when building a hobbit house. Start by digging a hole of about 10×10 feet or big enough to accommodate the size of your hobbit house. To create the foundation, use gravel or stones to fill the bottom of the hole up to about six inches deep. Next, dig foundation trenches around the perimeter of the hole where you will set up a wood frame to form the foundation. The frame will be filled with concrete to create the foundation.
3. Build Your Hobbit House Walls
Start the walls of your hobbit house by attaching wooden frames to the foundation you’ve created. Then, drill holes in the frame and use wooden supports to create the curvature in the walls, bringing the natural slope of the hill into the design. After the frames are set up, cover them with plywood sheeting.
4. Cover and Insulate the Walls
Next, cover the walls of your hobbit house with a layer of straw or hay, which provides insulation. Attach chicken wire to the walls, and then cover them with a thick layer of soil, which helps to retain heat inside the hobbit house.
5. Build the Door and Windows
As mentioned earlier, hobbit house doors and windows must be customized. If you choose to make them yourself, create curved frame structures and cover them in plywood or other materials that match the exterior of your hobbit house. You can add shutters to your windows for additional privacy and to protect from outside elements.
6. Create a Grass Roof
Finally, covered the roof of your hobbit house with a layer of soil and grass to create the unique, earthy look that is typical to hobbit house designs. The soil should be about six inches deep, and then add grass or other plants that will grow well on your hobbit house’s roof.
1. Can I build a hobbit house by myself?
Yes, it is possible to build a hobbit house by yourself, but it is better to have a skilled carpenter who is experienced in curved structures.
2. What is the estimated cost of building a hobbit house?
The estimated cost of building a hobbit house is between $5,000 and $50,000, depending on how elaborate and customized the design is.
3. Do I need building permits to build a hobbit house?
Yes, you need a building permit to build a hobbit house. Contact your local government and building permit office for specific regulations.
4. Can I build a hobbit house in any location?
A hobbit house location must have the right conditions, including a hill or slope that faces southeast. It is also paramount to investigate local building codes and land use regulations to ensure that you are legally allowed to build there.
In conclusion, building a hobbit house is a unique and rewarding experience that allows you to express your creativity and love for nature. The key is to have the right materials, a detailed plan, and to consult with an experienced builder or carpenter. By following the steps outlined above, and keeping the frequently asked questions in mind, you’ll be well on your way to completing your hobbit house.