Throwback Thursday: Hobbit House Redux — A Home for Less than $5,000!

Reader Contribution by Jessica Kellner

When I started going through my inbox this morning, I came across something that I immediately knew I had to blog about! This totally AMAZING hobbit house built by Simon Dale, an artist, graphic designer and photographer in Wales, along with his father-in-law and, as he says on his website, “passers by and visiting friends.” There are so many wonderful things about this cozy little home that it’s hard to know where to start! Built with little experience and many reclaimed materials (a topic dear to my heart), this place cost only 3,000 pounds (about $4,800 dollars) and took just four months to build. It’s totally self-reliant: It’s bermed into the hillside and has straw bales in the walls, floor and roof for insulation; it uses a wood-burning stove for heat; skylights let in sunlight; solar panels power lighting, music and computing; water comes from a nearby spring; a composting toilet processes waste; and the rooftop collects rainwater for garden irrigation. The homeowner, Simon Dale, offers a huge wealth of helpful resources on his website, including house plans, building instructionsinformation on passing building code, information about permaculture and more.

This home recalls what remains the most popular home in Natural Home & Garden history, and the one we named NH&G Home of the Decade last year–the Austin, Texas, hobbit house we featured way back in March/April of 2000. Interestingly, its owner, Gary Zuker, says he drew inspiration for the home studying European cob buildings from Ireland, New Zealand and Greece, quite likely inspiration for Dale, as well.

I am in love with the charming, handbuilt, inexpensive home Dale lives in with his family (including an adorable baby and toddler). I’d love to feature it in an upcoming issue, so keep your eye out. In the meantime, check out these amazing photos and all the wonderful resources on Dale’s website. Happy Thursday!

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