Simon Dale was fed up. He’d had enough of what he calls “mass produced box design” homes so he did something about it—he moved his family to the Welsh countryside and hand-built a “Hobbit house” even Peter Jackson would envy.
Dale is neither an architect nor a contractor. He obtained the plot of land free of charge from a local resident in return for keeping an eye on the rest the surrounding property. However, armed with just a chisel, chainsaw, and hammer—as well as technical assistance from his father-in-law—Dale constructed this eco-friendly home for less than £3,000 in less than four months time. It’s built primarily from scrap. Reused stones and mud from a local quarry were employed in the foundation while salvaged wood makes up the timber-frame construction.
The home is dug into a hillside to minimize its impact on the landscape and to provide insulation. The roof is a combination of hay bales (again for insulation) and water-proof plastic sheets. Dale diverted a nearby spring for water, though there’s no information on what (or if) he uses to generate electricity.
“Being your own have-a-go architect is a lot of fun and allows you to create and enjoy something which is part of yourself and the land,” Dale said on his website. “Building from natural materials does away with producers’ profits and the cocktail of carcinogenic poisons that fill most modern buildings.”