“Lord of the Rings” fan Simon Dale was tired and uninterested in the typical, cookie-cutter suburban homes (or, in his words, “mass produced box design” homes). Dale, who is neither an architect nor contractor, moved his family to a Welsh countryside and designed and built a house in the fashion of “The Hobbit” of his beloved series.
Dale was able to get a plot of land for free from a local resident, agreeing to also keep watch on the rest the property. He was able to design and build this green and eco-friendly home for under £3,000 in less than four (4) months, using only a chisel, chainsaw, a hammer, and some technical guidance from his father-in-law. The house is primarily built from scrap and framed with salvaged wood, with repurposed stones and mud used for the foundation from a local quarry. Dale’s house is dug into the hillside to reduce the impact of new constrcution on the site, as well as to provide natural insulation. The roof is made of hay bales (also optimal for insulation) and plastic sheets for water-proofing. He was also able to divert a local spring for his water supply, but it’s unknown at this time what he uses to provide electricity.
Dale says on his website that he really enjoys the process of designing his own unique home, along with utilizing local and natural materials to positively impact the environment. “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 says. “Building from natural materials does away with producers’ profits and the cocktail of carcinogenic poisons that fill most modern buildings.”