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I'm making a hobbit house IRL and it'll cost about $400 here's why
(This is the thread's starting post)
OG Jappleng
Posted 77 days ago... Menu Button
Do you like the Shire? I do, and while the hobbits are gone to Isengard, I'll be taking their house ----- for inspiration!

Okay, first I need to explain, what IS a hobbit house? Well, it's a small dwelling (underground) for people with short stature (aka hobbits) and they look beautiful. They look like this:

Okay so, why am I going out of the way to build this or something like it? Am I wanting to LARP? The answer to that is no.... BUT hear me out.

I need a cold place to store my garden crops and my house just won't do. It's overground, it's warm, and the humidity conditions isn't just right. The solution to this is to create something called a root cellar.

But why a hobbit house? Glad you asked!

So, as it turns out I found this place that sells sand bags for 30 cents a piece when I buy 1000 of them. The delivery cost is included. That's a great deal I think. So why sand bags? Because sand bags are used in war to create barriers, buildings, and emergency shelter. You can get hit by an RPG in that thing and the only thing that could kill you is the shockwave.

I'm not building a hobbit "house" for war though but I do need that perfect temperature year-round. So let's get this straight, I'll get 1000 sand bags for $300, and if they are positioned in a circle, flattened down, barbed wire holds everything in place and acts as a protector of sorts between the bags, then in the end I get this nice dome house that is about 100 square feet. This means I don't need a permit to build this which is a great bonus!

The dome itself is structurally sound and if you plaster it with cement and maybe a layer of adobe stucco or something both inside and out and you have a very, very strong little hut. There wouldn't be windows, just a door because it needs to be a storage shed for potatoes and stuff lol. Then I would add about 2ft of soil which would make it below the frost point and that means it won't feel summer heat effects as much.

At the end of it all, the little root cellar will look oddly similar to a hobbit house.

I'm not the inventor of this, actually these are pretty common and they are called Earthbag homes except they are usually built much bigger because, 100sqft isn't big enough for anyone to live in. The ideal house is likely dwellings like these because if you look up what people have made, you can create amazing houses for cheap and you don't have to deal so much with heating or cooling because the temperature is regulated all year long.

So why aren't we all living in earthbag homes? That's a good question, but perhaps part of it is a stigma we have as a society about living underground and perhaps another part is that people don't even know these exist. You can live underground, get the sun using dome shaped sun roof, you can technically keep going downwards or have a very tall house but underground or a very big house that spans almost your entire property and it would cost very little. You can walk on top of hour house because it's hidden away except for some pipes for ventilation, heating exhaust and dome lights. But ultimately I think this could very well be a plausible future for how we solve our energy problems since 50% of the energy spent is on heating and cooling the house (usually). Plus, you get a nice yard on top of your house! These things are also strong enough to protect you against tornadoes, bombs, hurricanes, etc...

Would I ever have a house like this? I don't see why not, but I already have a house though, it's something to consider if electricity skyrockets in price and becomes unafordable. Solar isn't really environmentally friendly like people say it is, neither is hydro or windmills. The only source we have that has no negative impact on the environment is nuclear but only if it doesn't encounter a meltdown lol. Electric cars are the worst and have a higher carbon footprint than petrol (gasoline).

Imagine if you could live underground in your dwelling and overground you would have your garden and solar panels. The majority of your food for the year would be paid for, you would pay $0 on electricity and you would have a lot more property without having more property. The cost of building these are really inexpensive so for example, a shed about the same size of this hobbit house made of wood, some metal parts, cement blocks to keep it off the ground etc... at Home Depot it says it would cost $900 + tax. The hobbit shed? $300 in sand, $100 budget on cement and other misc things I may need so $400. The cost is reduced when you make it bigger but sheds cost higher per sqft the bigger you want it.

Through a rough calculation of building a hobbit dwelling, it would cost about $12,250 for a 3500sqft house just for the sand bags and cement stuff. If you want tiles in your house, that's extra but unnecessary. If you want windows, that's extra. If you want ventilation and electricity, that's extra. Let's assume that by the end of it you spend 4x that much, it would cost close to $50,000 for a 3500sqft house. A normal house that size is almost called a manor which is huge. The average american house is about 2300sqft and costs about $120/sqft. That's $276,000! You're comparing $50,000 (3,500sqft) to $276,000 (2300sqft) and the hobbit house is still bigger for much cheaper!

I'm telling you guys, this is how you solve housing poverty and our electricity problem. There are other benefits such as this being better for the environment if you will, and people could use their property (top of it anyway) to grow gardens or just a place to hang out. The future is underground not in skyscrapers. What do you guys think?

(Doesn't quite work for houses that are prone to flood zones but maybe a solution could be made for them)
Click to expand
Posted 70 days ago... Menu Button
I hope you will post pictures of your progress! It sounds very lovely!
OG Jappleng
Posted 63 days ago... Menu Button
Absolutely! Lately I've been wrapping up everything and tidying up the yard. I even had to deal with a pest I never thought were a pest! Did you know Chipmunk are pests? I thought they were cute and the greatest addition but there were dozens of them that invaded my property because of subdivision construction nearby, completely clearing a huge chunk of forestry. Unfortunately they were creating hundreds of tunnel holes in the yard making it very dangerous to walk and mow! Aparently they also kills/eat birds and their eggs and destroy housing foundation and other problems.

Yikes! Well, I've been taking care of this situation and chipmunks are my all-time favorite rodent and it breaks my heart to see them go... But now I have to invite a barn owl family to live here this coming winter/spring to help manage the circle of life since it's totally out of balance thanks to the construction. :(

We had a judge who would forbid that area from being demolished but he retired a few years ago and moved elsewhere so that's why it happened so suddenly. But, imagine having a rodent problem and then building a storage place for your food? lol that's inviting disaster xD Going to work on the chicken/duck coop this weekend and then the project after will be the hobbit house thing LOL
Click to expand
OG Jappleng
Posted 63 days ago... Menu Button
Also... I accidentally got on the crow's sh--t list. I went to save a bird from a chipmunk but the fake dead crow was still outside. The crow saw me near the fake dead crow and now I'm guilty. I usually wear a mask with a unique halloween hat and costume when i put it out and take it back but I was in a hurry to save that poor robin. Oh well, birds other than the crows like me LOL. The problem is that they will tell all the crows about how i look like in their language and i could be shopping somewhere and they'll know who i am and probably attack me. :(
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