Simon Dale's Hobbit Home Is What Excited Me about Off The Grid


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Categories: Home Stories

Following are pictures that captured my imagination a couple years ago that really sparked me with the idea that maybe there were other ways to build than traditional American wood, brick, and mortar construction.  I see things here I had not seen before.   It looks so warm and exciting, and taken straight from the land on which it sits.  That has to be easier than bringing lumber to a mill and sending it across the country to distribution chains, and me working a job to pay for it, and spending the fuel to go get it.... it's all right here on the land for a place like this.... and a little creativity can make for a beautiful home.  Here's the simple place that captured the hearts of the world:  

Simon Dale is a family man in Wales, the western part of Great Britain. His interest in self-sustainability and an ecological awareness led him to dig out and build his own home—one of the loveliest, warmest, most inviting dwellings you could ever imagine. And it cost him only £3,000, about $4,700 American dollars!

Can you imagine a more charming entrance than this?Hobbit Home

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Hobbit Home Interior

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Simon gives two reasons for building the home. The first elegant one, from his website, is:

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It’s fun. Living your own life, in your own way is rewarding. Following our dreams keeps our souls alive.
His second reason is a plea for sustainability, in which he states that “our supplies are dwindling and our planet is in ecological catastrophe”. You can read the full and passionate statement here.

Simon is also a photographer, and as you can see throughout this article, a talented one.

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A beautiful view in another home that Simon is helping build for someone else. (Originally, this was mistakenly identified as a photo of the home he and his family are living in.)

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The tools are fairly simple. The main concession to modernity was a chainsaw, which he used to cut down about 30 small trees. No old growth forest fell to his family’s needs. He focused on tools that used his own energy, like shovel, chisel, and hammer. Yet it took him only four months to produce this lovely home.

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The home is constructed from wood, stone, straw, and has a sod roof. It’s heated with a wood fireplace and has a solar panel for power. Most materials were scavenged and refurbished appliances. The effect, though, isn’t of a run-down get-by-with-second-best . It’s creative, artistic, elegant, and cozy. It is, in fact, magical.

Most amazingly, the home didn’t require years of training or experience. Simon had none. He’s not an architect. He’s not an engineer. He’s not a carpenter. He started from scratch in every sense. He told the Daily Mail:

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 rather than, at worst, a mass-produced box designed for maximum profit and the convenience of the construction industry.
Building from natural materials does away with producers’ profits and the cocktail of carcinogenic poisons that fill most modern buildings.

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He was fortunate in obtaining the land for his home. The plot, a bit of a large piece, was given to him in exchange for its caretaking.

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