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How to Build a House for $5,000 (17 pics)

Posted in Arts » Design   1 Sep 2011   / 27480 views

How can you build a house if you have only $5,000? Simon Dale, a self-build devotee, knows the answer. He constructed his woodland home entirely from natural and reclaimed materials, including tiles from a showroom skip and spent $4,900 and only 4 months on this low-impact living.

Check out the pictures of the plans of the house and the house itself that reminds of a hobbit house from The Lord of the Rings.


Related post:

A Real Hobbit House (8 pics)


Simon Dale built his house with the help of his father in law and friends.

It took about 1000-1500 man hours to finish the project.

The house was built with maximum regard for the environment. It was dug into hillside. Foundations and walls were made of stone and mud from diggings. Frame of oak thinnings came from surrounding woodland. Straw bales were used to build walls, floor and roof for super-insulation.

Plans of the house

A chainsaw, hammer and chisel were the main instruments used to build this house.


Frame construction

Frame of oak thinnings

There is a naturally cooled refrigerator in the house. It is cooled by air coming underground through foundations. The house residents use water from the nearby spring. Solar panels generate electricity for lighting, computing and music. Day light penetrates through the skylight in the roof of the house.

The view of the kitchen from the second floor balcony.

Candles are another way of lighting the “hobbit house” in the evening. It looks so romantic and beautiful.

Front door


Lime plaster on walls is breathable. Woodburner is used for heating. Flue goes through bin stone to retain and slowly release heat.

East window

Inside the house


Such a cute “hobbit house” this is!

Comments (9):

OjTamOjTam 6 year s ago MARK AS SPAM
very nice and creative :)
Alkhoren 6 year s ago MARK AS SPAM
lolzz 6 year s ago MARK AS SPAM
Are the Flintstones home?
Here is one problem bugs Bugs BUGS
Jayzen Freeze!
gigantes 6 year s ago MARK AS SPAM
most awesome, although i'm not sure how easily repairs would go when needed... for reasons that i think are obvious. another concern would be keeping termites and rot out of all that exposed wood.
Most homes are built out of wood so the chances of termites and rot are there but given that all of the wood is raw untreated and unprocessed its considerably healthier for the family living in it and its not prone to water damage like particle board or other similar wood products. Also given that they are environmentally conscious they most likely use natural pest control methods such as lemon grass oils and beneficial insects to name a few.
Peanut 6 year s ago MARK AS SPAM
Nice, but where's the toilet?
a 6 year s ago MARK AS SPAM
OR... you could get off your hippy @ss and get a job.
gigantes 6 year s ago MARK AS SPAM
not much of your reply makes sense to me. most homes are made with treated wood and non-wood layers which greatly help to keep out rot, weather damage & boring insects. but the house above, although beautiful, is not far from being a potential compost heap. natural pest control methods would only delay slightly the composting situation, not prevent it.

this house is not like 'green roofs' built on reinforced and tarred urban roofs, like NYC. no, when the roof becomes a problem they will pretty-much need to tear the whole house apart & rebuild. early man built houses for at least tens of thousands of years and there's a reason they did not build like this. this is a case of perfectionism & over-ambition IMO.