A hobbit-hole in my backyard? It may sound crazy, but I can tell you that my kids love it. It is the coolest playhouse ever. Plus, they can enjoy the grassy hill for sledding in winter and water sliding in summer. This was all my wife's idea. She dreamt it, and I got to be the one to bring it to reality. I'm not a construction expert; this was a total do-it-yourself job by a complete amateur. It has turned out rather nicely, I think. Here is the story of how it came to be.

Since this is in blog format, the posts are in order from newest to oldest. To read this in chronological order, start with How it all Began and use the "Newer Post" links. Or click on the links under Blog Archive, in order.
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Saturday, July 12, 2008

"... a perfectly round door ..., painted green..."

It finally cooled down to the 80s, so after a 3-week hiatus, I finally made some more progress. Today, I painted the door green, put a brass door knob in the middle, and attached the pre-constructed (by me), round door jamb/threshold. This not only adds some dimension to the door, but it also ensures that it won't swing outward. (There is a gap on either side which I will fill in. The threshold structure itself wasn't wide enough to cover the full space. I just needed it to be wide enough to accomodate the doorway.)

Below is what the door looked like right after I painted it this morning, and before attaching the threshold. The last time I worked on it, I had added a stud on the left, flush with the door, and installed a ball latch, so the door will shut and stay shut, but can be simply pushed open with a little shove (or pulled open with a little tug from the inside.)

5 comments:

alalime said...

I'm excited about you making the dream of having a hobbit hole become a reality! My husband has told me that if we ever build our own home that it'll be a hobbit house with a stone tower attached. :) I have one quick question, though. What do you think the chances are of the pipe shifting/settling differently than the door - due to rain, ground compacting, etc? If they do settle or shift differently, how do you plan to account for that over time (specifically with opening the door)?

Joe said...

Good question. I think that the way I have done it would not work well in most other parts of the country, where the climate is wetter and the ground softer. It also would not work well on a lot of other soils within my own state.

I happen to live on a piece of property that is heavy clay mixed with a ton of rocks, and it is all heavily compacted. It is a nightmare to have to dig anything because of that, but it also means that my pipe is very unlikely to shift or settle. If I thought settling might be an issue, what I could have done is poured a single, fat "I"-shaped footing, with the verticle part of the "I" supporting the entire length of the pipe and the two horizontal sections supporting the walls on either end of the pipe. I suppose that I could also have added rebar coming up at angles out of the footing under the pipe to sort of cradle it, and keep it from rolling to either side. In my case, the hill itself will hold the pipe in place, but if the ground were softer, then it's true there could be a chance of it shifting.

As I mention in my intro to the blog, I am an amateur at construction, so perhaps I should put out an additional disclaimer to say that my building design and methods aren't necessarily a blueprint to follow for building a hobbit-hole anywhere. I don't make any guarantees that if you follow the same steps I did you will have a good result. Rather, I expect people will just take some ideas from what I have done and adapt them as needed to their particular situation.

Scott said...

I also dream of living in a hobbit hole. So much so that i am beginning to experiment with websites to learn more. I just made this today in a couple hours, so be kind but please take a look.
http://sites.google.com/site/thehobbitonprojectcom/

Misty and Jake said...

Any new updays about your hobbit hole?

-A stranger who loves your creativity with the hole :)

Joe said...

I finally posted some updates. I have actually done more, but need to take some more pictures to show it. Somehow, since school as started for the kids, life has gotten a lot busier, and it has been harder to make time to work on this.