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, October 25, 2008

Retaining Wall + this hobbit revealed...

I built the first of four retaining walls, to come off the sides of the front and back, which will keep the hill in place. I chose a terra cotta color that I hope will compliment the entrance, which will eventually have a brick and stucco exterior.
The hobbit building this hole finally consented, reluctantly, to pose for a photo.

Rear Window

At long last, the hobbit-hole is completely enclosed. I installed the rear window before the mortar had even tried on the wall. I have a lot more work to do on this rear part to completely weatherproof it. Then there is finish work left to do on the front, back and inside. There some architectural details to add. Some of those may need to wait until next year. The kids were so excited to have the window in that they slept in the hobbit-hole again that very night (even though it is October). It was a lot warmer and quieter without the wind blowing through that opening. The moon was big and bright, shining through the window and bathing the hobbit-hole in moonlight.

Low reinforcement wall

I can't help it; my blog post titles are getting more and more boring. (Oh well.) Using cinderblocks, I built a low wall. Not only does it look really cool, but it also serves to keep the OSB flush with the pipe. It's too bad it's going to be partially buried with dirt.




Rear wall

The rear wall starts to take shape, starting with OSB cut to cover the entrance, with a hole for the window.
This is actually two layers of OSB. You may recall that the pipe is not totally level. To compensate for this, the two layers of OSB are in a narrow V shape. They are connected flush at the bottom, but taper out until they are about 2 inches apart at the top. So the inner layer is flush with the pipe opening, which is no level, while the outer later is level. The inner layer is also covered with heavy duty black pastic to weather proof it against the dirt, which will come right up against it.

Starting on the back wall

Now that the front is far enough along that it can withstand the winter, I'm starting on the back. As I did with the front, I poured a foundation for the rear wall.