Natural Building Blog

Earthbag Building & Other Natural Building Methods

Hobbit House

Owen Geiger, Designer

South Elevation

Many people dream of a simpler life, free of the cares of this world. They want a home that is easy to build and maintain, small yet adequate in size, with everything they need to live comfortably with their small friends. This one and a half story home is designed for those people. Features include drop-down stairs that lead to a spacious loft, wood stove heating, and modern kitchen with pantry space for Hobbit food. The undulating thatch roof or living roof is created by varying the knee wall height above the bond beam. 24-6″ diameter with 471 sq. ft. interior, 471 sq. ft. loft, total 942 sq. ft. interior, one bedroom, one bath; footprint: 27-6″ x 27-6″


Floor Plan

Roof Variations:

Wood Shingles Roof

Grain Bin Roof

Haystack Roof

Open-air second story deck

The Plans for Sale

These plans are available as digital PDF files or AutoCAD files and are offered by Dr. Owen Geiger as complete and ready to build from. They include necessary elevations, floorplans, cross section details, and other significant construction details; they don’t show every view, every detail — just enough to build. They do not include electrical and plumbing details. The section views explain how everything goes together and should answer your questions about materials. The plans are scaled and dimensioned.

It is the buyer’s responsibility to find out special requirements, such as what alternative building is allowed in your county or what you have to do to get houses permitted. Are there special requirements for foundations, etc.? Do they require an engineer or architect to stamp the plans? It might be a good idea to know these things before ordering plans.

The AutoCAD version is the same as the PDF version, just in a format that can be read by AutoCAD software or other software that reads .dwg files. We recommend buying the AutoCAD version if you plan to have a professional architect or engineer read or make changes to the plan. This may be necessary in some jurisdictions that require state-licensed architects or engineers to stamp plans before they will be acceptable. Or if you want another professional to make some custom changes to Owen’s stock plans, then AutoCAD version may be the way to  go. If you would like both the PDF and the AutoCAD versions, then just indicate this when you purchase the AutoCAD version and they both will be sent for the price of the AutoCAD file.

This plan is offered with a free copy of Owen’s popular Earthbag Building Guide e-book.

 

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Price
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PDF Digital Plans of single story
(computer renderings)
Please specify which roof style you want

$200

AutoCAD files of single story
Please specify which roof style you want
$400

Description
Price
Add to Shopping Cart

PDF Digital Plans with upper deck
(computer renderings)
Please specify which roof style you want

$300

AutoCAD files with upper deck
Please specify which roof style you want
$500

10 Responses to “Hobbit House”

  1. Faith and Malcolm Alkire-Eaton says:

    Warning: pretty much the entire state of Virginia is a code enforcement area. Read about the guy at Polyface Farms and the fun he had just trying to build a small starter home for his son. You can get approval for post and beam structure with strawbale or cordwood walls, so if you have a standard concrete foundation and wood frame you might get away with clay and straw slip and calling it insulation. This is one of the reasons why I will be building my family home in West Virginia, where, as long as it’s outside one of the cities, they still believe hey, it’s your land, build whatever you want on it.

  2. Amanda says:

    Hello -
    I’m looking to build an earthbag or strawbale “Hobbit House” with lime or clay plaster for siding. My plans would include a regular shingle roof.

    I live in Cheyenne, WY – would a plan like this be feasible?

    We are semi-arid, and winters are especially severe due to high winds and extreme low temperatures. My main concern would be high snow drifts, which are very common in the winter and spring.

    • Owen Geiger says:

      You could use asphalt shingles, although metal roofing is better for numerous reasons.

      Consider gravel bags on 3-4 courses, then earthbags up to windowsill height, then straw bales for the rest of the wall. This would give you a good combination that has good water resistance and insulation. Consider adding rigid foam insulation on the outside due to the extreme cold. Cover with cement plaster.

      • Jay says:

        I don’t know how available scoria or pumice is in Wyoming, but if it is available at a reasonable price, those materials can possibly be better options than the earthbags up to window sill height.

        It all depends on cost and availability in any particular area.

        Earthbags with rigid foam, or porous volcanic rock?

        I suggest calculating the amount of material required for each option and pricing both of them out to see which makes more sense for any particular project. Choose what makes the most sense for Wyoming, … or for that matter… use the same decision process for other cold climate areas and make the best choice for that location.

        • Owen Geiger says:

          Yes, I didn’t think of scoria when I wrote that last comment. Scoria is wonderful. Search this blog for complete details.

          • Jay says:

            Hey… anybody who reads your blog knows you love scoria. For good reason.

            I was just helping you out by mentioning for you it this time.

            No worries.

      • Amanda says:

        Thank you!

  3. Brandon says:

    Hello,

    Interested in building an earthbag home this summer. I really like a few of your designs and wondering which house type you would recommend for the climate in Virginia? Guessing around 45″ or annual rainfall; temperatures from single digits in winter to mid 90s in summer peak. Occasional heavy snow fall (10-12″) but on average snows rarely go over a few inches at a time.

    Would your “Peace Dome” survive at all in this climate? Or do I need to think about planning on using plans that include a roof?

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