02 October 2011

A Hobbit House prototype

So the thought was that I'd build something that would be buried into the ground with about 3/4 of it being subterranean with plants surrounding the opening, eventually concealing it over time. A hobbit lives here.

I had preconceived ideas when I started. The exterior of the hobbit house would have to be waterproof to withstand the elements. It would have to have a degree of nature that protrudes from the earth to showcase the front. Lastly, the front and the door would have to be somewhat misshapen and have round elements. A round door would be ideal, but I was unsure about a single hinge to make that work. The straps would have to look like big black iron. All hardware, screws and black iron work would need to rust over time.

I ripped a number of pressure treated 2" x 2" at about 8 degrees on each edge. End cut them at 14". Chris and I estimated that angle on each side would leave us with about a 6" barrel-round front that would allow us to make a door that you could get your hand into. I predrilled and screwed the "barrel" together then added a flat bottom. In the bottom, I put a secret compartment for the letterbox, accessed by lifting the rug that is attached to the "cellar door".

I covered the external barrel top with a sticky bituthane membrane and roofing felt, stapled both in place. The membrane would make it so the galvanized screws that hold the limbs to the structure would not leak. (self sealing) I cut and screwed some limbs I recently cut from the yard, making sure they extended over the front of the porch.

The front and door was made out of spruce and stained to help keep the bugs and worms from wanting to devour it the moment it got in the ground. I suspect that using the stain and pressure treated wood would help keep the pesky ants away too. I've had problems with ant in untreated projects in the past.

Inside, I put in the felt carpet, a little table, and a fireplace. Soon there will be a chair and a hobbit doll, to finish it off. There will be a 4" x 6" logbook in the main living space for muggles to add their comments after finding this HIPS box. Hopefully, this will prevent them from looking too deeply for the "dirty little secrets" that this Hobbit sweeps under his rug :)

I hope to plan this on a steep side hill at about waist level so folks can stoop down and look inside this little house. Once it's in the ground, I'll start on the next one.