How to build a home fit for a Hobbit


Happy International Hobbit Day!

With Autumn upon us, nothing appeals more than burrowing into the idyllic hillside and it got us thinking… How would you go about building a home fit for a Hobbit?

At the heart of Tolkien’s Hobbit home is warmth, and we are pretty confident that there must have been some expert advice when insulating these abodes. Let this tongue in cheek attempt take you on ‘An Unexpected Journey’ (sorry, we had to) into the world of tiny house building.

First things first, you’re going to need to start digging. There are no high-rise buildings here, and this opens up the unique opportunity to create a space that is partly below ground. Advice from those who have undertaken these projects is to make the hole you are digging wider than your plans to allow for unforeseen mistakes. It’s easier filling in a hole than it is making one larger.

Next comes the foundations. The most important part of this home is to ensure that it is dry, because it is below ground and closer to the water table. The best option here is to lay a concrete base, on top of which lay your insulation. In this case Kingspan Kooltherm K103 Floorboard would do a great job as it provides outstanding thermal resistance with minimal thickness – retaining that much in-demand head height (for those of us who are not Hobbit sized). On top of this a separation layer, some chipboard and the flooring finish of your choice – we vote wood!

Now let’s build upwards. A concrete cavity wall is probably the best construction as it will support the most important feature – the green roof! By filling the cavity with Styrozone and a damp proof membrane on its external, you ensure you keep dry and ready for action. Don’t forget to leave a slightly slanted door opening for when you pack the soil back around the structure.

And now for the best bit… Let’s conceal this wonderful home with a green roof, hibernate under it in winter and watch it flourish in summer. To do this we think constructing an inverted roof would work best. A sturdy timber deck will support the earth and grass above. Once again, keeping this structure water tight is the priority, so a waterproofing layer followed by a geotextile layer should go on before the insulation. For this application we would again recommend Styrozone, topped with an Aquazone layer on to which you can put on soil, turf, wild flowers, or smoke your pipe above.

And there you have it. Pack earth back around the structure, attach an ornate wooden door and await your next adventure.

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Kingspan Insulation is a market leading manufacturer of optimum, premium and high performance rigid insulation products and insulated systems for building fabric and building services applications.

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