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The Hobbit Hole: Part 1 Of The Hobbit House Architecture Guide

Updated on February 15, 2012

The hobbit hole is the first thing to think about when you begin building your hobbit house. It may seem like a simple step, but there are things that can easily be overlooked when you are first starting off.

So, in part 1 of the hobbit house architecture guide, I will take you through the task of digging out your hobbit hole :). Do you have your shovel ready?

Hobbit Hole Site
Hobbit Hole Site

Choose Your Hobbit Hole Location

Where will your future hobbit house be?

First things first, what you're going to want to do is choose a good location. This means you need to find a lovely hill.

Ideally, you would want your hobbit house to be near a stream or a lake so that you always have water close at hand to help sustain your very eco lifestyle. A well would work too - basically, you need drinking water, house hold water, and water to nurture your hobbit garden.

So a lovely hill near a sustainable water source would work out perfectly as the place to start digging your hobbit hole.

Decide Your Hobbit Hole Positioning

Once you've found that lovely hill, you'll then need to pick a position on it that takes its surroundings into consideration.

If your water source is directly next to the hill, it will make sense to build a bit higher than ground level. If there is a tree just in front of your lovely hill, you may want to build near the top of the hill to have an unobstructed view.

Frank Lloyd Wright wasn't a hobbit, but hobbit house architects can learn from his thoughts because he was the father of "organic architecture".

Essentially, Wright held an architectural philosophy of being sensitive about the nature around a building site. And what I spotlight now in bringing him up is that, when deciding where to position your hobbit house, it is important to remain conscious of the natural environment as you explore your options.

And here's some of Frankie's work

Frank Lloyd Wright: Architecture and Nature, with 160 Illustrations (Dover Books on Architecture)
Frank Lloyd Wright: Architecture and Nature, with 160 Illustrations (Dover Books on Architecture)

Supposedly, a picture says a thousand words, so this book would represent over 160 thousand words about Frank Lloyd Wright's work.

I'm always inspired by the work of creative individuals who are (or were) masters in their field. And what better way to find inspiration for not only the positioning of your hobbit house, but also its design than to crack open a book full of illustrations of the work of a brilliant architect?


With the positioning along the hill clear and an approximate understanding of what house dimensions you have available to you, things are opened up to exploring room configurations and space layouts.

This means that now it's time to get your drafting pencil out and sketch up a design that suits your needs. Think about how many bedrooms, chimney or no chimney, space on the side for a garden right next to your door or keep it simple and have the garden off to the side at the base of the hill?

Sketch these things up in a sectional drawing or a floor plan so that once you begin excavating the hill, you already know what you're aiming for (regarding depth and shapes).

What does the chief architect do on an architectural project? Well, they oversee everything from building planning to project execution. Now, the fact that you're reading this lens shows not only that you're interested in taking the hands-on, do-it-yourself approach to things but that also, you're likely the chief architect for this project! Well how about some help, chief architect?

Chief Architect Home Designer Suite 9.0 [Download] [OLD VERSION]
Chief Architect Home Designer Suite 9.0 [Download] [OLD VERSION]

Chief Architect Home Designer Suite 9.0 is a program that you may find to be a very useful planning tool. It has really great features that will speed up the process overall while allowing you to create lovely 3D views of your hobbit house as you design, as a way to help decide on home features.

If you're a bit of a creative hobbit who's already somewhat familiar with computer-aided design or merely are used to using basic photo-editing software, then you'll find the program easy to learn.

If, on the other hand, you are a bit intimidated when it comes to laying ideas out on a digital screen, you may want to take your time with the software at first as there might be a learning curve. But never fear, there's great instructional materials that come along with it and tutorial resources available too.

So, read over the users manual and reference manual a bit, watch the videos that are available, and play around with the features to get really familiar with the software's structure and setup (so that you can then start putting that energy into your hobbit house's structure and setup instead) :).

Hobbit Hole Start
Hobbit Hole Start

Start Your Hobbit Hole

Now we move on to the manual labor. Excited? Me too! Okay, you are going to need to dig your hobbit hole in that perfect spot you mapped out earlier.

You already planned the dimensions of the house, so make sure that the hobbit hole is close to that size.

It's impossible to be EXACT when your tools are muscle power and a shovel, but you can aim for something close and still do well.

What's that? No shovel? I'm sorry, I thought you had one already. Ok, no worries. That's not a problem at all, because Amazon has you covered! Yeah, Amazon is cool :)

After the hobbit hole...
After the hobbit hole...

After Your Hobbit Hole Is Dug....

You'll Need To Gather Materials

The best hobbit house materials are locally-sourced. Even though you may not be in The Shire right now... Well, I assume you're not in The Shire right now, or otherwise you would just walk on over to Merimas Gamgee's house and ask him about this stuff for in-person guidance on building instead of consulting some random human.

Anyway, even though you may not be in The Shire, where the trees are strong and have a lovely smell similar to mahogany :), still though, where ever you are is bound to have great trees for building too. Gathering your materials from as near as possible to where you are makes sense for three main reasons:

1) This practice is significantly more ecologically conscious than burning fossil fuels to transport wood from a far away destination.

2) If you're not going to do the chopping for the wood yourself, then you are supporting local commerce which is FANTASTIC!

3) The tree(s) grew up near to your building site, and thusly there will be no question about whether or not the wood is well suited to the environmental conditions of your area.

Reinforce Your Hobbit Hole

Ok, so now for the reinforcement of the structure. The prototype of a hobbit house that I'll go into now will be merely a single room (to keep things as uncomplicated as possible) but, you will be able to easily use the floorplan drawings you did earlier as a guide to then position addition walls.

Basically, since a hobbit house is a simple structure, you can replicate the process used to make the external reinforcement to build your walls as well. No offense to hobbits for calling hobbit houses "simple structures", by the way.

The place to begin in the reinforcement process is by first chopping up that tree you will be using. The beams should be cut into planks of 10 Ã 20 cm (or 15 Ã 30 cm to be safe) and to a length of 5 m. For the American hobbits out there, that's 4" Ã 8" (or 6" Ã 12" to be safe) and a length of 16 feet.

Again, your design will ultimately dictate the dimensions, but for this generic, one-room hobbit house, I need numbers to work with for the width of the room.

Get The Nails Out

You'll need to make a box out of the beams and boards.

The beams are the support structures that you nail the boards to in order to create your floor and ceiling. The beams will also be the columns that connect the outter edges of the floor to the outter edges of the ceiling.

There should be a 1.5m (5 feet) space between each beam going horizontally. Repeat the pattern vertically with the boards, but space those a shorter distance apart - about 4 cm (1.5") instead. Then, nail the boards to the beams as shown in the illustration above.

Take A Break

Building a house is hard work! Take a break, relax, and reconnect with folks you may have started to neglect since the start of your project and just enjoy a bit of time away from the building site.

This will help to recharge your batteries and also remind you what having a house is about - sharing time and space with those close to you. And once the dust has settled and your hobbit house is complete, you'll be happy you took the time out to spend time and share a meal.

With Your Hobbit Hole Done...

Next You'll Need To Start Bringing Your Design To Life

The next steps are mapped out in the next lens, which is titled Hobbit House Construction: Part 2 Of The Hobbit House Architecture Guide. Click here to check it out.

        The ULTIMATE Housewarming Gift - A Blessing

I wouldn't have been surprised if a few wizards or faeries would have dropped by. But angels? Wow, I'm so pleasantly surprised to not only have been visited by, but also blessed by angels. Here they are:

Kathy is an inspiring American angel. Her lenses teach, her lenses pull at your heartstrings, her lenses make you think. I'm aware that Kathy gives more to the community than she takes, and I am truly honored to have had my hobbit house lens blessed by this Squidoo Angel.

Angel Cynthia flies around on the other side of the world from Kathy. Her wings have been ornamented with lovely personal sketches.She titillates our ears as she beautifies the community with informative, touching, funny lenses. You should check out this Squidoo Angel's work.

                         Thank You

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Thanks for stopping by. Here is your opportunity to leave hobbity comments about hobbit hole stuff, life in The Shire, the best room configuration for a hobbit house, or merely say "Hi" :)

Widget Credit - GreekGeek

If you're not in Middle Earth (where the soil is ideal for building hobbit houses into), it would be a good idea to enlist the help of a knowledgeable professional to help you assess the soil in your area before you start excavating.

There may be safety considerations that are otherwise overlooked. Don't ask me though, I'm merely going over the theoretical stuff! And, as such, I won't be responsible for any adverse affects that may result from your hobbit hole digging.


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    • Gabriel360 profile image

      Gabriel360 5 years ago


    • profile image

      momsfunny 5 years ago

      I think it's fun to have a hobbit house.

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 5 years ago

      Hi! Enjoyed reading about your hobbit hole!

    • Dragon 40 profile image

      Ken McVay 5 years ago from Nanaimo, British Columbia

      Brilliant piece of work! Blessed.

    • Mahogany LM profile image

      Mahogany LM 5 years ago

      @KimGiancaterino: They're fascinating in person because they ALMOST seem like an extension of the Earth that they're dug into. I think that's perhaps one of the coolest things about hobbit houses - their integration and how eco-friendly they are. Thanks for stopping by Kim :).

    • Mahogany LM profile image

      Mahogany LM 5 years ago

      @Virginia Allain: I didn't think of fairy-related topics - but when you brought that up vallain, I could see how you stumbled upon my hobbit lenses while looking for those things. Maybe I'll add a complimentary lens about fairy gardens or something. Anyhoo, I'm very glad you enjoyed the lens and I've happy you stopped by :).

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      I've been looking at fairy gardens and fairy doors. Now there's hobbit houses. How clever and you've presented it quite well.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      Wow ... this is very interesting. I would love to see one of these hobbit houses in person.

    • Mahogany LM profile image

      Mahogany LM 5 years ago

      @linhah lm: Awww, I appreciate that linhah. Thanks for stopping by, and I'm glad you liked the lens :).

    • Mahogany LM profile image

      Mahogany LM 5 years ago

      @SayGuddaycom: And that makes me smile SayGuddaycom :)

    • Mahogany LM profile image

      Mahogany LM 5 years ago

      @Einar A: I'm glad you enjoyed it Einar_A. It was sweet of you to say so too - thanks for stopping by.

    • Mahogany LM profile image

      Mahogany LM 5 years ago

      @KeepsakeIdeas: Wouldn't it? They can be soooo cozy :). Thanks for stopping by KeepsakeIdeas.

    • Einar A profile image

      Einar A 5 years ago

      This was fun to read!

    • Mahogany LM profile image

      Mahogany LM 5 years ago

      @WriterJanis2: The hobbits wanted me to pass the news along that they really like that this lens got another blessing. I agree with them, so we allll thank you Janis :).

    • Mahogany LM profile image

      Mahogany LM 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks sooooo much for the blessing Tipi! I'm glad you liked the lens :).

    • Mahogany LM profile image

      Mahogany LM 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Tipi, I really appreciate you stopping by again :).

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Just double checking and forgot the like here, fixed!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Yes, it is a delightful lens, and angel blessed again! :)

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      What a delightful lens. Blessed!

    • profile image

      KeepsakeIdeas 5 years ago

      I think it would be nice and snug to live in a hobbit hole. Fun writing and illustrations!

    • SayGuddaycom profile image

      SayGuddaycom 5 years ago

      This lens made me smile.

    • spanos50 lm profile image

      spanos50 lm 5 years ago

      Very good lens.Also very good and detailed instructions. We expect the next

    • kislanyk profile image

      Marika 5 years ago from Cyprus

      Nice, instructive and fun lens. Blessed.

    • linhah lm profile image

      Linda Hahn 5 years ago from California

      I am officially a fan!

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 5 years ago

      Too cool! Now I know how to build my hobbit house. Next to find a lovely hill :)

    • PeterStip profile image

      PeterStip 5 years ago

      a great and inspirational lens, fun to read. The drawings make it so much livelier.

    • Mahogany LM profile image

      Mahogany LM 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Awww cffutah, that was sweet of you to say. I'll try to keep up the daydream-inspiring lens creation :). Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      what a great lens! your photos and instructions gives oneself a chance to daydream and what their hobbit home would be like, thank you for the chance to daydream!

    • Mahogany LM profile image

      Mahogany LM 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you raphaelo :). It was nice of you to stop by the whole collection of lenses on hobbit house building I made.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Wow.. Wonderful work of you again I'd like to say. Very nice done. It's time for me to find out my hobbit hole for making house by your great instruction :D Have wonderful times.. always.. dear lady :)

    • Mahogany LM profile image

      Mahogany LM 5 years ago

      @TonyPayne: Thank you sooooo much for the compliment on my work and also for blessing my lens poddys :). I really enjoyed the process of putting it together, so I'm glad that shines through :).

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 5 years ago from Southampton, UK

      This is excellent, and you know why? It's original and different and nicely done. I would love to have done something like this, and I think it's also important to make sure your section of hillside isn't a water course as well, otherwise you might find a stream running through your home in the rainy season. Great job, blessed.

    • profile image

      HERBMASTER 5 years ago

      I want one!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      starting a 40 acre hobbit something starting with a two story (tool shed-livin) hut with watershed of plastic and ins. in a south facing hill ( ozark area of Mo.) may use earth tubes for fresh air e-mail me

    • Kitty Levee profile image

      Kitty Levee 6 years ago


    • Mahogany LM profile image

      Mahogany LM 6 years ago

      @Senora M: Hi Senora, thanks for stopping by. It would be interesting to have him peek at it - as I hope he DOES think it's cool. I mean, it would be great to get feedback from an architect who designs for humans :). Many would think the difference between constructing for hobbits and constructing for humans is simply a matter of scale, I think there's more to it than that.

    • Senora M profile image

      Senora M 6 years ago

      Cool lens! My husband is an architect and he would probably think this is pretty cool. :)

    • Mahogany LM profile image

      Mahogany LM 6 years ago

      @CozyKitty: Thanks Good4us

    • CozyKitty profile image

      CozyKitty 6 years ago

      This is really so special!


    • Mahogany LM profile image

      Mahogany LM 7 years ago

      @Benarda: Hi Benarda,

      Thanks for the info - the LMe Project sounds really very interesting, I'll definitely check it out. And also on the offer of explanation, thanks for that (it would be great to hear further details of how the team is handling the construction elements). I'll email you :).

    • profile image

      Benarda 7 years ago


      It may interest you to learn that there exists a project to create Middle Earth in the Sierra Norte region just North of Madrid, Spain. This is the Projecto Pequeña Tierra Media (Little Middle Earth Project). Details of this may be obtained by Googling: Pequeña Tierra Media. Also Benarda page on Squidoo, Lotr Plaza the Little Middle Earth Project, and so on. If you require further information, e-mail me at

      I liked your description of building a smial (Hobbit hole) but there are a couple of things more which I could explain to you, if you like.

      I am the Project Engineer for the LME Project. All the best, Benarda.

    • Mahogany LM profile image

      Mahogany LM 7 years ago

      @triathlontraini1: Hi TT :),

      I appreciate that you stopped by my little Hobbit Hole lens. I did aim to have it be both interesting and informative - so I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    • triathlontraini1 profile image

      triathlontraini1 7 years ago

      Wow, nice job. Very informative and clever. :)

    • Mahogany LM profile image

      Mahogany LM 7 years ago

      @kimmanleyort: Hi Kim! Thanks for the compliment... I wanted it to be a how to with a very personal voice to it, that's why I thought the drawings would help that (as opposed to CAD-like diagrams or images from Hobbiton). It's great that you enjoyed it - are you going to get a shovel out to start digging your own hobbit hole too, to get things started?

    • Mahogany LM profile image

      Mahogany LM 7 years ago

      @BFunivcom: Hi Allan,

      Whoa, such imagery - I can see your hobbit hole being dug already! It seems you probably also have the interior design details planned out too, for once the hobbit house it don e (and that's really great). With all of that said, I'm glad to have had a visit by such a connoisseur :). Thanks for stopping by and it's lovely that you enjoyed the lens.

    • Mahogany LM profile image

      Mahogany LM 7 years ago

      @Kailua-KonaGirl: Wow, a "Hobbit House" themed B&B - that's a brilliant idea! I think I would love that actually. But then again, I love everything about Hawaii, so maybe I'm a bit biased :). Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 7 years ago

      HI! This is fabulous example of a niche lens. I love your drawings and your editorial comments.:)

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 7 years ago from New York

      What an imaginative idea for a lens. I just love it. There is a house on the Big Island of Hawaii, where I'm from called "The Hobbit House" that I know you would get a big kick out of. They rent part of it out as a B&B. 5 stars!

    • BFunivcom profile image

      Allan R. Wallace 7 years ago from Wherever Human Rights Reign

      I love the entrance picture. I have had the location picked out since before I read the Hobbit, my vision was a wall of glass built into the hill, looking over the valley, the house ensconced comfortably behind the windows. Out of view, gardens and storage are nestled below it. Now I'll have to add a secluded entrance, by the garden, complete with a big round door with a knob in the middle. Thank you.

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 7 years ago from Australia

      Love your hand drawn pics. Very entertaining lens.

    • dustytoes profile image

      dustytoes 7 years ago

      I am tired from all the digging and sawing of wood...... this cute home is a lot of work! But the reading was tremendous fun...a unique lens!

    • profile image

      grannysage 7 years ago

      What a cute lens! Totally unique and innovative. I love the line drawings. Actually I love the whole thing. 5* for a fantastic idea.

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 7 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      Ever since I first read Lord of the Rings I've loved the idea of a Hobbit house. You make it sound easy to plan but maybe hard work. Anybody who builds one themselves is certainly going to appreciate it when it's done. I really like your lens. Blessed.

    • badmintondouble1 profile image

      badmintondouble1 7 years ago

      Very entertaining!

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 7 years ago from California

      I think I will opt to just say Hi as I have no idea what a hobbit hole or a Shrire is. I am giving this a Blessing though as it entertained me enough to read all the way through :)

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 7 years ago

      Very interesting! I'd like to know if you plan to show us a finished Hobbit house... definitely in love with this series!

    • poptastic profile image

      Cynthia Arre 7 years ago from Quezon City

      Mahogany, what an excellent and charming tutorial! I love the handmade feel of this lens and, of course, written in engaging Mahogany-style as always. I never thought we humans could build Hobbit Houses too! I must show this to my husband, the LOTR fanatic. Oh wait, before I leave, have a well-deserved *angel blessing*