The Shire of Montana

by Christina Nellemann on March 17th, 2014. 15 Comments

While the film version of the Shire sits in New Zealand, a real accessible version of the home of the Hobbits can be found in Montana. However, if you come to stay in this small house you’ll have to share it with fairies, trolls and dwarfs. The Shire of Montana includes not only a 1,000 square foot house built into a hillside, but also a Troll House and several fairy homes built into tree stumps.

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This whimsical 20-acre property owned by Steven and Chris Michael is located near Trout Creek, Montana and is available as a private rental for lovers of Tolkien and the outdoors. The property contains a monolithic dome Hobbit house built into a hillside, a troll house in an old stump and various fairy homes dotted throughout the garden. The main house is 1,000 square feet and contains modern granite counter tops and etched glass windows, two bedrooms, a cozy kitchen, rustic woodwork and even the One Ring hanging from the ceiling.

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When the home was being constructed, the owners found a 700 year old cedar stump with a roof and door in a nearby town and decided to make it into a home for trolls. Steven said that once the word got out about the Troll House, other residents of Middle Earth decided to move onto the property which includes the Elven Village and homes for dwarfs and fairies. Various regional artists worked on making the property a haven for these otherworldly creatures which includes waterfalls and creeks, murals, bird houses, a wishing well, a troll bridge and mine as well as a 2,000 lb. carved stone bench made from a rock from Bali that is rumored to have once been a troll.

Guests can stay in the Shire of Montana from spring to fall for $245 a night.

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Photos by the Shire of Montana

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

The Freeman – Tiny Cob House Plans

by Kent Griswold on December 26th, 2012. Comments Off

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The Freeman is a 120 square foot tiny home model made out of cob. Cob is a mixture of clay, sand, straw, and water. This tiny home model stands on the principles of being economical and sustainable. Almost all of the materials needed to build the house can be found in a local natural environment.

This tiny cob home can have many purposes. It’s great for tiny house enthusiasts, homesteaders, preppers, business people, or anyone who just wants a little cob house. It can be used for many different types of accommodations too. The Freeman can be used as a home, an art studio, a shed, a backyard office, or whatever else you can imagine. It can also be used as a temporary home while building a larger home.

tiny cob house

The total cost to build The Freeman model will depend on how resourceful and frugal you are. The cost could vary quite dramatically depending on how you want to build the home and range anywhere from $500 to $5000.

The home features an open cathedral ceiling which helps to make the building feel more open and roomy, and there is a built-in cob bench in front of the large south-facing window. There is also an upstairs loft with enough room for a queen size bed and storage. At its peak, the loft height is 4 ft. 5.5 in. and there is a small window on the eastern wall to let in the morning light.

cob sketch

Underneath the loft, there is plenty of space to make an office area. The eastern wall beneath the loft has a large window to illuminate the space as well as the light from the open living room. There is 7 feet of standing room underneath the loft so you will not have to bend over, and you can still put all of your normal office furniture underneath.

What sets this tiny house apart from others is that it is made out of cob. Cob offers many great benefits such as its thermal mass and ability to store and re-radiate heat. With its passive solar design and cob’s thermal mass the home stays naturally cool in the summer and warm in the winter. To learn more, read about these 14 benefits of building with cob.

This premium design package includes more than 15 pages of construction plans. You will get: floor plans, electrical plans, transverse sections, dimensional diagrams, foundation plans, roof plans, loft plans, a materials list, and a tools list.

The Freeman tiny cob house is perfect for do-it-yourself builders, and its size falls within most building codes for no permit being required. If you want to create a living space that is efficient and beautiful inside and out then The Freeman might be right for you!

Purchase the plans for just $97 at This Cob House.

cob plan

floor plan

floor plan loft

December 26th, 2012and filed in Earth/Cob
Tags: cob, house plans, Plan, The Freeman, tiny cob, Tiny House Articles
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Tiny Offices on Urban Roots Farm

by Christina Nellemann on May 14th, 2012. 12 Comments

On a lot in back of a former motel, there is a farm. And on that farm there are some tiny offices…okay…I won’t sing “E-I-E-I-O”, but the structures being built on the Urban Roots Farm in Reno, Nev. are worth tooting a few horns about. Urban Roots is currently being created as an educational farm and community center where schools, children and families can learn about gardening, alternative building techniques and the natural areas of the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Range. The farm sits on a 3/4 acre plot that was donated by Kelly Rae and Pam Haberman of HabeRae Homes (which the Tiny House Blog profiled a few years ago). Kelly and Pam also designed two tiny structures to be used as offices for the Urban Roots staff.

Kelly is unofficially calling the two building designs ModPods. She and Pam were inspired by some similar structures they came across while traveling by motorcycle on Orcas Island, Wash.

“I nearly went off the road on my bike when I saw these tiny houses,” Kelly said. Continue Reading »

Living in the Future

by Christina Nellemann on October 31st, 2011. 2 Comments

According to the Lammas ecovillage in Wales, living in the future means looking to the past. This series of videos shows the baby ecovillage’s plans and struggles to develop a low impact village in the open countryside. The series also profiles several other successful ecovillages around Europe. The village is named after the pagan holiday that celebrates the abundance of the fall months.

Lammas is the United Kingdom’s first planned ecovillage and is sited on 76 acres of mixed pasture and woodland in Pembrokeshire. The houses use low-impact architecture which uses a combination of recycled and natural materials. The village will contain five detached buildings and one terrace of four dwellings. The homes will be built of straw bale, earth, timber frame and cob; they will have turf roofs and wool insulation and will blend into the landscape.

The videos (also available as podcasts) cover everything from searching for land, working with local codes, inspectors and design councils, examples of different types of natural building including straw bale and cob, surviving cold weather, self-sufficiency, growing your own food, and keeping community intact. The ecovillages profiled are Cae Mabon, The Village, Ireland and Findhorn. That Roundhouse by Tony Wrench is also featured. Continue Reading »