How to build a hobbit hole house

Updated February 21, 2017

A "Hobbit hole house" is an organic, half-buried hillside home with simple fixtures and a round entryway that was created by J.R.R. Tolkien for his novels about Hobbits. Creating one of these houses is possible by preparing and building most of a small hill with heavy equipment, like a backhoe.

Dig a hall entry tunnel and several small rooms on the left of the tunnel with the backhoe equipment. This could be a time-consuming process of soil removal, as the tunnel needs to go at least 20 feet into the hillside. Walls can be used to separate the tunnel into room sections. The backhoe will have to manoeuvre into the "cave" to remove more soil. Don't make the width of the cave more than 10 feet, as it might then require braces to hold the interior ceiling up.

Add a chimney or stovepipe into the roof of the soil cave by drilling with a post hole digger on the top of the hill at the general location of the kitchen.

Add window holes by carefully knocking out the soil with the backhoe. Be extremely cautious not to add too many windows, as this could weaken the outer walls of the cave.

Manufacture custom round windows and doors. The door can be cut from several pieces of wood and nailed together, but the windows might prove difficult. If a glass cutter is accessible, it can be used to cut circular panes of glass for use in the round windows. Standard doorknobs and window locks are usable, and a single, heavy-duty hinge can hold the window or door in place.

Finish the interior with flexible wood panels, or a substrate of concrete and mortar. The interior of the Hobbit dwelling was a direct reflection of the Hobbit who lived in it. Usually particular and tidy, a wood-toned Tudor style or cosy red and gold colour mix will instil comfort into guests, which Hobbits are always welcome to receive.


Use the natural dirt to make adobe covering for the exterior window and door frames.


Do not dig into the hill randomly, choose a path and don't dig too wide.

Things You'll Need

  • Backhoe
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About the Author

Eli Laurens is a ninth-grade physics teacher as well as a computer programmer and writer. He studied electrical engineering and architecture at Southern Polytechnic University in Marietta, Ga., and now lives in Colorado.