What started out as a pile of dirt soon turned into a beautiful countryside home.
On a hillside in Wales, 32-year-old Simon Dale went to work. Sick of the costs associated with owning a typical home, Simon sought after a realistic, affordable solution. He found just that. This man with no carpentry or building experience got out his hammer, his chainsaw, and a chisel, and started to build. He had help from his father in-law and the occasional friend passing by. It took him a mere four months to construct and cost him just under $5,000 in materials.
You have to see what he built in such a short period of time.
Here’s how his vision began.
For a man with little prior building experience, Dale was sure to have his hands full. However, he was confident. “My main relevant skills were being able bodied, having self belief and perseverance and a mate or two to give a lift now and again,” he says. Simon and his wife, Jasmine, are avid environmentalists and pride themselves on creating as little net impact on the environment as possible. “Our supplies are dwindling and our planet is in ecological catastrophe. The sooner this change can be begun, the more comfortable it will be,” he explains. While residing in their now iconic home, the family spends their days doing ecological woodland management and tending to their garden.
But all of this certainly didn’t happen over night. In fact, it began with this empty plot of land and pile of rocks.
Now you can finally see the foundation take form.
Simon made it a point to waste nothing. The stones he used to dig and the mud that was dug up went to the walls and foundation of the home. He used spare wood from the forest that surrounded him. The floors were constructed of scrap wood as well. He found lots of necessary items – like window panes, wiring, etc. – in local trash piles. The man was on a mission to be resourceful and kept the environment in the forefront of his mind. The couple collected rainwater to keep their garden healthy and flourishing.
While Simon worked, his wife and their two young children camped out in the surrounding woodlands. He would occasionally enlist his sons to help him out with simple tasks like collecting wood. For the first few months, the four of them had no electricity or bathroom.
They used candlelight when it got dark. But that didn’t deter them. In fact, the family found something beautiful in living off the land, like their ancestors long before them. Not to mention, these ancestors also built their homes with their hands and the materials around them.
Here’s the finished result.
Here’s the lovely family in front of the finished home.
The home has a compost toilet and solar panels. It is heated with a wood burner. The walls, floors, and roof all contain straw barrels for increased insulation. The walls also contain lime plaster, a much better alternative to cement.
As you can see, the inside of the home is beautiful. It’s clean, cozy, and filled with natural light.
The Dale family has always been in tune with nature and has stressed the importance of taking care of the environment. They want to hand a world to their children that is bountiful in both resources and opportunities. While they have moved on from their hobbit-like home, the family still continues to build and spread their message.
Simon explains simple and beautifully why he and his family live the way they do, “It’s fun. Living your own life in your own way is rewarding. Following our dreams keeps our souls alive.”
Read the article from SFGlobe here.