Can you build underground houses in the South?

OK, so do you remember the hobbit holes in Lord of the Rings? Houses like that (minus the round door) actually exist in the northern US. Being raised in Iowa, we didn't see them all the time, but they were plentiful enough in the early days of energy efficient housing. They were built into the side of a hill, or excavated to only open on one side, the rest was kind of buried in the ground. With an open plan, or a trailer-house layout, all the important rooms could have natural lighting from the front of the house. Add some well protected skylights in the back...and it isn't the dungeon you'd expect.

So anyway, I live in Texas now. One difference between the houses here, and the houses in Iowa, is there are NO basements here due to flooding. But that is digging into the ground, not piling it around.

So can you have a hobbit hole in Texas?

2 Answers

Relevance
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    yes, but imho, i think sod or adobe is better suited. If you are going to have a hobbit hole, you need to be careful when you bury it. Do not bury it entirely in clay soils. I put a 4 to 6 inch layer of clay around the whole thing, then a layer of bailed prairie hay, and then 1 foot of soil over the top and bermed it down the sides. It worked very well. The hay will decompose and shrink, but if you don't have it, the swelling and contracting of the clay will break your walls and roof. You may occassionally have to add a layer of bailed hay and soil to the roof. In the short run, adobe and or sod is much easier to maintain.

    When I re-locate to texas again, I will be building a bamboo and stucco house. I have seen houses like this over 300 yrs old. they are beautiful and I am told maintenance free.

  • 1 decade ago

    How far above sea level are you in TX? I'm in South Carolina and I know we are at sea level so any hobbit holes here would flood, ame in LA.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.