Have you ever thought that a fairy tale home, like the one in the pictures below, really exists out there?
Well, it does exist! Simon Dale is a family man from Wales, the western part of Great Britain. His interest in self-sustainability and ecological awareness led him to dig out and build his own “eco home”—one of the cutest, coziest, most inviting dwellings you could ever imagine. And it cost him only £3,000, or about $4,700 American dollars! This is nothing short of amazing, right?
Look at the entrance for starters. Can you imagine a more amiable entry than this one?
When asked what urged him to build this extraordinary little home, Simon gave2 reasons for building it: This is what he said: “It’s fun. Living your own life, in your own way is rewarding. Following our dreams keeps our souls alive.”
His second reason is a plea for sustainability, in which he states that “our supplies are dwindling and our planet is in ecological catastrophe”. A really full and passionate statement, you will agree with me.
Simon is also a photographer, and as you can see throughout this article, he is a talented one.
The tools for building this enchanting place are fairly simple. The main concession to modernity was a chainsaw, which he used to cut down about 30 small trees. No old growth forest fell to his family’s needs. He focused on tools that used his own human energy, like shovel, chisel, and hammer. Yet, it took him only 4 months to shape this lovely home.
Do you wonder and ponder about the construction material?
Well, the home is constructed from wood, stone, straw, and has a sod roof. It is heated with a wood fireplace and has a solar panel for power. Most materials were scavenged and refurbished appliances. The effect, though, is totally satisfactory. It is obviously artistic, creative, elegant, and above all – cozy.
In fact, it is magical.
Most amazingly, the home did not require long years of training or constructing experience. Actually, Simon had none of it. He’s not an architect, he’s not an engineer, and he’s not a carpenter. He started from scratch in every sense. But I still see him as a Corbusier of modern ages who managed to build a healthy escape from the city concrete and asphalt. We are simply fed up with it! (Well, at least I am.)
This is what he told The Daily Mail:
“Being your own have-a-go architect is a lot of fun and allows you to create and enjoy something which is part of yourself and the land rather than, at worst, a mass-produced box designed for maximum profit and the convenience of the construction industry.”
Building from naturally-found materials does away with producers’ profits and the cocktail of carcinogenic poisons that fill most modern buildings. He was fortunate in obtaining the land for his home. The plot, a bit of a large piece, was given to him in exchange for its caretaking.
What you see in the picture above is a beautiful outlook in another home where Simon is generously landing a hand to assist building it. Originally, this was mistakenly identified as a photo of the home where he and his family are living at the moment.
The attention to making the home eco-friendly extends to a compost toilet, the use of straw over a plastic layer for insulation, and a refrigerator that’s cooled with air that flows from under the home’s foundation. Cement is a high carbon emitter, so the interior walls are finished with lime plaster rather than cement plaster.
A photo of Simon Dale, his wife Jasmine Saville, and their two children in front of their completed home just 4 months after starting it!
So, Simon is now involved in building another home for the Lammas Project, an organization dedicated to low-impact building. Focus is not only on the homes themselves, but also on planting vegetation that is trees and gardens, and on low impact living in general.
Here’s how he sums up his view on his home and the Lammas Project:
“This building is one part of a low-impact or permaculture approach to life. This sort of life is about living in harmony with both the natural world and ourselves, doing things simply and using appropriate levels of technology. These sort of low cost, natural buildings have a place not only in their own sustainability, but also in their potential to provide affordable housing which allows people access to land and the opportunity to lead simpler, sustainable lives. I cannot imagine a home more lovely, appealing, and livable than this one. This could be and should be the wave of the future in home building.”
Now, my question is: Would you follow in Simons footsteps? Just think about it!