One Company is Building Hobbit Homes in Oklahoma
Underground or earthen homes haven't always had the best track record in Oklahoma. Our wildly moody weather in the state gets some of the worst in the country, which makes for infinite challenges in homebuilding.
Extreme heat, extreme drought, extreme cold, extreme rain, extreme ice, etc... all have different effects on our homes.
Add in the high water table in some areas, the dense Oklahoma clay, and our seismic activity, that's why you hardly see underground houses or even basements anymore even though we're in the heart of Tornado Alley... but that could be changing.
Shire Shores is a homebuilding company based out of Checotah, Oklahoma that has found a niche in building homes straight out of the Lord of the Rings series of books and movies. Literally homes from The Shire.
They aren't as much underground as they are covered with dirt--earthen homes. Could this be the future of Oklahoma home building?
From the Shire Shores website, these modular homes go up insanely fast. Built of "cutting-edge polymeric compounds" (marketing jargon for plastic), it seems that it's as easy as buying some land, working the dirt, pouring a foundation, and setting the structure on top to be covered with dirt.
As we've talked about in the past, earth is a really good insulator from the elements. That's one of the reasons underground homes gained popularity in this state during the 70s and 80s, but the lack of water and weatherproofing was the inevitable downfall of the trend... but if the whole house is plastic, it seems like the technology finally caught up to our parents' trend.
Time will tell if these will catch on like barndominiums did, but if I were a betting man, I suppose there's a market for every product and style out there.