Three Roundhouses Design

Three Roundhouses Design (click to enlarge)
Three Roundhouses Design (click to enlarge)

This plan illustrates what I think is the simplest, easiest way to build an earthbag home: build in stages, one roundhouse at a time so you can pay with cash and move in right away. It’s far easier to start small and add on later than jump right into building a large home that could take months or even years. I’ve talked about this a lot on our blog, but this is my first plan designed specifically for building in stages. This design is becoming one of my favorites. What do you think?

The Three Roundhouses design combines:
Hobbit House (starter house in this design): 471 sq. ft. interior, optional 471 sq. ft. loft, one bedroom, one bath, Footprint: 27′-6″ diameter
Roundhouse Studio (master bedroom in this design): 177 sq. ft. interior, fold-out bed, 1 bath, Footprint: 18′ diameter, plus buttress
33’ (10m) Roundhouse: 855 sq. ft. interior, 1 bedroom, 1 bath, Footprint: 36′ diameter
Total living space: 1,503 sq. ft. interior

Here’s a brief summary of the concept. This plan is for a small but growing family. Start out by building the center roundhouse, which provides the basic necessities. Save money and build the next unit (master bedroom) when ready. The roundhouses are joined with covered walkways to simplify construction. Sides of walkways could be enclosed in harsh climates. The third unit is added later when more space is desired.

The benefits for you and yours: priceless. Earnings for banks and megacorps: SOL (sorry, out of luck).

More details at Earthbag House Plans.
All house plan orders through now include a free copy of my Earthbag Building Guide.

The Most Bang for the Buck? Part 1
What’s the Easiest Shape to Build?

10 thoughts on “Three Roundhouses Design”

  1. Wonderful design and, in retrospect, really what we should have gone for. There’s no telling what sorts of things that will come up during construction that will slow progress and this would at least allow a person to get in right away. Oh well, lessons learned the hard way- we’ll be in next year for sure! :)

    • Thanks. There’s a tendency for people to bite off more than they can chew or get in over their head, however you want to say it. That’s especially true starting out and that was a key motivator behind this design. We always caution people to start out with something small to learn the process and develop skills. It’s oh so easy to take on too much. I sure don’t want to see a bunch of partially finished and abandoned structures like what’s happened with earthships.

      I look forward to seeing your house finished and hearing your adventures. You’re so far along now it should be smooth sailing all down hill.

  2. I like the design and the idea. I also think it would be neat if they were in a triangle shape themselves, and the area between the actual buildings could be one that would join all three. There could be a open pit fire there too. I really like the build in stages idea.

    • That’s a good idea. They could be arranged in many different configurations.

      But I like this current version because it has excellent solar gain (which you’d lose with your version) and there’s a partially sheltered area in front. Also, with your version there’s a risk of excess water building up in the center. Maybe make a U-shape instead of a triangle so water can drain out more easily.

  3. I really love it. I have some questions specific to my area and want to know if I can email you directly with my list, if that is okay.


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