Can't afford to get on the property ladder, or just fancy something a bit different? You might take a leaf out of father-of-two Simon Dale's book. He put four months and around £3,000 into building a remarkable, environmentally-friendly home dubbed the 'hobbit house' - in a hillside in Wales. And here's how he did it...
Armed with just a chainsaw and a hammer, Simon got to work - later using the stone and mud from these diggings for retaining walls and foundations.
Then came the inner frame of the home, built using '30 or so' trees from the surrounding woodland.
After the roof was finished, Simon created three lean-to covered areas against the sides of the building where there were no windows or doors. And then... voila! After four months, it was all finished.
In case you were wondering, Simon's new home, which was built with the help of his father-in-law, is also pretty energy efficient . As well as drawing in water from a nearby spring, he also powers lighting, music and computing in the home with a set of solar panels. Oh, and there's a compost toilet.
Explaining his reasons for building the home, Simon said that the house 'was made to house our family while we worked in the woodland surrounding the house doing ecological woodland management and setting up a forest garden, things that would have been impossible had we had to pay a regular rent or mortgage'.
“as well as costing just a fraction of the price of a 'normal' home, it looks like a pretty quirky place to live” says Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington, Lancashire.