Home: Garden: Style
Suburban Grotto Folly   (+10)  [vote for, against]
Release your inner suburban caveman...or pixie.

Retreat from the sweltering summer heat in your very own grotto. Balmy evenings, lolling in the ferny shade, sipping chilled wine/beer and gazing lazily across the...you get the idea.

You'll love lounging in it, your kids'll love playing in and on it. Terraces? Pah! Summerhouse? How last century! Installed by a team of experts, the surburban grotto folly is constructed thusly:

* A pre-moulded, insulated concrete dome - standard model 4m diameter, 2.5m high in centre, entrance 2m x 2m arch, customised versions also available.
* Turfed over and planted with wild flowers to harmonise with and enhance your garden.
* North facing entrance - harness the natural cooling effect.
* South facing turf bench at rear for sunning.
* Cool stone-flagged floor.

* Optional extras include:

* Solar-powered fairy lights around the entrance.
* Secret built-in wine bunker - optimal temperatures all year round.
* Lock-down shutter to deter bears and/or squatters from moving in.
* Hand-crafted circular wooden storage bench to run round the inside wall.

-- squeak, Jun 26 2007

Turf bench http://www.bbc.co.u...es/med_feature3.jpg
[squeak, Jun 26 2007]

Eco Cave http://www.tdrinc.c...large/ecol_E094.jpg
Bao An, Shenzhen, China [skinflaps, Jun 26 2007]

nice place in Wales http://www.simondale.net/house/
[xandram, Jun 26 2007]

Not like this....at all. http://virtualrocks.com/gardencave.htm
Storage space cunningly disguised as obvious plastic rock. [squeak, Jun 28 2007]

Build your own http://www.monolithic.com/
[zen_tom, Jul 05 2007]

Native American version http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiva
I've seen these in Colorado before. It would be great in a back yard. [discontinuuity, Jul 11 2007]

+ Lovely, sounds like a Hobbit home.
-- xandram, Jun 26 2007

Nice - and could be made cheaply with off-the-shelf large, precast concrete pipe sections. However, I'm not sure what would prevent it filling up with water when it rains.
-- hippo, Jun 26 2007

Drainage shouldn't be a problem. Even a slight incline will keep it dry.

I was envisaging a sorta turf, wide-fronted igloo hidey-hole from the sun and neighbours, incorporated into a normal back garden and all grassy and lush on top. The mound would slope gently down at the sides making the whole installation look kind of like an eye from the front with the open entrance as the iris.
-- squeak, Jun 26 2007

Visit the amazing Oracle of Camden! For just two pieces of silver, Priest Wagster of the Oracle will descend into his incense-clouded suburban grotto and commune with Apollo for advice on any subject.

Pronouncements made on the success of marriage, the outcome of military campaigns (take note, Tony), auspicious crop planting times and the performance of stocks.

No Phoenicians.
-- wagster, Jun 26 2007

+ for the title especially.
-- calum, Jun 26 2007

[squeak] - Right, I was imagining you'd dig a shallow hole, put the concrete former in place and replace the topsoil to form the hill over the SGF, but if you're putting it all above ground level you'd be OK.
-- hippo, Jun 26 2007

Does it include a hermit? Or is that extra? Can't have a grotto without a hermit.
-- Galbinus_Caeli, Jun 26 2007

You *are* the hermit!

Fab linky [xandram]. Want, want, want....
-- squeak, Jun 26 2007

The nice place in Wales is a little TOO back-to-nature for me. Some of it's cool, though.

I prefer real plumbing, myself.

Anyway, bun. I've always wanted to live like Hef, but if this is as close as I get, that's fine by me.
-- shapu, Jun 26 2007

Isn't this idea the Tellytubby house?
-- hippo, Jun 26 2007

Hector's House.

(Well, it was more of a shed really.)
-- skinflaps, Jun 26 2007

No, no Noo-noo.

(Did you see that. A sentence with only 2 letters!)
-- squeak, Jun 26 2007

-- wagster, Jun 28 2007

-- hippo, Jun 28 2007

-- squeak, Jun 28 2007

Equipped with a "cup of coffee", I presume.

(Aside, squeak) I like that. You made hippo talk like a handwriten ventriloquist, sort of?
-- blissmiss, Jun 29 2007

Let's all make Hippo say silly stuff.

Gockle 'o geer! Gockle 'o geer!
-- wagster, Jun 29 2007

Gockle 'o geer! Gockle 'o geer!

Damnit, I thought you said a gaggle of geese, damnit!!!

(Aside, to all the Londoners and Scots, stay safe, and stay villigant. Also, Sir Elton sure has put on a few...lbs?)
-- blissmiss, Jul 01 2007

You wish. No one can make me thay thilly thtuff.
-- hippo, Jul 02 2007

Grotto apparently has a different subtle connotation on that side of the Atlantic than it does here.
-- RayfordSteele, Jul 02 2007

You mean Heff’s grotto, [Rayford]

This is very definitely not an attempt to emulate that one of his. What *does* he think he looks like? The withered, affected, tawdry, vacuous, vulgar old turd.
-- squeak, Jul 05 2007

Great, is it a permenant structure?
-- S-note, Jul 05 2007

-- squeak, Jul 05 2007

I'd build one in the ghetto, and fill it with turbans and ice-lollies.
-- zen_tom, Jul 05 2007

On a practical level, these would be considered a separate living area from the main residence. As such this would be subject to a separate assessment by a council tax inspector (UK only!). A planning application would also need to be submitted to the local council for approval. Having a building of this type would have a significant negative affect on your properties value on the open market and thus should be considered before an installation takes place. The footings needed to support this structure would have to be quite deep especially in some areas of the UK where soil quality is low. Due to the weight involved heavy machinery would be needed to facilitate the lifting and installation of said grotto, which would bump up the overall cost.
-- S-note, Jul 05 2007

-- squeak, Jul 05 2007

But [hippo] did have a point, those teletubbies had one of these, and people have been building concrete domes for a fair old while - the title is cute - but as much as I'd love to have my own enturfed refuge within which I could hobbit, I don't think it's really a new idea.
-- zen_tom, Jul 05 2007

A self-contained unit means: ‘a building, or part of a building, which has been constructed or adapted for use as separate living accommodation.’ A self-contained unit can mean both a living space that is separate from other accommodation, and also living accommodation that is connected to, and sharing an access with, adjoining accommodation. This could be, for example, an annexe for an elderly relative. The fact that a unit shares common services and cannot be sold on its own does not prevent it from being classed as selfcontained and therefore liable for a council tax band. Similarly, it makes no difference if the occupants of the main house use the unit. If a unit is constructed or adapted for use as separate living accommodation, then it will have a separate council tax band regardless of how it is used.
-- S-note, Jul 05 2007

It's not living accomodation. It's like a troglodyte wendy-house.
-- squeak, Jul 05 2007

It is a permanant structure with a fixed roof. It would be okay if it had a polycarbonate roof but then it would not be a grotto would it? (-)
-- S-note, Jul 05 2007

Sure it would. It could actually be built out of anything with decent insulating properties capable of carrying a layer of turf and the odd person or three on the turf bench. Perhaps concrete's a bit over the top, in fact. COuld use skimmed straw bales like the guy in [xandram]'s linky.
-- squeak, Jul 06 2007

I have amended my vote to neutral in light of the concrete alternative
-- S-note, Jul 06 2007

Oo! Ta.
-- squeak, Jul 10 2007

Oddly enough, this is the first HB idea which I am actually going to implement. I hope that this is because it is a good idea, but it's also possible that it's just a bad reaction between the alcohol and the medication. I'll let you know if it works out. [Edit - sobriety has set in, and I'm having grave doubts...]
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 11 2007

Re: place in Wales. "30 or so small trees and a bit of chainsawing later. Lift logs, prop up, nail together and continue until no longer wobbly."

Considering the immense weight of the earth roof to be added later, I would suggest putting a bit more thought (and certification?!) into the structure.
-- Texticle, Jul 12 2007

random, halfbakery