Eric Ericson grew up in Pensacola, Florida and married the former Christine Dixon in 1978.  Eric's dad invented the Fork Lift Marina concept.  Eric and Christine have sons Shaun (37) and Nick (35).  Shaun is a Journeyman electrician and CIO at his firm.  Nick graduated from UAB, with a degree in Civil Engineering in 2009 (now a Professional Engineer) and works for an engineering firm.  Nick and Jackie (who also graduated from UAB) were married September 21, 2012.  Jackie schedules medical procedures and is able to work from home.  We retired to this home in Pensacola, but we sold it in July of 2021 after us owning the home for 21 years and in the family since 1975.  This was done primarily so we could be close to our sons.  We lived with our son, Shaun (in B'ham) while we built our version of a Hobbit home in Pinson AL, moving into the new home in July, 2022.

When the severe cold snap happened around Christmas of 2022, we heated the home with our wood stove, leaving the heat pump system turned off.  The home is a little over 3100 sq. ft over two levels, but it is extremely well insulated and two walls are essentially underground.  It got down to 70° on a couple of mornings inside while it got down to 9° one night and teens two other nights, not getting above freezing for 3 days.

The Hobbit Home
(two walls underground)

This is the home we had built in Pinson, Alabama, a little bit North and East of Birmingham.

It has 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms and a huge attic.  The downstairs living area is 2100 square feet and it has plenty of energy efficient features like spray foam in roofs/walls and a highly efficient and clean wood stove. 

There are 10" thick concrete walls where dirt contacts the house and standard 2x4 walls are built inside the concrete walls.  Obviously, we're not too keen on dirt roofs like the Hobbits, opting for a conventional metal roof.

Our 10½-acre lot is at 1200' elevation on Pine Mountain, and we own both sides of a small gorge.  We are planning to construct a small dam on this gorge and impound water to ensure we have plenty of water in the ground near the well.

Because the lot is heavily forested, we wanted the home to be as fireproof as possible.  Roofs are metal, exposed siding and soffits have Hardiplank (concrete siding), and our patio is concrete.  (Originally, we were going to install ironwood [Ipe] decking, but costs demand that we install a concrete deck instead.)


Here is a GIF of our progress so far:

It's getting long, so I broke it down






A walkthrough

A drive up

May 3 - House has been insulated with foam. Short YouTube video

May 13 - Sheetrock is hung and mostly mudded.  All exterior doors installed.  Roof rafters have been hung over the Sunken Patio.  Waiting for siding to be installed above and below the roof line, then the greenhouse panels will be installed over Sunken Patio.  With the foam installed, the house stays cool even during 80+ temps... as much as 15° cooler (usually 7-10 degree F cooler).  This house is sealed... no roof vents, no soffit vents and we have installed fans to introduce and exhaust air after flowing through the house.  (We are installing dehumidifiers as foam houses tend to be humid.)   

June 8th - Cabinets came yesterday... well, most of 'em.  We got enough cabinets to get our countertops measured today.  Countertops can take as long as a month!  The Pantry cabinets are not ready.  Septic to be installed tomorrow... we'll see...

June 26 - Painters almost done, electricians about 2/3 done, Plumbers hooked the house to the well and have most fixtures installed.  Septic system installed, so we have operational toilets (hate the portable toilet).  Carpenters pretty much finished the ceilings over the patio on Saturday while we split a face-cord of wood... hot!  Waiting on countertop granite and some cabinet doors and A/C guys...

The buried 100' Air Pipe is 6" in diameter and conditions outside air to the constant 63°F ground temp prior to entering the home.  It supplies warmer than outside air to the wood stove and the home in the winter and cooler than outside air to the home in the summer.  The home must be very air-tight for it to work efficiently and our home will meet that requirement as foam insulation is sprayed on the inside surfaces of all exterior walls and roofs, sealing the home tightly.

Here is our Winter View
On this lot, we own both sides of a stream.  The lot has 148 feet of elevation change and the stream flows pretty fast.  We plan to install some waterfalls on it to enhance the sound of running water.  Click on the YouTube link to the right for a video I shot of the stream on or about February 22, 2022 Stream:

We used to camp a lot and celebrate with our friends usually around the waterfront.  We have moved to Birmingham and camping has become too much like a chore.  (It's hell gettin' old, lol)  We love to travel and stay in hotels - beats pitching a tent.  Here are a few of our exploits:

Memorial Day Weekends 2005, 20062007, /  Hydroplane Races / Balloon Races  /  Our former Boat/ Mountains Visits / Blue Angels at the Beach  / Jamaican Festival and Bathtub Races 2012
 Our Harpoon Sailboat  /  Bike Ride at Navy Point (YouTube Video)  
Concerts: BB King Concert /  Rock Legends Cruise /  Hangout Festivals

No pics or stories, but in the last ten years or so, we have seen Aretha Franklin, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, The Eagles, Elton John, The Zombies, George Thorogood & The Destroyers, Robert Earl Keen, Grand Funk Railroad, Lynrd Skynrd, The Moody Blues, Trombone Shorty, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Frankie Ballard, Three Dog Night, John Prine, Kacey Musgrave, Zack Brown Band, Steve Miller Band, Jackson Browne, Peter Frampton, Paul McCarthy, Dylan, Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Roger Waters, The Who, Stevie Winwood and Blackberry Smoke.

On the Rock Legends Cruises, we saw Dave Mason twice, Edgar Winter, Marshall Tucker, Savoy Brown, Paul Rodgers & son Steve Rodgers, Artemis Pyle, Swamp de Wamp, Ten Years After, Royal Southern Brotherhood, Outlaws, Blue Oyster Cult, Alice Cooper, America, Grand Funk Railroad, John Mayhall, Edgar Winter, Greg Allman, Todd Rungren, Dave Mason, The Kentucky Headhunters, and Uriah Heep.