Monday, 17 September 2018

How to Build a Hovel

1 - Why Build a Hovel?


The pleasure of being outdoors is often spoiled by rain and cold weather. Those summer evenings when you sit and contemplate life over a glass of red wine, whilst listening to the birds and the wind in the trees start to become less frequent come late summer / early autumn.  

We all love a good shed, or a hut, or a log cabin, but these generally disconnect you from the outdoors. Enter the hovel! A quick to build open sided "structure" enabling you to enjoy the outdoors even when cold and rainy. 

A Bout 4 Hours to Build - Not Counting Stove


It is a nice place to go if you are an indoor worker. It is a "different" place to chill to signify a Friday. It is a bolt hole to escape from world pressures. 

2 - Where to Build a Hovel?


Not in plain site, these are ugly shelters that will annoy most people. Of course you could make a pretty one, but then it would take on another name like a gazebo or something. 

Something like this goes best in the corner of a garden partially obscured behind a large bush, or a short piece of fencing.

3 - How to Build a Hovel?


Build a shack or hovel with whatever you have to hand. You may need to buy some bits and bobs such as wood, plastic sheeting, screws. You also need a heat source, please see detail in Chapter 5.

4 - How I Built my Hovel?


I used a sheet of 8 x 4 ply, for a floor. You don't really need a floor, but it will keep your feet warmer in the winter. I used some willow staves for uprights, and cross pieces, and then screwed various corrugated sheeting off cuts on to three sides. I then stapled some woven polyester type material over one other side, leaving the front open. A plank of wood is used for a bench seat.



5 - Heating for your Hovel


Unless you live in Equatorial Guinea you will need a source of heat. I have made a chiminia type thing out of an old gas cylinder. There are lots of ideas for making a DIY wood stove, that you can follow, but most require welding.

However, mots towns have some one who can weld, you may live on the same street as a hobbiest that will weld for you, for a small fee. Ask around.



A balloon gas cylinder, and a few length of pipe is all you need. You could do the ducting you self with a hack saw blade, and then get someone to do the welding for you.

Ventilation ducting or steel down pipe make a cheap chimney. Because the sides of the hovel are open, air can circulate and so a few leaks may not matter too much, although wood smoke is full of carcinogens, and maybe CO1 so a good chimney is better.

6 - Video Tour of Hovel



7 - Conclusions


A fun project. Ask any question in comments please.

Environmental Consultants London 

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