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I want to build something big.

Should* I build a complete house (interior and everything) with lego bricks?

* By "should" I mean, will it be safe? How big can I go? How much do you think it will cost?

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I've always wondered. –  Timtech Sep 2 '13 at 23:37
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2 Answers 2

up vote 19 down vote accepted

James May built a full-sized LEGO house for his TV show James May's Toy Stories on the BBC back in 2009 using around 3,500,000 bricks. Whether you'd actually want to do this yourself...

During the episode they spent some time with engineering students working out the most load bearing configurations of bricks especially for the upper floor, as well as working on the general structure.

To get around the insurance requirements, in the end they resorted to building the house around a wooden frame including floors - and although they did continue working on the beams, and James did stand (rather nervously) on the final designs, they don't appear to have been released.

With regards to the rest of the house (i.e. fixtures and fittings) there were some issues as I recall:

  • Comfort - obviously lying or sitting on LEGO bricks without any covering is uncomfortable.
  • Water Proofing - at one point in the show James shares a LEGO "glass" of wine with Oz Clarke - only to have most of the wine leak out of the glass. Without some sort of sealant, or multiple offset layers the gaps between the bricks aren't water-tight.
  • Clutch Power - LEGO bricks are held together by friction (Technic pins not withstanding), and tend to break apart under incorrectly placed loads quite easily. This may be an issue when it comes to chairs, doors, etc.

Wikipedia article
Show on YouTube (part 1/5)

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After seeing that, I think I'll prefer not to push my luck in this one (I mean seriously! look at the cracks!). +1 +V, well done! –  Madara Uchiha Apr 24 '12 at 15:28
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Did they ever publish the structural designs for the upper floor joist? Would be interesting to see how they made the structure strong enough. –  Skizz May 11 '12 at 15:18
    
Not sure, I'll have a look around. –  Ric May 11 '12 at 17:04
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If you want to know how many bricks you'd need, there is some site to help you calculate it.

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