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Old May 6th, 2006 #1
Action Alert
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Strummerville
Posts: 1,958
Action Alert
Default Underground houses

There really wasn't a subforum about housing. I have been considering the feasability of building an underground house. Most of the stuff I find on the net shows houses only semi-underground. I want a bunker!
...or maybe a mothballed missle base!
Survivalist mode...

Last edited by Action Alert; May 6th, 2006 at 11:57 PM.
Old May 7th, 2006 #2
Posts: n/a

It would probably be a good idea to make it bomb-proof and having at least one escape tunnel.
Old May 7th, 2006 #3
Sean Martin
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 9,397
Sean Martin

Actually an underground house is much cheaper to build than a wooden one. A concrete house is much cheaper as well because concrete is renewable where lumber has skyrocketed due to hurricanes and such.

My house (not the one I live in the one I own) is a 2 story with the first story built out of concrete reinforced half inch steel rods. It cost under $3,000 to build and wire. If you shop around and do the work yourself a concrete house will cost you about a tenth of what it would cost to build a wooden house. They are more durable and efficient on heating and cooling. My concrete house (I don’t heat or cool it since I don’t live in it) never gets below 40 degrees even when it is 0 outside, and in the summer when the heat is 110 it doesn’t get above 80 degrees. I never have to air condition it, I just use two huge fans to circulate the air and it is actually cooler than my air-conditioned wooden home.

If you have the hole already dug (about $2,000) you can get the concrete poured to an underground house for around $19,000. Also a good underground house stays 60 degrees year around so it never needs heating or cooling if you are comfortable in that range.

Here is something that most people don’t know when building an underground house is that it actually costs less to light it than an above ground house. If you ever go in one, you may notice beams going across the ceiling that appear to serve no purpose. They are usually dark brown and shiny. These are reflective beams, which reflect light from room to room. A sunroof (required for an underground house) and the windows from the exposed front of the house will light the entire house.

So you will save on heating/cooling and lighting as well. Not only that you will be more secure and never need fire insurance. What is going to burn? The house is concrete so it is basically fireproof only a room would burn. And they don’t leak either as do conventional homes. Your major problem is dampness an extreme factor to gun owners.

You can build an underground house for around $40,000. It will be a much better quality house and more secure once you get used to living like a mole.


If you know where to look many times the government sells old used bases with underground houses and such for $50,000 - $10,000. They can have dwellings up to 120 feet below the surface. I saw this house on television that some guy bought in upstate New York, that had a plane runway, several acres, secluded area, house, second house below ground, and a 120 foot deep all steel constructed missile silo minus missile of course. He bought it at a government auction for $100,000. It costs something like $10,000,000 to build in the 50’s. They are selling a bunch of those decommissioned bases from the cold war of the 50’s and 60’s.

If you find where they sell these things post it.
Doppelhaken, Draco, Richard H, ToddinFl, Augustus Sutter, Chain, Subrosa, Jarl, White Will, whose next?

Last edited by Sean Martin; May 7th, 2006 at 01:51 AM.
Old May 7th, 2006 #4
Man against Time
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: At the tip of the spiral
Posts: 159

If you are interested in underground dwellings do some research into the Outback Opal-mining town of Coober Pedy in South Australia, where a substantial proportion of the houses are situated underground, dug out of the rock because the temperature is too hot on the surface for comfortable living. The name "Coober Pedy" is an aboriginal word meaning "white man in a hole".
Old May 7th, 2006 #5
Todd in FL
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: orlando, fl
Posts: 3,683

I someday plan on going underground too. The best way is via earth contact cement. That is, clay/dirt mixed with 10% concrete in 2 foot wide forms with pilons every 20 feet. In those pilons are tubes that go to the roof to a solar collector so it can channel heat during the winter down the tube and you can open or close it depending on the heat you need. You can also put a PVC water system under the floor before pouring concrete so as to pump hot water thru them to heat the floor and the home as a whole too.

Some people (like Ragnar Benson) say it's best to te totally underground with 1 wall facing outside with a concrete roof with about 6-8 feet of dirt over the top.

This way very few people from the air know you are there. I am of the camp of half above and half below... with most of the square footage below. To me it doesn't matter if someone knows you are there as long as you are away from the cities or out of the usa.

Along with the house itself goes wood burning stoves, solar electric, water systems and air exchange systems, wind mills, radio communications tower, ect. It's best to build the home on a slope so that your water supply can flush toliets downhill to a septic system away from your well water. Also avalible is fiber optic filament that goes from the roof to the underground part so you can have natural ligth during the day without it looking like you live in a dungeon. Don't forget to make a channel PVC drainage system around the house to keep water away from your walls. All this costs a ton of money but little by little you can accumulate. The first step is to buy the land.

A daytime shot of the master bedroom, located off the backside solar atrium. There isn't a single window in this entire room, yet, look at all the natural light, coming in from the solar atrium.
Old May 7th, 2006 #6
Sean Martin
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 9,397
Sean Martin

That first picture worked, and that is the home I was describing I saw on television that the guy purchased for $100,000. The pic didn't work yesterday for some reason.
Doppelhaken, Draco, Richard H, ToddinFl, Augustus Sutter, Chain, Subrosa, Jarl, White Will, whose next?


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