15 Reasons Why Having an Underground House Rocks
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  1. #1
    Gunco Maniac Black Blade's Avatar
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    Default 15 Reasons Why Having an Underground House Rocks

    15 Reasons Why Having an Underground House Rocks

    Many people spend hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of dollars building their dream homes. They design the layouts, choose which materials will be used, and agonize over every detail to make sure it meets their needs (and those of the bank loan officer). In the end, these people often have a home they love.

    However, what if you could build your dream home for much less? We’re not talking about moderate savings of 10% – we mean much, much less. Underground homes are becoming more and more popular, and for good reason: it’s possible to build one yourself using reclaimed materials. In fact, you can get started for as little as $50.

    But the low cost isn’t the only reason why underground homes and underground living rocks. With some creativity, you can have a truly awesome underground home that combines natural beauty, functionality and fun. Here’s a list of the top 15 reasons why living in an underground dwelling isn’t just for animals.

    15 Reasons Why Having an Underground House Rocks

    1. You’ve Always Wanted to Be a Carpenter

    Maybe you saw your parents doing woodworking projects growing up, or maybe you’ve always wanted to woodworking yourself, but building your own underground home is a simple way to learn valuable carpentry skills and discover what you are truly capable of. As you build walls, stairs, windows and doors, you’ll be amazed at how much skills you didn’t know you had! Thanks to online tutorials (you can learn how to do just about anything on YouTube), anyone can gain the knowledge necessary to build an underground home. The actual building process provides the experience.

    2. Naturally Heated Homes

    Heating in the ground home is very inexpensive, even in cold climates. How is this possible? Due to smart home design. If you designed your underground home to take advantage of geothermal heat sources, solar power or some other natural heating source, your heating bill will be very very low. Many underground homeowners only pay around $500 per year for heating!

    3. Live In Communion with Nature

    If you feel a special connection with nature, living in an underground home will help you experience that much more frequently. Since your living space will be built into the earth, nature itself will surround you and your family day and night. You will be protected and allowed to experience the beauty of earth more frequently and intimately. It is quite an experience – one that must be seen firsthand to be fully appreciated.

    4. Grow Plants Year-Round

    In an underground home, you can use special types of greenhouse designs to grow plants year-round. By harvesting the natural heat of the earth and the sun and some careful greenhouse design, your plants can get enough light, heat and moisture to thrive– even in winter months.

    5. Protection from Tornadoes

    Since your home is not above ground – it’s actually in the ground – underground homes are virtually tornado proof. Have you noticed how tornado shelters are underground? Well, having your entire home below ground is like having a big tornado shelter. When a twister comes around that has the potential to wreck the neighborhood, your underground home will be completely safe.

    6. Protection from Just About Everything Else, Too

    It’s not just tornadoes that your underground home will protect you from. Hurricanes, fierce thunderstorms, and even blizzards won’t phase you while you’re protected in the earth. Depending on your materials, your home will also be virtually fireproof, too.

    7. Inexpensive to Heat and Cool

    If you were looking for a truly “Green” home that is inexpensive to keep at a comfortable temperature, an underground home is a smart choice. Earth does not heat up or cool down nearly as much as air above it, and this acts as insulation from extreme weather. In fact, underground homes cost 80-95% less than traditional home to heat and cool – that means big savings on your bills.

    8. Fantastic Conversation Piece

    If you want to give your visiting friends, family and neighbors something interesting to talk about, an underground home is a great topic of conversation. Giving tours of your beautiful home – a home that combines the elegance and beauty of nature with raw functionality – you’ll be able to point out specific design features, benefits of your home, and other elements of underground living that will lead to hours of conversation. You can answer questions about how they can start building your own underground dwellings – perhaps you’ll convince a few people to build underground homes of their own!

    9. Satisfaction of Building it Yourself

    Many people find great satisfaction in creating, and many underground homeowners say that the sense of contentment and accomplishment they feel after building their homes is intense. If you build an underground home, you will be constantly reminded of your labor and effort and how your work has paid off in creating something truly beautiful. Every door, window and see will remind you of what you have accomplished by working with nature.

    10. Complete Customization

    Since most people design their own underground home, you’ll have complete customization of how your home looks, how big rooms are, the layout of the home and more. You could finally have the perfect functionable home you’ve always wanted!

    Since adding on to a home like this is relatively simple, increasing the number of rooms is also very possible. You can continue adding to your home for years, making it a forever work in progress – just like the earth around it.

    11. The Building Process is an Adventure

    Part of the excitement of having an underground home is actually building it. Whether you’re using heavy machinery to dig out the space for your living room or carefully finishing the details of your new front door, the entire process of creating your home will be enjoyable.

    One of the great things about nature is its unpredictability, and you’ll experience that (in a pleasant way) as you build your underground home. Perhaps you’ll get an idea for a great change you can make to your original plans as you’re building, or maybe you’ll see an opportunity to work a living tree into your home’s design. There are a million different things that can happen during the building process, and its fun to turn these happy accidents into great new features for your home.

    12. It’s Inexpensive

    One of the top benefits of an underground house is that the building materials are very inexpensive. You can use just about anything – cinder blocks, wood, and other reclaimed materials – as the building blocks of your underground home. This cuts the building cost way down. Many people have been able to begin work on their underground homes for as little as $50! If you are willing to search for the right materials and are willing to recycle, you will find building an underground home is very affordable.

    13. Unobtrusive Architecture

    One of the complaints many people have about many homes in the woods or away from traditional housing developments is that they are such an eyesore. Even when architects try to blend a home into the scenery, the result isn’t always something you actually want to look at. Underground homes, on the other hand, blend in seamlessly with their surroundings. In many cases, the only way you even know one of these homes is there is from a window or door peeking out of the hillside!

    14. It Makes Good Use of Empty Land

    There are plenty of reasons why you could have extra land: maybe you inherited it, or maybe you bought it to do something with it someday. In any case, turning an empty lot into a home is a smart use of the property. You can potentially increase the property’s value. More importantly, you can increase the value of the land to you and your family with your custom-made home.

    15. You can Recycle Old Materials

    Do you have old building materials just lying around from an old project? Do you know somebody with extra lumber, sidewall or other materials that are perfect for your underground home? Creating a home or living space using recycled materials is a great way to make sure nothing goes to waste and that you’re minimizing your impact on the earth.

    Here’s a tip to be even greener: if you use completely natural materials like wood, if you ever decide to leave your underground home it will simply revert back to a natural state. This means your footprint on nature will be virtually nonexistent!
    How to Get Started

    Do these benefits of underground living sound good to you? Maybe it’s time to begin work on your own underground dwelling. Here’s what you’ll need to start:


    Basic Supplies

    Time, motivation and dreams

    (Optional) Permits from your local government



    Black Blade: One of my "neighbors" has an underground house. Almost looked at it for purchase myself at one time but has other pressing things going on at the time.
    When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America , you get a front row seat. - George Carlin

  2. #2
    Gunco Maniac twa2471's Avatar
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    There's one not far from here that is just gorgeous!!

    It snuggles right in between two rock faces and the way they built it,, the front wall of windows and darker stone header, matched the strata of the rock face that was on both sides It blended in great, south facing,very nicely built,(I'd been inside before) nice natural rock interior walls and central fireplace, Huge patio off the full windowed front, small spring feed stream running just down the hill a hundred feet or so away, close enough to hear the water anyhow,a super view down this little valley over looking a real small, old VT 10 house township, and other mountains in the background, totally off grid but with all the normal electrical stuff any other house has,, it's just beautiful. No bills,,just tax's. It's a friend, of a friend of a friends kinda thing,,, property He built it himself with a old $300 small JD dozier with a back hoe and and well used excavator for $1000. His total cost was <30K if I remember right in turn key complete condition,,hell I gather he's been there about 35 years and has done upgrades, and obviously added panels. He heated and ran the whole place completely with 2 cords of wood and ran a gas stove and lights on one of those pregnant looking upright tanks,,150gal???? And that was it for the whole year and with the natural sun coming through it was warm as toast in the winter!!! It's Amassing

    I'd seen some pics before of others in different places and some are very impressive!

    I'm way to old and bunged up to tackle something like that now, but it had been a consideration at one point, life has a way of changing the best laid plans sometimes.

  3. #3
    Gunco Good ole boy 2ndAmendican's Avatar
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    Some very good friends of ours in Western N.C. had a very nice high end underground home for about 12 years. Unfortunately with the economy, their home based business went under, and they lost it due to foreclosure. Such a shame, as that was one more beautiful house. Stayed nice and cool in the summer too, without a/c.
    Enforcement, NOT Amnesty!!!!!!

    "If they’re going to come here illegally, apply for & receive assistance through a corrupted Government agency encouraging this lawless behavior, work under the table & send billions of dollars each year back to their families in Mexico, while bleeding local economies dry, protest in our streets waving their Mexican flags DEMANDING rights, while I have to press ’1′ for English, then they need to be shipped back to where they came from!" -Chad Miller

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    Gunco Addicted for life j427x's Avatar
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    there has been a few built out there.

    lots of problems with moisture.

    some of them even flooded.

    you have to pick your site with an eye to the proper conditions VERY carefully.

    i wanted to build one on the old homestead, my soil, drainage and other factors made it an iffy idea.

    if you got the right site for it --very nice idea. hell i would build some U-boat pins if i was long and green. LOL!

  6. #5
    NoWorkCamp4Me railbuggy's Avatar
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    I've wanted to build a underground home since I first started reading MotherEarthNews back in 1982. Moisture and air exchange are a concern. Get below the frost line(about 3ft in my AO)and the ground temperature stays about 50/55F year round.
    SOON-We already lost the war. You are the resistance.

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    Gunco Maniac twa2471's Avatar
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    The one I mentioned was at the top of a hill and he did a concrete skin over the edges of the construction area/ledge sides,, with a rubber bladder underneath before the actual "frame/house construction began. That was one of the first questions I had asked him when I first saw the house too, and I gather he never had any moisture issues by building it that way.

    Other than he'd had just a little bit of moisture at the beginning until the concrete had cured fully, and that was the only time he had issues from what he'd said. The first year he just did the main structure just enough to seal it up and keep it heated for use as a camp, and by spring it was completely dry inside with no further moisture issues cropping up after that. He started the interior stuff the second year with no problems.

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