Underground shelter

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HollywoodMax:
Does anyone have an opinion of the feasiblity of digging an underground shelter beneath a garage 's concrete floor?  I have thought about it and wonder if it is economically possible or safe to do so.  If a person was to do so, would it be more practical to cut a 3-foot hole in the concrete and then dig the shelter or dig on the outside and tunnel beneath the garage footing?  I would shore up the tunnel as I go but was wondering if it was safe to do so.

There is no basement in my house so the house pretty much sits on a concrete pad except for the small area beneath the bathroom area---it houses the water heater and accesses the plumbing.  Would it be better to just build an underground shelter away from the house?  I like the idea of having a shelter beneath the garage---I never use it for parking vehicles.  Any ideas anyone? :?:   Thanks

Citizen Zero:
The weight of the concrete alone can cause you a lot of problems. I have heard of things like this being done, but not without great difficulty and greater risk to ones life.

If you are thinking of escavating under the garage, I would probably go with only a tunnel from the garage to a shelter out in the yard. The only real problem there is hiding the construction of said shelter from nosey neighbors.

If I were going to attempt something like that I would probably cut around the entire slab a few feet from the perimeter wall and escavate all of it while carefully shoring up the walls as I went. Then when it was at the desired deph build the shelter (out of concrete or cinder block) then refill the hole and re pour the slab over the top.

Either way YMMV, digging underground tunnels or rooms is extermely dangerous and many times results in the death of the excavator.

Here is a link to one that an engineer built under his house slowly over 20 years, not a clue how he worked the mechanics but it is amazing.. http://www.oneofakindhouse.com/fortress.html

MtnmanMike:
HI Hollywood Max.    I agree mostly with what Citizen Zero just said.     I think it would be much easier and faster to get a backhoe and dig a big hole in your yard.   But If you want to spend a lot of time and effort then dig how and where you want.    If nosy neighbors ask what you are digging just say a storage and/ or root cellar like I have had to do a couple times.

I would dig close to the concrete pad then slowly dig under it, bracing a great deal.    If you can get and afford steel beams for bracing would be good.    But I used mostly poles and logs for bracing using the small pole shelter plans near the back of the Nuclear War Survival Skills book where there are easy to find links even in this group's web links.

After you get your hole dug close to the concrete pad I would line it with poles following the small pole shelter instructions.     I would slowly dig under the concrete pad bracing everything carefully and as strong as possible even twice the bracing as in the small pole shelter plans.       For the roof of my underground shelter I put three layers of poles and logs with two layers of plywood, and layers of newspapers, mulch, tarps, plastic sheets etc. with two feet plus of dirt and rocks, plants etc. on top.  Pics on  my website below...

I would not park on your concrete pad but once you get it built with as strong bracing as possible then it should be a good shelter.    I would have half the shelter and probably the entrance outside but If you can dig from the inside and through the concrete then an inside entrance would be good.      It will take a Lot of work but should be well worth the effort.  If I can do what I did as described with pics in the below link then most healthy people with  good motivation, time and a Little money can also do it.      My actual shelter only cost me a couple hundred dollars and I am slowly adding more concrete work to make it stronger.

Also Citizen Zero, Thanks for the link.      I really like to see links like that.     I would not mind having a good shelter like that guy in Blaine, Washington made But it must have cost a fortune.    Probably much more than his house cost?       Also he gave his street address and everything!  I guess he wants to have guests?     Someday he might have quite a few uninvited guests.       Especially he is near big cities so he might have many unwanted people.     I would not be surprised he might even be on a govt list.     The govt could probably take over his good shelter If they need more also.

My mountain place and my buildings are extremely remote, rustic, cheap and most people would not like it for more than a few days.      My underground shelter I am sure would not be comfy enough for most people either which is fine with me....    Although If any good people would want to join me I might accomodate them.

Citizen Zero:
Quote

I would not mind having a good shelter like that guy in Blaine, Washington made But it must have cost a fortune. Probably much more than his house cost?


I would love to have one too!!!

Apparently the fella that built it spent 20 years working on it a bit at a time without the neighbors even having a clue that it was happening.

The fella that built it died and it looks (to me) like the kids are selling it off not so secretly :evil:

You are 100% correct, something like this should remain a secret.. It is a rare thing that a resident of the US goes through these lengths to build such a fine shelter only to have its existence advertised to the general public. Unfortunately, this is how 'I' found it...   :cry:

JerryDYoung:
I wouldn't dig under or dig down, I'd berm. You can always tell people you're building an energy efficient storerage to save energy and costs.

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