Shelter contruction

Discussion in 'General Homesteading & Building' started by kyfarmer, Apr 18, 2010.

  1. kyfarmer

    kyfarmer Well-Known Member

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    :D I need some fresh tip's and donot's on this from someone who has done it recently. With most of the book's i have looked at the principal is the same, but new a lot of stuff coming up to use. Thank,s This most likely will start by or before fall.
     
  2. Asatrur

    Asatrur Well-Known Member

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    While not a house in reality, I want to build a root cellar/shelter in my yard next to my garage and am also looking for info this.
     

  3. allen_idaho

    allen_idaho Well-Known Member

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    Here are a few items to consider.

    1. Ok, one of the most important things is waterproofing. You need to make sure that whatever you have underground is completely covered with some type of waterproofing otherwise it is going to flood, leak, or begin to rot every time it rains. Not good.

    There are two ways to go about this. Either using sheets of waterproofing membrane or using a spray-on waterproofing material. I would actually suggest the spray material because then you do not have to worry about getting a rip in the sheet.

    2. Determine how much dirt you want above your structure and plan accordingly. The more dirt you have, the stronger bracing you will need underneath. The last thing you want is a collapsed roof. Especially if you are standing inside.

    3. Before you start digging, you need to know how low you can go before reaching the water table. You also need to know if the water table will rise seasonally. For example, if you need to drill 200 feet to dig a well, you are pretty safe. But if you only need to drill about 15 feet for a well, then you are much closer to the water table. And if you live in an area like I do, the creek which feeds that water table will cause it to rise by several feet every spring. So be careful. Again, this is a flooding hazard you need to be aware of.

    4. If you plan on having any sort of electricity or plumbing in your structure, you are going to have to plan accordingly. You will need some type of tube for pipes or cables to pass through but you will also need to ensure that they are securely covered so they do not pose as a flooding hazard or allow any unwanted contaminants in (i.e. bugs and mice).

    5. One nifty feature that some homemade fallout shelters include is a separate entry way. So you have one door which leads from the outside to the entry. Then you have another door which leads into the actual shelter. This is great because if the outer door malfunctions, you are keeping the water out. It is also great because you then have a second layer of protection.
     
  4. NORTH

    NORTH Active Member

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    Hope I'm not speaking out of turn because I have not built such a structure but have been giving it many hours of thought. You were a little vague in your question, are you starting from scratch and building new, adding an undergroung bunker type area to you existing place? well I'll throw my thoughts in as to what I would like to do if I was building it new. First i wouldn't really like to dig down to have my place "underground",as allen discussed waterproofing and water tables are the major concerns. What I have in mind is begin building at ground level just like I was building a basement, footers, poured(preferred) concrete walls,steel trusses spanning the opening with a steel I beam for a main beam.( the trusses would be the floor joists in a conventional wood framed home). Just like in many open wharehouse type buildings the roof of this building would be like the 2nd floor in the wharehouse type, corrugated steel panels with 3 or 4 inches of concrete poured on top.
    At that point I would proceed to haul in (and I do realize it would take an a$$ load) enough dirt to bury the entire structure. now it would help if you were on high ground to start with, as in on a hill, then you could get away with excavating like you would for a normal basement, me, i would still only go halfway and still cover with dirt.
    I have lived in my current home for 15 years and my basement has ALWAYS been dry, not a DROP of water EVER. For the past year, we have had more rain than usual, over the winter we had more snow than usual, in march we had around 4 inches of rain just in one day, since that day I have had water seeping into my basement up through the expansion joint and the few cracks in the floor. It's the 19th of April and my sump pump has been running 24/7 since the begining of march. I would hate to build a home UNDER GROUND LEVEL just to have it fill up with water.
    Don't forget ventilation for all rooms, air pumped in and out. Well, thats the general idea that I have been rolling around, feel free guys to tear some big gaping holes in it, I'm always open to suggestions and corrections. :cry:
     
  5. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

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    Here is my project... http://www.preparedsociety.com/forum/f38/continuing-shelter-2120/

    http://www.preparedsociety.com/forum/f38/continuing-shelter-2005/

    http://www.preparedsociety.com/forum/f38/prototype-co2-scrubber-2150/
    Look at the Building and Construction posts for more.

    I moved your posts over to the construction and building section, more applicable here.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2010
  6. kyfarmer

    kyfarmer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, i need to learn a lot in a short time. As much as i can before i take this on. Location is more than likely a given. I do know that water in the well is down to the 43' mark. So i,am well above water table, but there are a few spring's here and there. Close and at hand natural gas, water, power. All on site now. My north facing front is not the best for solar. Good for summer bad for winter, in the mean while i,ll read as much as i can on thing,s. Your post info helps and gives me an idea or two.
     
  7. kyfarmer

    kyfarmer Well-Known Member

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    I have thought about spraying or rolling on something like block sealer, then a barrier would it help, if this helps any i,am thinking about a sealable basement with a one story home on top, should the plumbing be run through or outside of walls for upstairs unit. I want a solid top on lower unit. one entrance to down stairs ( hidden ) of course.
     
  8. NORTH

    NORTH Active Member

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    I would suggest running your domestic water supply and your sewer line through the basement wall, through conduit, and sealing the areas around the pipes. I ran my elec to the house underground from the pole,i don't like the wires hanging and attached to the eave of the house, but for the electric you can run it conventionaly, you still have to have an electric meter on the house any way, the closer your breaker panel to your meter the easier to run that big ole service line.
    I'm not sure how you are planning to "seal" the lower level of your dwelling, but DON'T forget about adequate ventilation, if you have a furnace and/or hot water heater, you said gas, they will both need combustion air and need to be properly vented, plus air to breath, pumped in and out.(disguise the vent pipes? or incorperate it into the upper structure to look like drain vents?)
    You can also consider an alternate entrance/exit this could be concealed and secured, I personally don't like the idea of one way in and out.
    If you are going to do conventional framing for the ceiling of the lower level/floor of the upper, remember if the top half burns it'll burn to/collapse in the lower level. Hopefully some of this helps or stimulates some ideas of your own. Joe
     
  9. kyfarmer

    kyfarmer Well-Known Member

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    I don't like the one way either, but i was talking about upstairs access to the basement. The regular basement access would be there but extra solid. I ment a hidden one to upstairs to use after the main access is or looks blocked off. The water and power thing will take a lot of looking at. Want it to look regular, i know it can be done. I do want the top of basement to be solid and the upper part built on it. I guess like a slab. A lot to think about the load bearing slab to put upper part on. Any plumbing or other things run through the floor would have to cause weak points. First thing i thought of was what would happen if upper part took a major hit. Not going to be simple to solve, but its there some where.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2010
  10. HighTech

    HighTech Member

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    If the c-rap hits the fan? Lets say Virus or money turns to toilet paper or what ever, there are some many now that is truly appears that something is going to happen right? Your house is no safe haven, sorry but home evasions will happen and things would get ugly real ugly. Sure get your gun they have many and your odds are none. Three basics to survival - Shelter, Food and Water you might have all three now but if things get scarce trouble will come a knocking. I have a designed underground shelter that takes many factors into this formula.

    First the entrance it has to be hidden and real hard to get into if they are lucky to find it. Second consider the list Shelter, Food and Water, Well I told you under ground and hidden is the shelter, now Food I designed a way to pipe in Sunlight for a garden grow (and fish pond, lighting etc) room, and this is critical being underground keep temperatures at a good level year around. Water has to have a solar or hand pumped well and at least two to three large under ground storage tanks. Food, well garden is one but man needs meat right, I have welded two containers together in my design and made a large fish pond to grow a few verities of trout (crayfish) which can be feed by the worms that are reproducing in the garden. Let us not forget a huge food storage is a must. My point is you cannot just plant a container or two in the ground and you had better make it a place you like living in and one that can take care of you and yours for quite a while. Contact me if you want one built it is not a do it your self project.

    TV and radio is a must, do not count on Dish network working so the old type sat receivers and a good radio antenna is needed. It is mind boggling to do this correctly and what I am talking about is a home underground not a cellar.
     
  11. BasecampUSA

    BasecampUSA Sr. Homesteader

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    Hi Tech,

    A shipping container (CONNEX) or a railroad car covered with dirt is the simplest method of constructing a large family shelter with plenty of room for supplies.

    Here is one I built from a 10' x 51' railroad car, to resemble a Viking long house ...
    [​IMG]
    Construction of homestead combination "root cellar" - storm/fallout shelter.
    An insulated tar-coated railroad car was buried by digging a long pond on each side.

    The idea for this came from the Viking sod house at L'anse au Medeaux in Newfoundland:

    [​IMG]


    I've been involved in civil defense since the late 60's, and am a Certified FEMA Radiological Monitoring Technician.

    No one has to get fancy about fallout shelters, if you absolutely need to, you can build one in within 48 hours... just do it right:

    EMERGENCY SHELTER CONSTRUCTION ==> http://www.nukepills.com/docs/nuclear_war_survival_skills.pdf
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011
  12. BasecampUSA

    BasecampUSA Sr. Homesteader

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    What type of money are you talking about with the construction of your all purpose underground dwelling?

    Do you really think you can really "hide" this thing you are building? What about the "light shaft" and the antennas and the satellite dish, etc. etc.?
    How big a fish pond have you got under there? What do you feed them with?

    I'm an engineer, I live in an earth-sheltered solar house, and use sunlight to warm it... we grow food year-round.

    Look at how much glass area exposed to the sun that it takes to do this... Click on "homestead" at the bottom.

    - Basey
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011
  13. Tirediron

    Tirediron RockyMountainCanadian

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    Basey, this character sounds like a gun knowit all that was here not long ago talking like he is the only one who knows. and his way is the only way.
    Sea cans suck for underground dwellings their strength is on 4 corners.
    What did I type that for it is already common knowledge.
     
  14. goshengirl

    goshengirl Supporting Member

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    High Tech, you may be on the up-and-up, but the three (fairly identical) posts you've made so far all sound like an ad. :scratch
     
  15. BasecampUSA

    BasecampUSA Sr. Homesteader

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    I spoke of a shelter... this thread is labled "shelter".
    Temporary "under"-ground stay, not dwelling.

    No where did I state excavating a hole to bury them in, that works, but needs a lot of expen$ive preparation$. (SEE VIDEO BELOW)

    Banking soil on the top and sides like I do it is totally different, much more economical and solves the problems of drainage.

    I did not say that they do not require reinforcement. The last place I worked, on one weekend the manager of civil engineering and I took a close look at 4 different used 20' connex boxes that were on the market, and we determined that several were sufficient for above ground banking with soil (see my picture below), with 6 x 3 x 3/8 angle side bracing, and W6 x 4 top bracing welded on, with one lally column in the center inside.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++

    We built 4 "storm shelters" from connex boxes economically in this way...

    [​IMG]
    Banked and covered method of shelter construction

    ... in the summer of 2008 for some of the people at work. No problems reported.


    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The 10 x 51 fully undercoated insulated refrigerator railroad car that I used (buried in photo above), has no lateral bracing, but has a W10 x 6 beam welded all along top, with 2 lally columns on the interior. No problems in the 5 years since I built it.

    If we can keep things in the proper perspective here, we could encourage people to take advantage of economical resources in order that they may be able to prep without spending a fortune.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Burying a connex box requires much more work:
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3EAJex1RVo]YouTube - Shipping Container As An Underground Shelter[/ame]
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
  16. Tirediron

    Tirediron RockyMountainCanadian

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    The above grade back fill method of earth shelter makes sensce, the drainage issues dissapear,
    And you can prolly get away, for a shelter, with minimal surface prepp, your rail car sound like a lot stronger basis. the video with the buried can looks like a very costly method to me. I have seen a few above ground applications that look ok. but too many people see the sea cans stacked and think that they are indestructable.
    I could be wrong but wouldn't it be cheaper to just build a "normal" basement from reinforced concrete with a roof system to bear the required roof weight for completely underground structures??:scratch
     
  17. HighTech

    HighTech Member

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    Sorry for sounding like an add!

    I do not post much and didn't know if this was going to post. I try to make points from experience and I feel that many when talking about this subject lack or know just what they would need in a global or national situation of disaster. Water would be an absolute as well as food and shelter. You cant just board up the house or think roaming gangs of nomads would open the cellar door and you might shoot 1-5 of them but what if there were 20? I like the idea of camouflaged or disguised shelters. I believe a gas, energy and food shortage might just bring out the worst in humans. I believe men would revert back to something we might just not understand and group up in gangs and be a force to reckon with. I do not want people to think "oh this just cant happen" or "I will get my gun" but rather get their minds a little out of the box. I bet the rich they have a place to go and we know the politician they have underground facilities that rival anything we could think of. It is a pity we all do not have the money to build ourselves what we would truly need. I do like this media and/or forum and would hope that perhaps we could joint think in a project management group discussion about ways to build utilizing reasonable costs for construction like "containers" and what just is needed for a family to survive. I would be more then happy to share information in those regards. Good luck and I enjoy this site.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011
  18. HoppeEL4

    HoppeEL4 Member

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    We too have been wanting to have a root cellar in the very least, but, our problem is with two issues. first one is, we are renters (in the countryside), and the second is the property is flat and nowhere to dig into except down (and where our septic is actually, I am unsure). I have to think for the last reason alone we would not be able to, let alone digging something hugely deep on the property which is not ours. So we plan to grow some things which should be kept in a root cellar, but unable to, and wonder what our other options could be? Should we find an obscure hillside in the adjacent river gorge (public, open areas)? This seems to me, could be risky, to have someone come along and find our makeshift root cellar.... The property we are on, we rent the front two acres (house and yard included in that amount), and the back several is leased by a livestock rescue, and that side of it has a nice slope, but, this slopes down to a creek, as well as there is an issue of ours and neighbors septic drains (eewwww).

    We have a garage, but not a basement (now wishing we did). It is a ground level 1960 ranch home, built directly on a cement foundation, no place for a root cellar.

    So, I keep thinking, the only option is to find a spot out in the woods, but man this does not set well with me to leave our produce we are going to work so hard to grow, out in the woods, far from home, with no way to watch over it daily.
     
  19. Davo45

    Davo45 New here

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    I have been thinking about using a covered shipping container too BC. Did you put yours on the ground and cover it, or dig a hole out for it? For some reason your pics didn't show up on my PC. :confused: