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Hello all...first time here and am just starting to poke around at the idea of building an underground shelter.

I currently have a nice little log cabin tucked away in the woods with a fresh, spring fed stream running behind it. Sits on 40 acres with thousands of acres of state land behind it. The stream runs through a pretty steep valley sitting about 15ft below the cabin. It serves as a nice hunting cabin but I am looking into building something more secure for my family in case things ever take a turn for the worse.

I would love to get some advice on where/what to look for to get this built. Here are some thoughts:

Electric supplied by the stream...figured it has a 8ft. head (of pressure?)
Fresh water by way of a well.
Space for my family (wife, 4 kids, and room for a few others)
Ample storage for food, supplies, etc.
Radiation resistant
Fully secured against intruders
Air filtration
Off the grid living basically

Above all else, I want this to be almost 100% hidden from the outside world and able to support us for at least 1 year. I would like to budget around $50,000 or so accomplish all this.

Any help would be great! Thanks!
 

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Use concrete and build the bunker into the side of a little hill. Plain old dirt stops radiation if it is thick enough. The hillside should do the job. Make it comfy as you might be in there for a while.
 

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Pincushion
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A concrete dome house can be buried. This is a good example, even though he wants a fortune for it and the interior decoration is way over the top. It's a very nice house, complete with shop, stock tank, and pastures. You could plant your garden on your roof. Even a small one would bust your budget though, especially if you include power generation and well.

For Sale: Luxury Underground Monolithic Dome Home
 

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Another thought (kind of crazy but the science is sound).....neutron radiation is shielded by water and poly-based materials (I used to work in the nuke industry). Poly water containers can be used for this purpose, and it will give you a backup water supply as well.
 

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I live in a large town the size of 250,000. i live in a residential area. i don't have land to dig up and drop in a shelter. has anyone done the thing where you cut a hole in your basement and start digging a shelter right friom your basement. taking out dirt one 5 gallon bucket at a time? Sounds nutty but it could be done. Has anyone done this? My wife would think I had lost it.
 

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I live in a large town the size of 250,000. i live in a residential area. i don't have land to dig up and drop in a shelter. has anyone done the thing where you cut a hole in your basement and start digging a shelter right friom your basement. taking out dirt one 5 gallon bucket at a time? Sounds nutty but it could be done. Has anyone done this? My wife would think I had lost it.
The problems you get with this are:

-city bylaws may not approve it... and most City's think you should always get proper building permits before attempting anything more difficult than replacing a light bulb. ;)
-potential structural hazard - if you start digging under your basement, whats going to support your basement?
-What are you going to do with the existing drainage system... all the weeping tile system around the outside of your foundation... the water will want to get into the hole you are digging
-Whats your plan to survive? (IE... fresh air in, fresh water in, sewage/waste out, electricity for lighting)

Building something like that is risky... you are essentially building your own tomb. If there is some emergency and you seek shelter in your 'bunker'... and become trapped... you will only last so long.

Much better off to look at investing in some acreage outside of town... something that is within a reasonable distance (1/4 tank of gas MAX... )

Why do I say 1/4 tank of gas... lets say there is a big power outage, or something shuts down communications... you may not be able to purchase fuel... but you may still be able to drive. If you've only got a 1/2 tank of gas, you will use all of that just driving to your remote location and then back to town. Unless you can keep fuel at your residence, and cycle it with your regular fuel usage.
 

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You're going to need more than a "hole" for survival. A real bunker is a serious piece of work. I'd find a place out of town to put one. Perhaps split the cost with family and friends? You could rent a basement in a large apartment or condo block. My condo basement is built like a concrete bunker. The storage lockers are often for rent. I don't think my complex could take a direct hit. But you could live down there with more safety than in a house.
 

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jebrown
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If you dig an underground bunker cellar or what ever and you don't get permission from the city or county which ever issues building permits. Probably no problem.
Try to sell your house in the future you will be required to remove the hide out and fill it back in at your expensive other wise it can not be sold. No mortage company will mortage any property containing modifications without building permits. Think you can hide it from them? Don't even try. Smart home buyers hire a home inspection company to inspect your home before theyh purchase the home and will make the purchase contingent on a home inspection report.
You might be fined by the city or county that issues permits for building wihout a building permit.
You may not want to sell your home but one never knows about the future. Often people have to sell thier homes in the future do to medical problems job reloaction etc..
It could also prevent title transfer to a family member.
 

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YourAdministrator, eh?
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I heard a story about a guy who purchased several old rail-road cars (passenger cars, sleeping / dining / etc) and then started digging a hole in the ground. He then carefully placed the 4 cars into the hole in the ground and built a "connecting tunnel" between all the cars so that he could go back and forth from the dining area to the sleeping to his "living room"). Once he had all that setup and working fully open to the air he built sky-lights and a stair-way that reached to the "grade-level" - above ground.

He then back-filled the hole till only the stair-way and skylights were visible - built a large garage for his vehicles and access to his underground home. Sky-lights allowed sunlight to brighten the home, ventilation came through the garage and circulated via solar-powered fans. The whole setup was powered via 12volt LED lighting and solar-charging systems.

All-in-all - it looked like it was well designed, built and lived in.
 

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I heard a story about a guy who purchased several old rail-road cars (passenger cars, sleeping / dining / etc) and then started digging a hole in the ground. He then carefully placed the 4 cars into the hole in the ground and built a "connecting tunnel" between all the cars so that he could go back and forth from the dining area to the sleeping to his "living room"). Once he had all that setup and working fully open to the air he built sky-lights and a stair-way that reached to the "grade-level" - above ground.

He then back-filled the hole till only the stair-way and skylights were visible - built a large garage for his vehicles and access to his underground home. Sky-lights allowed sunlight to brighten the home, ventilation came through the garage and circulated via solar-powered fans. The whole setup was powered via 12volt LED lighting and solar-charging systems.

All-in-all - it looked like it was well designed, built and lived in.
Very cool, man!
 

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building shelter one 5 gal bucket at a time

Answer: yes, I am, and my wife knows about it. Working on it for about 2 months, I have excavated a 10 x 10 room, 6ft hight so far, under a workshop slab. I will connect it with the house eventually. I have pre-purchased the filter system parts, co2 scubber material, pelletized charcoal, o2 tank, hand cranked centrifical blower, inline 110v ac fan, 4" steel gate valves( to seal shelter when necessary). It will have a hand pumped flush up toilet, water from 2- 5000gal tanks, filled from a well. I live off-grid with a 3.5KW wind -solar hybrid elect system, with t-105 batteries. The shelter will get the dc power from the existing system, charging a banks of batteries, then to a 4000 watt Trace sw4024 inverter. I have a bunker door to be concreted in when ready. I have an extensive food storage larder on hand to be transfered down when finished.
I built a Nu-Dura block house about 3 years ago, 1ft thick walls almost make it an above ground shelter already. It has a bio-filter system that can filter down to .5 microns and has a ultraviolet pre cleaner, all self designed and tested.

One mans shelter can be another mans promised land
 

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That sounds like a very sweet setup! It sounds like you are living what I am dreaming of!
 

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Thanks for the reply, not to brag, survival, is not just a whim with me, it is my hobby. I study everything I can on all aspects. I have 5 acres removed from the suburban population, not to far but far enough, built a energy efficient home, live off the grid, have a large organic garden and orchard from which I preserve and can every year, keeping a fresh addition to my home food storage larder. I like to keep up on the latest in bio-chem-radiological protection, with masks, full body chem suits and shelter gear. One benefit to being retired is that I have more time to focus on these and keep my immediate family prepared. The internet is a wonderful place to gain this knowledge, some must be taken with caution, but as a whole can be very useful. I hope I can pass on some of this knowledge to others who might benefit. This shelter is actually the second one I have designed and built, the last was left with the new owner of my last home, whom I believe did not appreciate its viability and usefulness. My latest project was to design a simple clear acrylic canister air scrubber for the shelter, using sofolime pellets and pelletized carbon charcoal, with a O2 tank injector.

Never forget the story of the Ant and the Grasshopper.
 

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Believe it or not this is the first time that I have participated in a forum. I am some what reluctant to talk about what I am doing, I don't want anyone to think that I am trying to brag or out to impress someone about what I have done or going to do. Sometimes these forums bring out the wrong impression. So I hope the group will acknowledge this and see that I am here to spread the good word about self reliance. Also it will take some time to learn how to add photos to my replies. Visit bunkerbob to see how my home has evolved. Not very professionally done, but will give some ideas what I've been up to.
 
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