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Old 06-10-2008, 02:13 AM
survivor-guy survivor-guy is offline
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Default affordable methods of making a bunker



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first consider your privacy, accessability, and a deadline to complete. i would say privacy is important. therefor, your hole will not be dug until your "bunker" is ready. you can always order an oversized concrete septic tank or something, but they are expensive, small, and it is hard to stay off the books buying one. i would go with home-built.

there are 3 ways to build a small bunker (672 cubic foot) wood, concrete, or metal. i suggest you do all of this under the cover of a mod tent or something (building your bunker as well as digging the hole)

1.) the METAL route is probably the easiest, as you can buy a heavy steel tank from a farmer or whatever. i do not suggest this route, as it gives off a huge metal, sonar, or x-ray signature, but if you decide to use the "el cheapo well-used steel cylendrical tank" from your buddy down the road, you will have to get a sandblaster and blast the inside and out to clear rust. weld a hatch, prime and hot-tar the outside. prime the inside. wrap the outside with LOTS of cardboard (perhaps 4 or more layers, and tie it on with baler twine. this helps prevent the tar and primer from getting scratched. bury and conceal.

2.) CONCRETE is nice, if you have the time or money, but will have to be built in the hole, which makes the whole situation more public for longer. i suggest building your concrete bunker 8 feet wide by 12 feet long. any bigger and you'll have to go thicker all around to compensate for shifting and cracking. treat your construction like a basement (including the tar on the outside) but run a support wall along the center of the structure, the long ways, leaving a 3 foot widedoorway on one end, to connect the 2 corridors. use atleast as much rebar as a usual structure, and use good quality concrete. another tip is to be well prepared so you can slowly do it all in a span of 24 hours. this means there will be no seams. over the roof, run 8 foot long railroad ties across to help distribute the weight of the dirt across the walls and it will also soften any sonar or whatever you call it they like to use.

3.) WOOD is the cheapest way, and doesnt turn as many heads as a metal tank or 2000 dollars worth of cement being bought. make your floor out of 12 foot long 2x8 and walls out of 8 foot long 2x6 or 2x8. on top of the floor, build a subfloor out of 2x4, butting up against the base of the walls, for more side-strength. same on the ceiling. insulate walls, wire as needed, hot-tar the outside of it, TWICE. wrap with 4 layers of corrigated cardboard and baler twine. build the hatch however you like. i suggest on the side, so you enter in the middle of one of the 8' walls. rig up 4 big lugs, one on each corner of the structure's roof or use the 5000 lb tow straps and sling the structure. dig hole, level, 3 inches gravel. pour in a 6 inch slab with rebar. make a ditch 8"x8" around it and fill with gravel. drop the structure in and run 8 foot long railroad ties accross the top to disperse weight to walls and insulate scanning devices.

notes:
1.) i suggest an air supply with all of these structures. one can make quite an effective air cleaner using the "bong" metheod. buy up a bunch of cheap transparent pvc elbows for central vac systems, and glue them in a series of p-traps. i suggest atleast 4. theres no limit, but the more you have the more resistance your fan will have. feed in a peice of hose starting with the furthese p-trap, and fill each p-trap with water so that they have to bubble for water to go through each one.

2.) tar is your friend. use liberally. heat it up with a tiger torch for easier application.

3.) make folding beds. the most effective way for space is for them to be a board on hinges, 3 feet off the ground, that can fold up. the end that comes down is suspended with chain. above them build storage shelves, below is seating with liftable seats for more storage.

4.) your hatch should be wide enough (4'x4') so that you can modify things later if you have to (hydraulic lift, hydraulic/chain driven hatch). it is handy to have the hatch go as deep as the structure or deeper, so you can put a sump pump in, as a precation. also, you should use your hatch for a bathroom. it makes things more private, frees up room, and keeps the stink out of the bunker. 2 5 gallon pails make great toilets. one for solids, one for liquids. air-tight. can put a funnel in the cap for the liquids one. if power is available to you, and you have a sump pump, you can dispose of the liquids without surfacing.

5.) if you feel comfortable building one near your house, build a shop or something over it with a cement pad. this will help the bunker with potential structural or moistore issues and will certainly make it last longer. it will also make it easier to hide power consumption, noise from fans, pumps, and the steam from air circulation (in cold winters). it will give you a better way to get access to your bunker compared to a set of foot prints going to nowhere

6.) if you have the time and money, a back door is always usefull. learn how to work with fiberglass. make yourself a nice fiberglass boulder with a peep-hole about every 30 degrees all the way around. put it in your wifes nice landscaped garden

sorry, that was longer than i intended. if anyone has anything to add, i will sponge it all up. type away
Old 06-10-2008, 09:54 AM
Ramona M. Faunce Ramona M. Faunce is offline
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What about useing a water storage tank?
Old 06-10-2008, 10:44 AM
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Could always use heavy polyethylene sheeting around the outside (glued to tar) to prevent water damage!
Old 06-10-2008, 11:39 AM
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My plan, when time and cash permit, is to use the same methods as Utah Shelter Systems and bury a corrugated, galvanized steel culvert.



It seems they use the culvert to distribute the load across the top, and reinforce concrete at the ends.



That would really make sense, since the culverts are already made in such a fashion for road projects and drainage.


It's really an application of existing technology, and could probably be the cheaper, more durable option.

And you could wire the thing with 120V/12V systems fairly easily:
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:05 PM
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Old 06-10-2008, 03:23 PM
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If I had the money, I would use a large galvanized culvert, and reinforce with concrete. Now, a couple of things have to be considered. Is the primary use going to be for a emergency shelter, or as a defensive bunker? There are differences in the way you will setup and plan the shelter. If I was going to use it for a defense bunker, I would want running water, some form of sewage, redundant types of lighting, redundant ventilation systems, firing ports, etc.
Old 06-10-2008, 05:05 PM
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you basically want a bunch of concealed firing points all leading down to the same structure, right? if thats what you mean, get into fiberglass! make concrete turrets on roller bearings and fiberglass the outside to look like a boulder. plant some brush around it for added camoflage.
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:28 PM
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Concrete bunkers are made allot easier with the use of ICF forms ( anybody that ever played with legos can do it) I built mine 12x10 for 1600.00 ( structure only )
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Old 06-10-2008, 06:52 PM
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I would oversize the shelter as large as possible. You never know how many people you will have in there with you. If you end up with just a few you will be glad for the extra room, but if thinks change between now and when you need to use it, you would be glad you have the extra room.

As for the folding cots, i would envision using the hot cot method, where you sleep in shifts, it would help with the space issues and with the air issues (but not as much) also.

I would keep the water tank away and slightly above the shelter to let gravity help.
Correspondingly i would have the sewer tank away and down hill from the shelter, for the same reason as the water.

I would try to incorporate a room (sealed if possible) to house the battery/generator system in.

Treated wood will last long if you need to use wood, but what ever product you use, either use fire-retardant paint on it or sheet rock. Any fire down there will be serious, the last problem you need is having the fumes from the material you built the shelter from killing you because of a small fire that is put out.

Ventilation is the biggest problem with an underground shelter in my opinion.
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Old 06-11-2008, 01:40 AM
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My question on this is, do you or at least should you get or need a construction permit? I wouldn't, but what does the law say? Always curious on that.
Old 06-12-2008, 12:24 AM
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i thought about the poly but i suggest not using it. it has been found to only increase water damage issues as it soon breaches here and there, allows water in, and traps the moisture in. the tar is good enough and allows water to drain away when the ground dries up or water table lowers.
Old 06-12-2008, 12:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tagfactor View Post
Concrete bunkers are made allot easier with the use of ICF forms ( anybody that ever played with legos can do it) I built mine 12x10 for 1600.00 ( structure only )
are you talking about those styrofoam block forms? if so, then yes. that is EXCELLENT for bunkers. wow. only 1600 for a 12x10?? what did you do for floor and roof? please show pics? thats only 13.3 dollars a square foot.. some people spend more than that on flooring..plz elaborate, i am interested.
Old 06-14-2008, 03:12 AM
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whatever happened to building them like fox holes? Sandbags, a shovel, wooden beams, corrugated metal, and alot of SWEAT!
Old 06-14-2008, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by survivor-guy View Post
are you talking about those styrofoam block forms? if so, then yes. that is EXCELLENT for bunkers. wow. only 1600 for a 12x10?? what did you do for floor and roof? please show pics? thats only 13.3 dollars a square foot.. some people spend more than that on flooring..plz elaborate, i am interested.
I own a construction company so the icf forms were free ( left overs ) I had all the rebar so all I paid for was the concrete, The roof and floor are also concret , I will post a few pics
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Old 06-14-2008, 01:46 PM
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you can subsitute the icf forms for any old building material and the rebar can be replaced with anykind of left over steel. pipes, fencing, ect.
Old 06-14-2008, 02:03 PM
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I've been searching for a way to build an inexpensive shelter also.

What if you can't dig down due to water levels?
That's my problem.

My house in 9 - 10 feet up in the air on pilings. Underneath is poured concrete parking area. I want to build a shelter beneath the house, from cement blocks. Entry can be made from above.
My worry is that should house collapse, shelter could be crushed if support walls not strong enough.
Can anyone with construction knowledge make suggestions?
I think the cement blocks would be fairly inexpensive to use... but would it keep the upper level of the house off me if it came down?

I've included a picture of a home with similar construction. Didn't want to post a picture of my actual home.
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Old 06-14-2008, 02:24 PM
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You can make the block strong enough but, make sure you put allot of metel in it. I would suggest a row of rebar for every row of block. both vertical and horizonal. you could keep the water out with a sump pump and\or a daylight drain.
Old 06-14-2008, 02:25 PM
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p.s. like your house
Old 06-14-2008, 02:36 PM
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Not actually my house. but agree it's cute.
Just the same construction type.

Mine sits on a river so pump failure could be catastrophic in high water event if the shelter was built too low. I've shot a level using the highest river level ever recorded and plan to raise floor of shelter to just above that.

I've thought about I beams cut and welded sort of in roll bar fashion. Pricy but might do the trick. I used the steel I beams on top of large pilings to build my boat house. roof frame is attached to them. Shorter the beams, less expensive they are so it might not be too bad if I keep the room small.

There has to be some plans somewhere for building a shelter under a house like mine in hurricane country but I've yet to find them.

Thanks for your suggestions.
Old 06-14-2008, 02:39 PM
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I will ask some of my building buddies and see if the have any ideas
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