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Old 03-26-2011, 12:04 AM
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Default DIY Underground Shelter for $12k



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A few observations:

1) Don't plant trees overtop of your shelter as he suggests....think roots. Nothing good will come from that.

2) Don't spend all of this money and time to store wine. Seriously.

3) He did have a good idea by building a small building over the entrance to "hide" the entrance.

4) Don't leave your entrance exposed as he did.
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:13 AM
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nice setup, very cool
Old 03-26-2011, 09:32 AM
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ive seen this before...he did it right and it held up....very cool! but you have to be careful burying a shipping container...i watched an episode on myth busters where they did this....it collapsed fairly quick. they had to reinforce it with 2x4s. also you would want to put some kind of corrosion protection on it. shipping containers are made to be stacked not buried, so be careful.
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Old 03-26-2011, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
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ive seen this before...he did it right and it held up....very cool! but you have to be careful burying a shipping container...i watched an episode on myth busters where they did this....it collapsed fairly quick. they had to reinforce it with 2x4s. also you would want to put some kind of corrosion protection on it. shipping containers are made to be stacked not buried, so be careful.
How exactly did it "collapse?"
Old 03-26-2011, 12:14 PM
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That's a nice one...but too much work and too expensive for me!

I'm only into mine for around $3600 or so, but it's just for food storage and not a "bunker".

I sure don't like the thought of a sump pump being needed.
Old 03-26-2011, 12:25 PM
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Cool stuff. I would sure be worried about those walls collapsing inward (the dirt I mean) since he didnt fill the space with anything.
Old 03-26-2011, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaJPP View Post
How exactly did it "collapse?"
Not familiar with that particular event, but shipping containers are not designed to withstand the lateral pressures from being underground... And they certainly aren't capable of withstanding the pressures that might occur if you bury it in expansive clay material, which expands when wet.
Also, remember, even non-expansive soils will exert more pressure when wet, because the water adds more weight.
Old 03-26-2011, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaJPP View Post
How exactly did it "collapse?"
The top deck buckled under the load of the soil. Collapsed the "ceiling"
of the container from a starting height of 7 or 8 feet down to about 4'
in sort of a "V" shape. Pulled the walls in with it as it collapsed, drawing
them in to about 30 degrees off vertical before it all came to to a stop.

Only took about 2 or 3 feet of dirt piled on top of the container to
cause the structural failure.

I used to think the buried shipping container shelter was a cool idea.
However, without proper reinforcing, I wouldn't trust it.
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Old 03-26-2011, 06:22 PM
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My biggest fear with a shipping container is water. The seem like they would rust, have high humidity, etc and not last a lifetime. That being said, that's a lot of rebar and concrete to watch your shipping container rust away.
Old 03-26-2011, 08:19 PM
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The way he did it, the container is almost superfluous. For the same money, or less, you could pour footings at the bottom of your excavation, build concrete block walls and pour the same concrete lid (only a bit smaller because you can support it on the walls instead of the dirt around the shelter. Then you can back fill up to the walls as well).

The floor offers several options depending on what you're using the space for and how neat and clean you want it inside. You could just leave it gravel (BTW, I would go with 3/4" clean lime gravel instead of pea gravel, and compact it if it will be the finished floor.), pour concrete, use paver blocks, or even build a slightly raised platform of treated lumber and plywood.
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:27 PM
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Personally, I'm planning on building a small A frame shed as a 'bunker'. It will probably end up being cheaper and I'll be able to determine the kind of material I use and whether it's strong or rust/rot resistant.
Old 03-26-2011, 11:17 PM
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My mid-range plans are to buy some acreage and build a homestead there. As a part of that house I want to have a rancher style home with a full basement. On one end of the basement I want to daylight it and have that end of the basement as a mechanical/utility room. The other end (under ground) will be a secret room hidden behind secret bookcases. From that room I plan on building out from the house (under ground) a healthy sized bunker.

Old 03-27-2011, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
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a secret room hidden behind secret bookcases.
Hm... bookcases might look a bit suspicious in a basement...
Might I suggest using an upright freezer as a secret door instead?
Just have the rear of the freezer be a false back, which opens into the bunker... perhaps using the temp control knob as a latch. You could even put rotting food in it after going in, which would tend to dissuade anyone from investigating it closely.
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Old 03-27-2011, 04:04 PM
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There has been a lot of discussion about burying shipping containers for 'shelter'. As others have pointed out, by the time you reinforce the container or build something around it so it would not collapse, you might as well have built an insulated concrete walled cellar.

I didn't see anything that this particular guy did to keep the ground around the sides from eventually caving in and contacting the shelter. Most people wind up putting a concrete wall of some sort around it.

Personally, I think putting a container a couple of feet down into a hole, not all the way, then planting brambles over it would be a good compromise. I would get a reefer container because they are insulated, then I would spray the outside of it with something durable to keep it from corroding, maybe something with more insulation.
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Old 03-27-2011, 04:35 PM
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Here's a thought...Keep your secret under ground bunker a secret.

Nice vid though.
Old 03-27-2011, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocalhoun View Post
Hm... bookcases might look a bit suspicious in a basement...
Might I suggest using an upright freezer as a secret door instead?
Just have the rear of the freezer be a false back, which opens into the bunker... perhaps using the temp control knob as a latch. You could even put rotting food in it after going in, which would tend to dissuade anyone from investigating it closely.
Sorry, I meant to say that the basement was going to be finished. Note the space around the wood stove...it is a finished space for relaxing, etc. Also note that there is an entertainment center between the two bookcases.
Old 04-26-2012, 07:06 PM
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Very cool, but expensive. I want to look into cheaper ways of doing something similar.
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