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Micro houses, shipping containers, yurts etc. I have a preference for something underground due to hidden and controlled temperature characterists. I'd like to have an idea of what I will need to spend to support a family of four. Thanks
 

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Oh vaer you might as well have mentioned the .22. You're about to be hit with 100 captain obvious comments on burying things.

Seems if you want to go underground concrete or cinder block is the way to go.
 

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Oh vaer you might as well have mentioned the .22. You're about to be hit with 100 captain obviuus comments on burying things.

Seems if you want to go underground concrete or cinder block is the way to go.
And I read the entire thread on burying containers too. I understand what is involved with doing it safely which makes me wonder if there is a cheaper way to go
 

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I would say a cab-over camper for a pickup. With it on a pickup, you are mobile, or you can take it off and camoflauge it or partially bury it.
 

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i have thought about this for a bit. was thinking of a pair of shipping containers stacked on a pre-dug cinder block "basement" this would give the appearance of simpler containers. could have hidden trap doors in the floors for the lower level as well as a secondary exit out the rear like a storm shelter?

also check local building codes. ive seen some that said if it wasnt on a "permanent foundation" there were really no codes. might help in the burying idea. if that is true locally, that might push me from the "basement" to a secondary root cellar.
 

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I don't know where I saw this, but I heard that if you get a old school bus, you would be better off with that than a container. The roll top roof is actually made so that it won't crush, even if upside down. It is a safety feature built into them. Have to figure out the windows part, but the top won't crush in.

Just a thought.... Probably a bad one, but eh...:upsidedown:
 

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if you are going underground i'd check out Mike Oehler'e web page here; http://undergroundhousing.com/, he wrote a definitive book on low cost underground homes that he has buillt and continuously occupied for many years. I actually met this gentleman when he was promoting his y2k book some years back and found him a pleasant and knowlegable fellow. Morakai mentions burying school buses, Bruce Beach would be a good place to start at webpal.org. He actually has an underground complex largely comprised of school buses. if i had established property both of these plans would be something i'd consider. As it stands i have a small travel trailer and a collection of tents, that i would use in conjunction with debris walls/ wind breaks etc. until something more permanent like a cordwood or hay bale structure could be built.
you might also consider a yurt, hope this helps and good luck!
 

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I've seen people buy those big honking outdoor sheds, like the 10'x18' ones you'd use to store lawnmowers, etc, and convert them for living quarters. Not for permanent occupation RIGHT NOW, and they don't have utility hookups, so it's not like a guest room or anything, but for SHTF ready-to-go long-term shelter it doesn't get much easier than that.
 

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Ah, that underground house link is going to seriously cut into my To Do list this morning. Thanks for sharing it! :)
 

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Better than a shipping container to bury is a 10-12-16ft corrugated steel culvert. They are made for being underground. You weld on end caps and cut a pair of holes on top for entry. False floor with storage space underneath. That would cost a lot of money though. I had two insulated shipping containers. Stainless steel inside walls. Channeled aluminum flooring I put ply over. Ran power cords and a water line in the channels. Carpet over the ply. They were great line shacks. Being in Dixie one of those would be great.
 

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Back when we were still just planning on bugging-out, before we made the move; we looked around and found that in a cost-per-square-foot manner steel buildings are much cheaper than modular or wood-stick.

They can also be modified into Faraday Cages pretty easily. With 'Electronic Surveillance' as one of my Navy NECs, I was kind of concerned about that. Which was the factor that really swung my choice over to a steel building.

What I got was effectively an airplane hanger size and look. It was very easy to assemble for a single person by myself. Insulating it to R-60 has helped the heating issue here in Maine :)
 

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Probably already said in the many shipping container threads but wouldn't it make more sense to put the container up side down if one planned to bury it? The deck is quite strong and supports tons while the roof is rather flimsy. Chuck in the supports and you'd have a much sturdier container.
 

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I went with cinder brick walls, concrete over tin roof and earth bermed it on all three sides and partially on the 4th leaving a area for the door. Its pretty cool in the Texas summers and doesnt take much to knock the chill off in the dead of winter.
 

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Going to give you another option that is not on your list. Used semi-trailer. Usually a little less money than a container. Less dependent on level ground. The rear end can be buried into a hill so you can walk up to the doors. The wheels are still attached. So a wrecker company can legally move it anywhere you need fairly easily.

I've had my 45' storage trailer for 3 years now. I could live in it if need be. It is my garage. Only have $2000 invested. Only thing I'd need to do to move it is remove the king pin lock and move out all the lumber and firewood stored underneath the trailer.

Also might get you around being a permanent structure if you have picky code enforcement to deal with.

Micro houses, shipping containers, yurts etc. I have a preference for something underground due to hidden and controlled temperature characterists. I'd like to have an idea of what I will need to spend to support a family of four. Thanks
 

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There are lots of threads and reasons why. But please, don't bury anything in a steel shipping container you don't care about if you loose it. People have died in accidents with buried shipping containers, because they tend to be OK until they have a catastrophic failure- meaning you may not have time to get out.

There are a couple cheap but decent options.

1. Used single-wide mobile home. Replace the toilets with sawdust toilets, run the drains from the sink outside to a watsons wick. You can sometimes get OK older singlewides for a thousand dollars. For a grab-and-go solution, it's not a bad one.

2. For a lot more work, the $50 and up underground house books is worth it's weight in gold. I have a copy (plus the greenhouse book, plus the DVD workshop) and they are fantastic. It's how I am planning on building the shelter for my family at our BOL, but mine's gonna cost a bit more than $50- I'm going to hire some nice young men with heavy equiptment to do most the digging.

3. Earthbag housing- Owen Greir, I believe, is the go-to man there. More work, but more of it can be done even by very young children. Bonus points: if you are worried about WROL living, they're bullet proof and bullet resistant even to fairly large calibers.

4. Hexayurt- 8 pieces of plywood and you have something much nicer and roomier than a tent, to stay in while you get your main structure built up. Not bad.

After having spent a lot of time walking around them, playing with them, and looking at a wide variety of alternative building structures, I have to say that the Mike Ohler stuff is #1, follwed by the Earthbags/sandbags, and everything else comes after that (strawbale, cordwood, etc).

There are more options but you'll have to do a lot more research on them, and they're a lot of work- rammed earth, rammed tires, tire bales, and compressed earth blocks are all awesome. I'm seriously tempted by some of the CEB presses out there, and thin shell Catalan tile roofing is not only beautiful but strong enough to bury (almost as strong as steel reinforced concrete), but I'm going to have to teach myself from Spanish language videos on YouTube.

What will work best for you also depends greatly on what your local weather is like- what's your water table? How many days of winter heating will you need vs. summer cooling? Etc.
 

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Oh, as another note- you can spend as little as the $50 Mike Ohler states in his book, or as much as you want. A lot of what this will come down to is how much time you can spend doing these things. You can do a LOT if you have infinite time and energy- things I no longer possess- but when it comes to construction you can spend as much as you want.

You can do an entire underground house digging by hand for $600 that would cover one fancy water faucet. If you scrounge, you can get things for cheap to free. It depends mostly on you.
 

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If you are looking at land, why not look at land that has a single wide on it already. The utilities are already in, maybe even a well. Depending where you are, you may even be able to butt up a couple of storage containers to the singlewide, and fix it into something you can defend and live in. At the least, you have something to live in while you build or add on to existing buildings.
There is a lot of value in a home that is already in place with all the utilities in. Building underground, doing a huge roof over(so you can work without being observed), putting a big metal building for a garage(that you then turn into more living space is all possable. You don't want nosey neighbors and even worse, a nosey planning dept.
Sadly, since these do not appriciate, the cost for land with or without a mobile home can be just about the same - the good news is you can fix it up for yourself cheaply, the bad news is you won't make a lot of money on resale - but is that why you are buying a BOL?
 
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