Step 3: So in Conclusion...

The house did not fall so I would say with a real engineer telling me how to place the rebar I can dig down about 21 below the dining room floor, there is a 4 foot crawlspace, 5 to 6 feet of sand then about 20 feet of clay sitting on top of the water table.

Two stories would be possible but I am thinking it would be better to have one floor with 12 foot ceilings with everything gently sloping to the drain in the center and I could have an easy 1200 square feet of tornadoes proof shelter, enough for the entire street according to FEMA. It's not likely that I'll build the big bunker since I'm pretty close to being tapped out, need a few more surgeries, and it's not likely I'll ever get hired to do anything since without a short term memory I spend a lot of time walking around trying to remember what it is I am doing. They would need to hire someone to follow me around and keep reminding me what I was working on at the moment but it might make for an interesting Discovery Channel Show...

LOL If you're gonna Dream a Dream don't ever cut yourself short.

When I had the accident I had the house dried in but it was just sticks inside no wiring, plumbing etc. Fortunately I had the siding on already since that took a month but I hadn't bricked the bottom level yet and I managed to do that in about 2 years by putting a white board up in the Foyer and every morning when I arrived I'd write down what I was planning on working on and I finished the house and relearned how to walk and talk since somehow I fell through the medical cracks and was never actually sent to any therapy or rehab but maybe it worked out better this way.

If worse comes to worse I'll just turn this into a stairwell and make an 8 by 12 foot room under one part of the bottom garage floor which according to http://www.fema.gov/hazard/tornado/to_saferoom.shtm
it is the safest place to build a shelter.
I just finished reading "The Tunnels of Cu Chi" about a labyrinth of tunnels in the area northeast of Saigon used during the Vietnam war. It appears that two things you would have to be sure of before beginning your little postapocalyptic hideout are the consistency of the soil, (the Cu Chi soil was hard enough to withstand tunnelling), and the other thing is the water level (the water level was sea level, (Cu Chi area was high enough it didn't seep in.) Otherwise, you would need to pump constantly, which would use up a lot of power. In some places, like suburban District of Columbia, the water level is about three inches down.
Hey there's another brand-new book about the Vietnam tunnels it even tells how they were built and gives great detail I'll see if I can't find the link for you <br> Here you go <br><br>Viet Cong and NVA Tunnels and Fortifications of the Vietnam War (Fortress) https://www.amazon.com/dp/184603003X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_2NgVyb7Z318V1
I actually started with a test shaft about 7 by 10 and went down into the clay and lined it with concrete I carried in 80 pounds at a time and telescoped it as I went down. When I had about a 14 foot hole I shot a piece of 2 inch pipe down using water and watched until I hit the water table and so I could see where the seam of clay ended since it's very water impermiable fortunately and appears to be 22 feet thick. When I built the house about I put an I Beam in the footer where the shaft is located and made it thicker and wider so I could tunnel under it and for now I have a simple tornadoe shelter that is dry year round. The clay works as an underground dam and I actually pulled a siphon up the hill from the lake and ran it into the bottom of the pit to get an idea of how much lower I was which was maybe 4 or 5 feet so eventually I should be able to make a bigger version and keep 8 feet of clay between me and the water so I don't need to worry about sump pumps as you mentioned.
One other useable thing that I got from that book was that the Vietcong made an occaisional room with a conical cieling. This worked like a megaphone to amplify sound going through the ground. You'd be able to know if someone was outside, looking for you, or if someone was driving over your hideout.
I wonder how they supported it? I know a dome is strong but only if it has a solid arch in all directions from the top and with just dirt or clay I'd be nervous to be stuck there listening... I bet they used Bamboo in places. I need to read that book thanks.
You'd just need to &quot;tank&quot; it to be watertight which is installing a waterproof membrane on the walls. Then you just have to be careful not to puncture the membrane. There is a guy in the UK who &quot;tanked&quot; his basement... http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/content.php?sid=2951
The only water problem I have is the five feet of sand sloping from the road to the lake sitting on top of the 22 foot seam of clay. Essentially I just need to grout around the shaft with portland cement a foot or two higher than the clay so the water just flows around me instead of dropping into the pit I dug in the clay which then filled with sand. It would be cool though to tank part of it and raise Bass I can get from the lake since I love fish and could fatten them up on corn or something and without predetors like catfish I could end up with a slew of them to share.
I do have one question have you thought of a way to defend the front door to your secret bunker? <br>I remember seeing an episode of twilight zone where Guy was discussing with his neighbors his bunker and how he planned to survive in case of a nuclear war all as neighbors laughed and said they would come and seek refuge in his bunker the survivalist told them that he only had supplies for him and his family and his neighbor should build their own at the end of the episode The bombs are falling the neighbors are breaking down his doors to get in !!<br>it's always got me thinking about how to defend the front door LOL
Senseless I love this indestructible nice job <br>
Here's the front cover
<p>Senseless, you should check out &quot;Aquaponics&quot; which lets you reaise fish AND vegetables in a closed system which your situation looks PERFECT for!</p>
This is amazing! I've been wanting to do this since we moved into our house in Florida (panhandle area). My husband tells me I'm crazy. I would love to hire you!
You live close to me!
On the other side of Mossy Head.
I believe so. on the other side of Mossy head.
<p>'Just stumbled on your adventure. Wow. Great write up. Loved following your thought process.</p><p>Your excavation process was clever. It reminded me of the method used by our local Public Works guys when digging around gas lines. They have a big vacuum truck with a water jet. They'd use the water jet to cut out the earth and suck the loose stuff up with their 6/8 inch vacuum hose.</p>
Hey, have you considered entering this into the redneck contest?? <br>Not sure if its quite redneck but its not done by a professional and definitely cool so...
<p>Got an url? sorry life has kept me busy and I haven't been here for a long while.</p>
I love this. When we can buy a place, maybe we can do something like this also. And if you're using more power suddenly, the utility company will report it as they think you're growing weed. Digging under a house would also lead them to believe you're growing weed. LOL
talk about minecraft in real life!
I used wood. I'll explane later.<br>I dug straight down for 18 ft. Then dug a 12X10 ft room with an 8ft celing.<br>For the guy who thinks you need lead to shield from radiation. Not so!<br>I'm an engineer having worked on Nuclear projects.<br>All you need is a good filter to keep out radio active dust, &quot;that is what nuclear fall out is&quot; you only have to worry about Gamma radiation.<br>A cinder block building will protect you from Gamma if you double them up.<br>I would if building above ground make a wall of cinder blocks with the holes filled with<br>either concrete or packed earth.<br>Then I would build another around this wall with about 20 inches of space and then fill the space with either concrete or packed earth.<br>Build for strength and build the roof with a layer of 2X12 inch cinder blocks. Some earth of approximately 20 inches then another layer of 2 inch cinder blocks.<br>Other than life support, &quot;mostly filtered air&quot; you are safe from radiation with this.<br>I went underground due to paranoia. <br>My hole is under my deck which is at my dining room level.<br>Below my dining room is a utility room that is the same size as the slab.<br>Extending out from my dining room door is a deck. There is a stair way up to the deck as the back entrance to the house.<br>The deck then extends all the way around the house.<br>Under the deck just exactly under my kitchen door is where I sunk the 36X36 inch hole.<br>The shape of the slab is not square. One side is slightly longer than the other.<br>The house is sided up from the slabe and the area where I have my hole is in the corner created by the long side of the slab and the short side. It just happens to be the slab is actually 42 inches shorter at one point. That is where I dug down. That made it easy to wall my hole in under the deck maiking it look as if the slab is square.<br>In side my utility room I have storage shelves along the wall that is the short part of the slab. I have redesigned the shelves so one of them is actually a live storage area. We store light stuff there, &quot;cerial, rice, dryed milk etc.&quot; That shelf is actually movable as a hidden door to the top of my shaft.<br>I have storage for more than a year if I had to stay there 24 hours a day.<br>That includes my wife, ten cats and two dogs.<br>I have a way to dispose of the cat littter and other nasty stuff.<br>I have a filtered air system, including hand pumped back up system.<br>I have a &quot;geiger/muler&quot; tube monitoring system with one in my shelter and one exteded to the surface. The one on the surface is disguised.<br>I have an almost endless supply of water. I also have filters for incoming water if necessary to remove sediment that may be radioactive.<br>If biological I have CO2 absorbers and a large supply of pure O2 and monitors to know how much O2 to add as well as the level of CO2 in case I need to manually pump the air. I also have quite a bit of clean nitrogen to replace any lost over time.<br>My blend is nitrogen and O2.<br>I'll elaborate on the &quot;how to&quot; on digging this without getting burried, later.<br>Dig baby dig! <br>It's coming. <br>Not if but when. O<br>bama is putting the push on to destroy this country as fast as possible with his friends.<br>It is the absolute gole of the Progerssive, Communsts etc.<br>When it comes, I'm gonna be a casuality but the cost, &quot;if I have my way about it&quot; will be very very high.<br>I'm still digging, &quot;expanding in sq ft.&quot; Off one conrner I'm digging a long tunnerl,<br>75' to another area for an emergency exit.<br>The shaft for the exit on this will only go up to about 3 ft below the surface and will be dug with renforcement on the way up.<br>It will only be completed if I need to dig my way out!<br>Thu Mole!
Wow, are you in a survivalist club? The first thing to go woukd be the ten cats,they would have to live outside and kill rodents. Keep rotating your stock,
Dang! <br /> <br />You've got me beat by a mile!
We are thinking very much alike! The 75' E-scape with 3' undug left for that time.I also thought leaving ammunitions at the end. I have a perfect place for digging starting under the house, I purchased 5 acres on a hill having 360 deg. view, yet the hill is alabama red clay. A very tough soil yet i couldn't ask for better. I am starting the dig this weekend. I am an electrician and have the supplies for a battery bank and wind and pedal generated supply for the bunker using all LED's for some light. Thanks for your ideas and good will to you!
bye anychance does some one know how to make a airtight seal
use blue-skin or poly plastic sheating and tuck tape or acoustical sealant
I have been thinking about this article for two years since I have first read it. I have always loved the idea of an &quot;underground mancave&quot;. When I was young I used to travel through sewage systems and local caves (they were probably no more than medium size holes in the ground, but seemed much larger back then). I am now in a position to build my mancave. I bought a house near the beach in Australia and want to build a new home on the land. Once that is done I will not have the access for machinery to dig etc that I have now. So I have to build a mancave BEFORE I build the house. The trouble is I want to build a workshop over the top of it. I live in a very sandy area and have considered cinder blocks, rammed earth walls and other building techniques, but I'm not an engineer and am worried about the pressure on the underground wals created by the sand once I have backfilled and the weight (and possible collapse) of a concrete foundation on top of the structure. I thought about using cinder blocks filled with rebar and concrete every 10 inches with timber beams going across. The structure underneath will be about 30 feet by 15 wide and the workshop on top will be about 50 feet by 23 feet wide. I wanted to make a ladder and have the entrance through the workshop floor somewhere so I can have a safe place to go in case of a zombie apocalypse or land invasion by the evil dolphins! Any suggestions as to how I can ensure the structural integrity of my mancave?
It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again.
LOL I knew someone would leave that comment! <br /> <br />Haven't looked in here in ages...
I love that movie!
Yeah me to but I swear I'm not some wacko serial killer promise LOL. The name came because my wife said my projects were just senseless so I have a catch all business in that name Senseless Ventures since I tend to do lots of different types of work. It really saves on business cards LOL.
Bwahahhahahhaha! Dang I've even got a fire hose LOL.
im assuming that your house is in between 1200 and 2500 square feet, i also noticed that you rented a tractor backhoe, i work for an excavating company and it would have been cheaper to rent a full sized excavator, for the given size of the crawl space it could have been finished in two to four hours at 110 dollars an hour CAD. thats just my two bits.
You're absolutely right! <br /> <br />If I wasn't married I would have just done this first off for practically nothing time wise. I can rent most anything I need and yeah a loader would have been good but I needed the stinger to dig in a few spot. <br /> <br />The main floor is actually about 4200 square feet, the bottom floor is a workshop garage and office with full bath I am gonna finish as a bedroom and just relocate down there when we have hurricanes. <br /> <br />I used a big loader, can't remember how many yard bucket it was, to clear the roads on my tree farm and I agree I could have dug the hole for the house in a couple hours but like I said I needed to do some backhoeing to and it was cheaper to just rent one and spend more time than rent both for the weekend.
im not trying to be mean but why did you make a top secret bunker?
Why wouldn't one make a secret bunker if it's possible?
I tagged it top secret as a joke... I wouldn't plaster it on the the net if I really wanted it to be secret LOL but I did work on it for four months before my wife finally caught me.... Even the EMS knows it's here I live in a small town and I know the Paramedics and volonteer fire department guys pretty well and given them tours. The entire bottom floor above it it a safe place to duck and hide if a hurricane turns at the last minute everyone on my street knows I'd have the back door unlocked and to just let themselves in. This whole project is mostly for fun but then again building the house above was fun to. Peace and no offense taken oh and geez now that I have my glasses and can really see the your question... I live about 30 miles from the Gulf of Mexico and my wife is an invalid and too ill for me to evacuate so I'm well prepared even just with the bottom level being under ground and the bunker itself was a test to see exactly how deep I can go without hitting the ground water so I can build a larger sinpler one that I can just enter through a door at the back of the bottom garage and get my wife inside quick in case we get a tornadoe. I tend to over build things and maybe I planned too much but I'd rather be prepared and never have to use it than get caught off guard.
It would be so cool to have a secret bunker under my house <br>
Wow, you'll probably be the safest person on earth during a zombie apokaplypse
Did not understand what this project is. Want my nickel back
I've ALWAYS wanted a hidden, underground bunker. As for verbiage...you made me laugh and smile and believe that I could do this as well. It's a very detailed instructable, and I think that with your instructions, I could make a reinforced hole in the ground, too. Unfortunately, I get all the great ideas, but don't have skills with electric/mechanical tools. When I approach my husband with my grand ideas, he looks at me, his eyes glaze over and his jaw goes slack. I'm thinking I might just have to start secretly digging a hole (and I have the perfect spot) and when it's mostly dug out, I can employ his help. I think that it's wonderful that you'll be able to save yourself and your wife if you have to thanks to your bunker.
Love the project, but wish that it was summarized with less detail as to what type of wood your floors are made out of, and more of what you did for THIS project. Also mentioning accidents that happened in your life just distracts from the reading, but its still a GREAT idea.
I was still in La La land when I made this one LOL. <br> <br>The left side of your head which I crushed deals with talking and I used to obviously really ramble for the first couple years after the wreck not that I don't now...
now i want to make one. but if i do, i'm lining the outside with lead. keep the radiation out.
:.( I always wanted to build things but I never able... never figured out why...
Also watch people work and if you can do it without slowing them up ask questions. That's how I learned most of my skills. I was five when I moved to a new development and there were only ten houses up so I got to spend my summers watching them being built and my first underground refuges were made from digging a hole and rolling logs over it then shoveling the dirt back over them then always had a cool place to hang out in the summers.
The only problem is that I live in the suburbs of a small town in North central Texas, and there isint much land to be bought to build/dig on... <br>
Thanks man! <br> <br>Soon as I get free time I'll try something... <br>
Never hurts to try. Start simple and small and Instructables has instructions for a zillion things you can build.
Hey i live in FL too but I'm on a pond. But the water raises and lowers 3-5 feet and you can dig about 7-10 feet, during different seasons i was wondering if i waited to low season and then made it water tight, you know with plastic and sealers and stuff on the outside before i did the cement, do you think that I could build one. Also, are there laws on this or is it like jut don't put up a giant sign. And you also have to use normal basement building codes, right? thanks for great Post I'm excited!

About This Instructable




Bio: http://senseless.livejournal.com/ I've been attempting to build a house mostly by myself for the last five years... I finally more or less ... More »
More by Senseless:A Relatively Simple Quick On and Off Knee Brace Modification or Basics of Beginning of the Top Secret Bunker Project and Removing Soils A Simple Ledge for a White Board from a Scrap of 2x4...  The PreRamble 
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