Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Earth Sheltered and Underground Homes

  1. #1

    Earth Sheltered and Underground Homes

    We've talked about building either an earth sheltered or underground home. Does anyone know about the construction costs compared to conventional homes?

  2. #2
    I know someone who built an earth-sheltered home. Unfortunately, I was never inside it and haven't talked to the owners about it. I don't know how the construction costs compare to regular building, but since you're building what is comparable to a large basement that is finished and covering it with soil, I don't think they would be any higher than regular houses. They might actually be less costly.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    What's wrong with just a basement or cellar? I don't know if I would want my home to be underground, but I agree that you should have a place to run to, in case of a disaster.

  4. #4
    I know that heating and cooling costs of an underground home is much cheaper. I have always wanted to live in one. I think that they are also easier to secure.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Newport, Oregon
    My partner and I are currently building an earth sheltered home in Oregon. We just completed the concrete shell but because of finances, (paycheck to paycheck construction), it will be a while before we cover it with earth. You can check out our project on our website at Hill Earth Sheltered Home
    If you go to the archives from our Building Blog page, you can see the process from the beginning.

  6. #6
    I rather think that it would be more costly to build because you have to seal the walls so that moisture would not seep in. And you have to cover it with soil, so the walls and foundations should have additional strength. That would entail additional cost too.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Sally - I'm sure you've done a lot more research on the subject since you first posted, and you're aware of the differences between earth sheltered (or earth bermed) and fully underground. We're considering building an earth bermed house and have been researching our options for about a year and a half, and I see anywhere between 10% and 30% being quoted in additional costs over an orthodox, above ground house. That said, it makes the assumption that most owners will not be doing any significant amount of work themselves. I intend doing as much of the work myself, codes permitting.
    Underground houses typically put you below - or at least close to - the water table and thus require significant waterproofing. It's possible, but time consuming and expensive to keep dry. We're opting for earth bermed with a living roof, which will keep us above grade but with the benefits of earth cover to act as a thermal blanket. There are many construction methods available, from shotcrete (check out Dragonfly Hill - those guys are putting together a beautiful home) to poured concrete walls, post and beam framing, surface bonded dry stacked blocks (definitely worth looking into), etc. The sky really is the limit, and if you can provide enough data to satisfy a building inspector, all are proven methods of building that will safely allow you to achieve your goal.
    The benefits are well worth the effort - cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and all with minimal long term damage to your little piece of this planet

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Well i think this is a good idea.. i am also thinking about building a home but now i think i will think about it too.. thanks for the post

Similar Threads

  1. Repairing underground feed
    By JRF in forum Outdoor
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 01-01-2004, 02:24 PM
  2. Earth Building
    By Pat in forum Home Building
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 12-30-2003, 04:01 PM
  3. Earth Friendly Milk
    By AndyF in forum Cooking & More
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 11-11-2003, 12:04 AM
  4. Underground power lines
    By tlphlps in forum Homesteading
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 04-09-2003, 02:33 AM
  5. Underground service installation (NH)
    By DavidInNh in forum Barns/Buildings
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 11-27-2002, 12:28 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts