Living in cave homes is certainly anything but a new
idea, since ancient man did this long before more modern
forms of housing were developed. But natural caves are
not found in every geographical area, and men were forced
to carve into sandstone or volcanic ash, to form cave
homes that gave them shelter from the elements.
Many ancient cave homes are still there, and some even
have modern day inhabitants.
Other people are making their plans for modern cave living.
You may have an image in mind of a cave home, with a cooking
fire as its only amenity, but today's cave homes offer
great views and modern conveniences. They are well-ventilated
when planned properly, and they often can be cheaper to
build than conventional homes.
Underground spaces have always been naturally quieter,
and the temperature is fairly constant. They are warm
during winter months and cool in the summer. The structures
are made from completely natural materials, so they are
almost 100-percent locally sourced. Not everyone would
want to live in even the most modern of cave homes, but
for those who do, caves are an excellent example of outside
the box thinking.
Modern Cave Home
Do You Mine?
Former mines can be good locations for cave homes, as
long as they are structurally sound. Extra support may
be needed to make these homes more livable and safe. Cave
homes are usually Eco-friendly, since they don't need
cooling or heating units to be run, and the air is comfortable
in temperature nearly year-round.
The exterior of a cave house may be primitive by design
or obviously modern. One home uses sliding glass doors
as its façade, and the water they need each day
is gathered with dehumidifiers and pumped where it is
Fluorescent bulbs provide plenty of light for cave dwellings,
and natural wood flooring gives them a more appealing
look. You can make the most of the light in the area by
using large windows. You may opt to use traditional or
contemporary furnishings in a cave habitat, since it has
no preconceived style of its own. Most of these houses
have all the modern conveniences you might want.
If you want your cave home
to be lighter, you can use light ducts to filter
sunlight deeply into your dwelling. Cave houses
have done quite well through earthquakes, and they
are fire resistant, but sometimes they have trouble
with excess moisture. Dehumidifiers and proper ventilation
and drainage will take care of that concern.
Many cavern homes are excavated with equipment otherwise
used for mining, if there are not existing mines in the
area that are suitable for habitation. The homes that
are dug out of mine areas are usually less expensive to
build than are traditional homes. They require almost
no air conditioning, and this is especially advantageous
in warmer climates.
Awesome Aussie Hideout ...
One cave home complex in Australia is especially poignant,
since the locals have referred to miners as "white
men in holes" since mining began there in the early
1900's. Many people in the area still call the caves home,
and enjoy lower utility bills, even during the hottest
of the summer months.
Written by Kevin Knatloa
First Published on November 05, 2012
Updated November 22, 2013