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Underground Homes

Eco-friendly homeowners can relax in the knowledge that their earth-sheltered or underground homes protect them from almost anything. You'd be surprised how light and open these houses can be, since "underground" may have you believing they are like living in the basement you knew as a child.

Earth sheltered home

Underground homes are quite self-sufficient, and that's just one of the reasons they are becoming more popular.

They don't consume as much energy, since the ground provides their insulation and in many cases, solar power may heat the home. Some houses include solar collectors, and allow the sunlight to be captured, and wood fireplaces are excellent heat sources (though not as green as they emit carbon). They also allow indoor water to be heated for showers.

Natural Insulation ...

Some types of underground homes have larger portions of the house above ground, where others appear to almost blend into the ground that supports them. The living space in earth-sheltered houses is often below the area frost line, giving them natural insulation. They may include other forms of insulation as well, depending on where they are built.

A Community of Underground Homes

Solar or Fire?

During days when heat is needed, below earth houses can often gather what they need through solar collectors, but it's nice to have the added crackle of a fire on chilly evenings. You can dress like it's summer even during the winter months.

It's a bit tricky getting financing for underground houses, since many lenders are not accustomed to dealing with anything other than conventional dwellings. But once the lenders see the qualities of the homes, they may have a more open mind. Earth sheltered houses are usually nearly fire-proof, except for the furnishings, and they resist wind and earthquake damage.

Debunking Bunkers ...

It's important for potential owners of underground homes to understand that they are not bunkers in the traditional sense, nor do they look like bunkers (but they can be used as storm shelters). They can be quite aesthetically pleasing.

The reduced utility bills are also very attractive to people looking into purchasing or building an earth-sheltered home of their own.

Underground Home in Missouri

Living underground allows a homeowner to have immunity to most blizzards and tornadoes, and they also can fare well during times of disasters of man's own doing. If there comes a time when fuel is no longer available, you can use solar or wind energy to make your home self-sufficient.

When people tour earth-sheltered homes, they are surprised at how airy and light they may be. Most people have an image of a cave or bunker in their mind when they think of underground housing.

Mucho Grass ...

The heating and cooling of a subsurface home may cost $200 a year, rather than the more typical $200 a month if you live above-ground. The homes are clean and quiet and they're virtually maintenance free. Mowing your roof in the summer months is a small trade-off.

Modern Underground House

Conclusion ..
There are builders who do a lot of work on underground houses, in various parts of the United States. Some homeowners-to-be prefer that they do the work by themselves, and this will save some money, as long as you know how to do the required work. The excavation is a major undertaking, followed by adding stones as bases for concrete walls. Consult with experts in the field if you're building your own underground house, so that every aspect will be energy-efficient and attractive.

Written by Kevin Knatloa

First Published on November 05, 2012

Updated November 22, 2013