Price of building an underground home

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by daileyjoy, Aug 23, 2004.

  1. daileyjoy

    daileyjoy Well-Known Member

    May 2, 2003
    I had read before that it is cheaper to build an underground home but today as I was researching it some more I came across a couple websites that said it was actually more to build underground almost 50-60% more. So has anybody here build underground and is it cheaper or more expensive than a standard above ground home.

  2. Thumper/inOkla.

    Thumper/inOkla. Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    centeral Okla. S of I-40, E of I-35
    It would depend on the size and style of the home.
    a 20x 20 box, could be done for a few thousand, but multi rooms, and high water table, zoneing problems, and so forth could make it alot more.

    To compaire fairly you need to chose a design and work up plans both ways, [basicly plans for the same house above and under ground]. Planning ahead by desiding how large your smallest room and largest room should be, the site will affect cost also, we have lots of sandstone here so I expect digging the hole will cost almost as much as the shell of the house.

    If you study the different styles you like and play with the design, you can control many of the high cost factors in any type of home.

  3. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

    Apr 14, 2004
    if you have a high water table, you could build on a slab and then bury it to make a hill. that way you are still above the water table
  4. Well, you have to give the size of the house & the lay of the land you plan to build on. Too many variables this way.

    But generally, digging & shoring up dirt & designing air curculation & lighting will make an underground house more expensive. Often there are unexpected problems with zoning, rocks, water & slope issues that add greatly to the cost, but were unknown at the start of the project. Yes these issues come up with conventional houses, but there are easier, and more common, work arounds.

    The plus is over the next 40 years, you will save a lot on heat & cooling costs, and come out ahead. Pay more now, & less over time.
  5. where i am from we generaly consider the basement the cheapest space to add the second story the second cheapest. the cheapest desighn to enclose maximum space for the material involved is square same width and length. we don't have to blast rock to put basements in so that could be a huge differance not sure. One issue in total underground as opposed to basement is the daylight and roof sytems. total underground with dirt roof can be a challange earth berm or dirt covered walls with a conventional type roof may also be something you should consider.
  6. should have also pointed out the obvious a single story is always the most expensive 2-3 story gets cheaper you gotta build the same roof no matter how many stories it covers foundations same story gotta have one whether enclosong one story or 3. cut ups like dormers and boxouts add to looks but cost dearly as do porches