These days, it's hard not to worry about protecting your family from catastrophic events. From record-breaking natural disasters to the possible threat of war, there are many scenarios we need to prepare for. When it comes to building a survival bunker, what are the most cost effective ways to do it?
Depending on the size and specifications, building a survival bunker for your home will cost between $39,000 and $65,000. A custom-built bunker can cost up to $4.5 million. Whether you should build a custom bunker or order a prefab bunker depends on your budget.
In most cases, ordering a prefab bunker and DIYing the installation process will be the most cost-effective option. If you don't have construction experience, you may want to hire professionals to install your bunker kit to keep costs down. Read on to learn more about the cost of installing a survival bunker in your home.
How much does it cost to build a survival bunker?
To build a survival bunker, it can cost as little as $39,000 and up to $65,000. The price depends on the size and depth of the bunker. Prefab bunker kits cost as little as $20,000 plus shipping and installation, making them the most affordable option for smart preppers.
Survival bunkers have become increasingly popular since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Bunker makers have seen an increase in the number of people who want to be prepared to protect themselves and their families if a pandemic or other catastrophic event becomes an extinction-level disaster.
This led to survival condos, which are luxurious underground bunkers outfitted with swimming pools, faux windows, gyms, and even spas. A luxury survival condo can easily cost 3 million euros and a survival penthouse can cost 4.5 million euros.
Luckily for you, there are much more affordable ways to keep you and your family safe in the event of an accident. nuclear explosion or natural disaster.
Building a custom bunker from scratch will set you back around $60,000. Costs here are highly variable as a lot will depend on construction costs in your area. As a rough guide, a storm shelter can cost between $2,565 and $10,240 on average. Check how much would that cost in your zip code for a reference.
When building from scratch, you need to consider the following costs:
- Hire an architect to design your bunker.
- Obtain all necessary permits from your city government.
- Building materials, such as concrete, metal and bricks.
- Rental of excavation equipment.
- Living materials such as filter and ventilation, electricity generator, water filter and waste disposal system.
- Labor costs.
- Provisions to last you at least two weeks .
These costs can add up pretty quickly, especially if you live in an area with high construction costs.
Prefab bunkers are the most cost effective alternatives to building a custom bunker. Although you will still need professionals to handle the excavation and construction of the bunker, getting a kit will save you a lot of time and money.
The cheapest survival bunker kits will cost as little as $20,000 plus shipping. These will come with the bare necessities to get your bunker up and running quickly.
Don't expect to sophisticated toilets or even a kitchen.
High-end bunker kits will cost as little as $250,000 and can include a kitchen, full bathroom, indoor aquaponic gardens, living and recreation rooms, and more. Although $250,000 might seem like a steep price, buying a prefab deluxe bunker kit is still significantly less than buying a apartment survival of $1.5 million .
Can you DIY a survival bunker?
If you have construction experience, you can DIY a survival bunker. Depending on your skills, you can DIY your bunker's excavation, construction, mechanical systems, and finishing work.
Building a bunker is just as complicated as building a house , so if you're not comfortable building your own house, we don't recommend trying to build your own survival bunker.
If you are building an extended stay bunker, you will want to install plumbing and electrical. You should not attempt to do them yourself unless you have professional experience installing such systems.
A happy medium is to order a survival kit online and handle the installation yourself. You will need to be comfortable with the excavation process, pouring concrete for the floor, walls and roof, and assembling your kit.
Ordering a prefab kit will save you a lot of time and money while reducing the chances of messing up your bunker during construction.
What is the cheapest way to build a survival bunker?
The cheapest way to get a survival bunker is to plan the bunker in a new house building design, dig your bunker straight into a hill, or dig a sea container underground. Cost doesn't necessarily correlate with quality when it comes to survival bunkers.
Here are some ways to reduce the cost of your brand new doomsday survival bunker.
Plan your bunker with your new home
If you plan to build a new house , you must incorporate the bunker into your plans. This way, you won't have to worry about getting too many extra permits, because you can just include the bunker with the rest of your paperwork.
You can also save a lot of time and money by having the construction team already on site.
They can plan the construction of your bunker as well as the construction of your house. It can save money on materials, machinery and labor.
Dig your bunker into a nearby hill
If you're not thinking of building a new house, you might be able to use a nearby hill. If you are lucky enough to have a hill on your property, this might be an easy fix for you.
Remember that the most important part of building a safe bunker is putting as much mass as possible between your bunker and the surface. Digging an underground bunker means the deeper you go, the safer you are.
However, building a bunker into a hill can be a great way to take advantage of your natural surroundings. By building directly into a hill, you will place the above ground mass of the hill between your bunker and the blasting area.
It can help you save time and money by not digging deep underground.
Dig a shipping container underground
Digging a shipping container underground can be a good way to get a cheap bunker quickly.
However, you will need to heavily reinforce the walls and roof to prevent them from collapsing due to constant ground pressure.
If properly reinforced, a used shipping container could be a good way to save money on your survival bunker. Watch the following YouTube video for more information on reinforcing a shipping container to be buried underground:
Can you build a bunker in your backyard?
You can build a bunker in your garden. In fact, your backyard may be the most convenient place to build it. Since you're going to need to build your bunker at least 3 feet underground, your backyard may be the best place to dig.
Keep in mind that Survival Bunkers need to have a lot of mass between them and the surface. The denser the mass the better, which means you will probably have to pour reinforced concrete between your bunker and the surface.
If reinforced concrete is not an option, compacted soil will also work. You can compact dirt quite easily with a compactor.
Do you need a permit to build an underground bunker?
You need a permit to build an underground bunker, even if it is entirely on your property. Visit your local building department to find out what permits you will need to obtain before you can begin construction.
The types of permits you will need depend heavily on your location. In general, you will likely need most or all of the following permits:
- Earthwork permit for the excavation of the bunker.
- Building permit for the construction itself.
- Discretionary permits in case your bunker affects the surrounding area.
- Plumbing permit if you are installing plumbing in your bunker.
- Electrical permits if you are installing electrical wiring in your bunker.
This is another area where hiring a contractor to build your bunker can save you a lot of time.
Not only are you likely unfamiliar with the permits you will need, but you also lack experience in completing the required forms and submitting all the necessary documents. Even a simple mistake could delay your permits for weeks or even months.
Hiring a contractor will ensure that you get all your permits quickly. Be sure to hire someone who has experience building bunkers in your area and knows how to get all the necessary paperwork in order.
Are there underground bunker kits?
There are underground bunker kits from many different companies online that you can purchase. Bunker kit prices start at $20,000 plus shipping, which can add $5,000 to $10,000 to the cost depending on your location.
Most underground bunker kits include everything you'll need to build your survival bunker, such as:
- Steel trusses for construction.
- A blast hatch for entering/exiting the bunker.
- An air filtration system.
- Ventilation pipes.
Keep in mind that you will likely need to hire professionals to handle the excavation and pour all the concrete for the floors, walls, and roof. If you are looking for a bunker for an extended stay, you will also want to install the plumbing and electrical, which should always be handled by professionals.
How deep does a bunker have to be to survive a nuclear bomb?
Your bunker must be at least 3 feet deep underground to survive a nuclear explosion. The strength of the bomb and the distance at which it explodes will also have a significant impact on whether 0.91m will be enough to keep your bunker safe.
A bunker this far underground should provide enough protection for civilians, as the bomb is unlikely to specifically target your house. If you think your house is more likely to be near a detonation site, then you should build your bunker up to 15' (4.57m) underground to increase the chances of survival.
Keep in mind that by placing the bunker underground you are trying to add mass between you and the explosion. Compacted soil or reinforced concrete are great ways to add study mass above your bunker.
How long can you live in an underground bunker?
You can live in an underground bunker for up to 5 years after a disaster. However, you only need to schedule 24 hours up to 14 days if you fear a nuclear bomb. The nuclear radiation will be deadly for many hours after the initial explosion.
If you build a survival bunker to protect you and your family from possible nuclear war, you should stock it with enough supplies for at least two weeks. If you are concerned about other possible extinction-level events, such as superbugs or climatic disasters , you should look for alternatives that allow you to stay underground longer.
How do you supply air to an underground bunker?
To supply air to an underground bunker, you will need an intake vent and an exhaust vent. You will also need an air pump to get air in and out of your bunker. Finally, you will need a filter, ideally an NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) filter, to protect you from harmful chemicals.
You can find online NBC filtration systems which come with all the vents and pumps you need. A complete NBC filtration package will typically include the following:
- NPC filter
- AC and/or DC power cords
- Air intake hose or pipe
- Blow off valve for intake pipe
- Pressure relief valve
- ventilation fan
- User Manual
Although an NBC filter can be expensive, it is a necessary feature of every smart prep bunker.
If you don't try to protect yourself from a nuclear event, a HEPA filter ordinary can be used instead of the NBC filter. HEPA filters are much more affordable than NBC filters, so if you're not worried about nukes, you can find an affordable HEPA filtration system for your bunker.
Regardless of the scenario, there is likely to be a lot of dust and other particles in the air that could clog your air intake system.
You should always install a filter as part of your bunker's air supply.
Key points to remember
Building a survival bunker is a smart thing any prepper should consider in 2022. Depending on the size and specs, an extended stay underground survival bunker will set you back between $39,000 and $65,000, on average.
If you are looking to minimize the cost of your bunker, you should consider ordering a survival bunker kit online and handling the installation yourself. This will significantly reduce labor costs, ultimately lowering the final price of your bunker.