Cellars

Oh, I love my cellar!

It occurred to me that many, many people haven’t got one. A real New England treat is a cellar. It’s a  cool retreat in any heat wave and a cozy protection from all the elements any time of year. My ultimate dream home would be a subterranean delight!

I’d build it into a hillside. I’d be able to mow the roof and never need to paint it. The front would have windows and the back would be dark and perfect for sleeping. The earth would be my insulation. I don’t know why this is not a preferred housing option!

Here is part of an article I found on this subject:

If your ever traveling across the country side you may have the occasion to see a home built into the side of a mountain or someone parked on top of their house, it may seem odd at first but the truth is these underground homes are among the most energy-efficient dwellings in the world.

There are many common misconceptions about Earth Sheltered or Underground homes. One misconception being that the homes are dark and claustrophobic. The truth is that a properly built home will have an open-ended face which would have southern exposure. A dome style would have reflective light walls which disperse natural lighting to every part of the home. They often include skylights which magnify the internal light and is referred to as co-linear. Another misconception is that interior air quality is poor due to the lack of ventilation. The implementation of Air exchange systems will demystify this myth and in fact the air quality is usually significantly better than that of a conventional building. Many people also believe that an underground home is cold. If you’ve ever lived in a home with a basement, then you would know that it stays warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. The earth acts as an insulator and maintains a mean temperature of 55 degrees year round. This is a geothermal property that saves thousands of dollars as well as preserving an abundance of fossil fuels. In addition to these advantages, earth sheltered homes can be built into the side of a mountain or other landscapes that would otherwise be unusable therefor preserving valuable farm land. Other advantages include:

  • Incredible structural integrity making them safe from hurricanes, tornadoes, hail, fire, earth quakes and other natural disasters
  • Preserving land (you can park on the roof)
  • A significant reduction in utilities and energy costs
  • Energy Tax savings and tax incentives
  • Insect invasion is a non issue due to impenetrable shell
  • Thieves and vandals will be less likely to target these homes because of the single open wall
  • pipes will not freeze
  • Exterior maintenance is almost nonexistent

The disadvantages are few. These homes are nontraditional and must be planned with extreme caution. A leak due to improper waterproofing can be a costly fix. Removing tens of tons of earth from the roof can add up to thousands. Another disadvantage may be resale value. Due to the unconventional style, buyer might tend to shy away. finally, until these homes become a little more mainstream, the initial construction costs are slightly higher than that of a conventional style home.

This sounds just perfect to me! Now, I’m off to earn the money…

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2 thoughts on “Cellars

  1. Amen… I have wanted to build a cave home for years. The inside temperature is constant, and you can always provide solar or wind for electricity. Dig a well for water that is already filtered, too. If you want a skylight, that is also possible. Just be sure you construct your cave home in an area with lots of rocks in the soil. One would also need to take into consideration the likelihood water seeping in, and provide a way to deal with that. Np heat or AC needed. Dig in an area for a “Root cellar,” to store tubers, and tree fruit, such as apples, and such.

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