We all want the dream, don’t we? We all want the big house, the big yard, perhaps a pool or two, a home security system, and the whole shebang. We want the neighbors or anyone who’d pass by to be looking at our habitation with envy. We want them to see our homes from the corner of their eyes only to jolt their heads toward its direction while whispering to themselves, “man, those people are living the life!”
Well, here’s a man who wanted all that and decided to do something about it. Wayne Martin, one seriously enterprising individual, took it upon himself to make his home stand out from the rest of the cookie cutters in the neighborhood. And the first thing he did was get a shovel and start digging. Neighbors passing by think he was crazy, but when they saw his not-so-little project beginning to take shape, well, their jaws could only gape with wonder.
What The Hole Is That?
When a neighbor’s yard has a hole of this magnitude, the first thought that comes to mind is that they’re constructing a pool. Indeed, a pool this size would have already succeeded in making the neighbors drool with envy—but no, Martin had a better plan than that.
It wasn’t water that Martin wanted to fill the hole with, which is what any rational person would have expected. His plan, instead, was to plug the hole with the 20-foot shipping container he had a moving company deliver to his home. Needless to say, the mere presence of the container had his neighbors scratching their heads; they simply had no idea what Martin’s intention was.
The Gargantuan Shipping Container
Before Wayne even started his epic dig, he did a ton of research online, looking into where he could purchase a sizable shipping container that can serve as the structure of his secret project. He was surprised to learn that shipping containers were actually easy to come by, and a few on the market were even quite affordable.
The most experienced DIYers can tell you that one of the most important things to consider when it comes to projects such as these is the budget. One may need to keep the costs in check because the last thing we all want is to exhaust our budget on stuff that is not anymore required and risk destroying our money management scheme. As for the cost of the container, Wayne was right on track. It was affordable, sturdy, and just basically checked all the boxes. But what was the container for? You might ask. Well, read on to find out!
Sealing it Good
Wayne knew that for his purposes, the container had to be sealed really nice and tight. He initially thought of installing double doors but realized that the setup would require more sealing. So Wayne opted instead to install a single, swinging door.
Wayne also knew that no garden-variety type of sealing would do. Indeed, he knew he had to seal the container in such a way that would make it close to impossible for anything to come in or out—not water, nor gas, nothing. Wayne also chose to have the door (which was his main, and only, point of entry to and from the container) swing in one direction: inward. And, trust us; once you get the full picture, you’ll understand why.
One particular mistake Wayne thought he needed to avoid at all cost was the mistake of digging a hole much smaller than his shipping container will require. After all, his container needed to fit! So Wayne made sure the hole he dug was adequate. The effort to go back and dig a bigger hole once he’s in the process of moving the container in place was so great that Wayne knew he had to measure everything carefully.
Wayne tried to assure that the hole he dug had 2 feet of extra space on all sides so that his container will not only fit but will also have some degree of space for anything that will require the ability to swing-out.
The bottom area where the container will be placed will require lining, of course, and Wayne, being the all-around DIYer that he is, knew that pea gravel was what he needed for the job. Pea gravel was much smaller than stone gravel, after all, and it was this difference that Wayne needed to assure he’ll be able to reach the soil below through the flooring.
I bet that right now, you’re telling yourself: “yeah, I have an idea where this project is going.” But, trust us, you don’t—or, at least, not exactly. We bet that you’ll still be surprised to learn what the whole project was really about. The extra space above the container that Wayne created has an exciting purpose, so read on to find out!
Help Is On The Way
Of course, there are times when the assistance of a professional is required to complete a job. No matter how experienced or skillful one is at DIY, there are simply a few things one can’t reasonably or afford to do, and having a 10-ton crane in the garage to be able to lift shipping containers in the air is one of them. So Wayne contacted a septic tank company whose number he got from a lawyer friend and had them put the container into the hole for him.
And the septic tank company was perfect for the job—they had a crane, after all. Wayne was glad he contacted them, because, although he had many friends, all of their strength combined wouldn’t have been able to lift the container an atom off the ground.
Like a Glove!
One might be interested to know that Wayne had more than just the usual reasons to make the hole slightly bigger than the container. Sure, he needed some wiggle room, so to speak, and sure, one could say he needed space to be able to run some wires for electricity, but he had more reasons than that. Wayne, as it happened, left two feet of space on all sides of the container, and a few feet of space more for the swinging door.
Now that Wayne has the container lying snugly inside the hole that he so epically dug, he can now go to the more exciting part of the project. And while you’re sitting there thinking you have an idea of what the result will be, trust us, you haven’t got the slightest clue.
A Sump Pump is What Every Underground Shelter Needs
Another thing Wayne knew he needed to install in his epic underground shelter was a sump pump. This pump is commonly found in basements or areas of the home that are below the water table level. It is used to remove water that accumulates in an area to help keep the place dry.
After all, the last thing Wayne wants is for his underground bunker to be filled with water should a storm arrive. Wayne knew that the expensive sump pump that he paid for was one of the more important investments he’s made for the creation of the bunker.
Needless to say, what purpose would an underground bunker have if you had no way of entering it from above? With this in mind, Wayne constructed a concrete staircase leading to the underground bunker’s entrance. He also made sure that the topmost step was exactly the same level as the roofing of his container.
The staircase setup brought a little swag to the construction project, which was exactly what Wayne intended. He didn’t simply slap a ladder or a corny pole to his bunker, he went for the staircase, which was more challenging to build, but cooler to look at.
Support Beam For Support
Wayne was no novice in construction. He wisely installed these two I-beams that are pictured to support his bunker. A large shipping container like his can still be a victim to the movement of the soil below, and Wayne knew this; hence he installed these two large beams to give it the maximum amount of support.
The beams that Wayne installed, as seen in the picture, actually have more than just one purpose. They not only support the bunker and give it some degree of stability to combat the shifting of the soil below, but they also provide a frame for the exterior of the shelter that Wayne intended to construct.