Ever wondered how much does it cost to build underground?
You are not alone.
Indeed subterranean architecture has always intrigued people all around the globe.
The mystery doesn’t just surround the architectonic challenge but also the economics of the whole process.
But is it really expensive as it sounds or are there factors we aren’t considering?
Why do some people opt for it while others hesitate?
Hang tight as we’re about to dig deep!
Table of Contents
Underground House Construction Costs
The cost to construct an underground house can vary widely with a number of factors impacting the total investment. These factors include the size and design complexity as well as the ground and groundwater conditions.
On average however you can expect an underground house construction cost of around $225 per square foot.
Several costs are unique to underground construction. This includes the potentially expensive excavation and earthwork which can range from $2 to $10 per square foot.
In areas with certain conditions like soft soils or high groundwater tables additional costs for items like ground support special drainage systems and waterproofing may apply. For instance waterproofing for a 1500 sq ft home is approximately $2500.
Furthermore specialist work is often necessary in these constructions which can escalate labor costs.
Size and Design Complexity
The size and design complexity of an underground house directly impacts the total construction cost. Building a basic utilitarian subterranean home can be relatively inexpensive.
However larger underground homes with modern conveniences or specialized design features can cost significantly more.
For example a small simple underground home can be built using shipping containers which can be bought for as cheap as $1k each offering around 400 sq/ft each. On the other hand larger homes or those including features like skylights for natural light or special mechanical systems and utilities can run to thousands of dollars.
In terms of design more complex structures often require additional work and materials such as retaining walls and additional waterproofing measures. As a guideline basic concrete construction ranges from $5-$10/sq ft with fancier finishes and masonry adding to the cost.
The addition of modern technology interior finishes and custom features will also increase overall expenses.
Excavation And Earthwork Costs
Let’s start by discussing the excavation and earthwork costs of building an underground dwelling. These costs can vary significantly depending on a variety of factors such as the ground conditions and the presence of groundwater.
If you’re digging in soft soils an acreage could cost you as little as $2 per square foot. Conversely if you’re excavating hard rock this can increase to a staggering $10 per square foot.
Foundation And Structural Components
The cost of building the foundation and structural components of an underground house varies on materials used.
For instance concrete foundations can cost between $5-$10 per square foot while a stone foundation falls in the range of $2-$5 per square foot. In contrast a steel foundation may cost between $10-$15 per square foot.
Costs also vary based on the construction design and processing methods used by the professionals involved in the project.
However it’s crucial to remember ground support structures can turn out to be expensive and to keep this in mind during the decision-making process.
Consulting with professionals is the best way to assess probable construction costs accurately avoiding potential costly pitfalls during construction.
Waterproofing And Insulation Costs
Waterproofing and insulation are two essential components of building an efficient underground home. Generally waterproofing expenses hover around $2500 for a 1500 sq ft home.
This cost is worth the protection it offers your home against groundwater and moisture damage.
Insulation serves an equally important role for energy economy contributing to savings on heating and air conditioning bills. Insulation costs around an additional $1500 for a house of 1500sqft.
These costs can however differ based on the specifics of your location acreage and the ground conditions.
Waterproofing should be high-quality because an ineffective job could lead to water leaks and condensation problems. It may also necessitate a special drainage system or a dehumidifying system to control moisture levels.
Considering the climate of your chosen location like the cold climates of Las Vegas or warmer regions like Coober Pedy can also factor into your budgeting. Deciding to build on hard rock or soft soils high or low groundwater table areas will impact on the initial cost.
Consulting with professionals is advised to get accurate cost estimates. Whether you aim for a basic utilitarian underground dwelling or plan to sport fancy finishes and modern conveniences it’s all part of the decision-making process.
Remember building an efficient and comfortable living space underground requires a careful balance of many variables. One of these includes ensuring to meet building code regulations.
Also proper waterproofing and insulation cost-saving measures that minimize energy bills play critical roles in the success of your underground home construction.