Living in an underground home is tempting for many people. While they do offer many benefits, there are also just as many things to take into consideration before you make the investment. All underground home plans have to be different, depending on the climate, soil and other environmental factors. However, with the right structural engineers and architects, you can enjoy living in your custom underground home for years to come.
Advantages of Underground Homes
- Conservation of Energy – One of the main reasons why people build concrete underground homes is because of the tremendous savings on energy bills. Heating and cooling costs are greatly reduced because the home is not exposed to the weather elements as directly.
- Protection Against Extreme Weather – Since custom underground homes are protected by the earth naturally, extreme weather patterns don’t affect them much. This means insuring them is usually cheaper and they are safer to live in overall.
- Privacy – When people can’t see your home from the ground level, you have as much privacy as you could ever want or need. Having a private and quiet outdoor space is one of the best benefits people enjoy with custom underground homes.
Disadvantages of Underground Homes
- Condensation Issues – Humidity levels are generally higher in underground homes. This could cause condensation issues within the walls and other areas of the home. You’ll need to consider incorporating more insulation to prevent condensation from intruding and eventually leading to mold and mildew issues.
- Waterproofing Challenges – Since water flows downward, having a completely waterproofed underground home can be a challenge. A structural engineer will have to strategically place drainage areas in and around your home to avoid potential water damage.
- Ventilation Concerns – Many underground home plans include a ventilator to exchange outdoor air with indoor fresh air. Having good indoor air quality is a concern for underground homes, since the home generally does not get the best air flow below the surface.
At BE Structural, we want to make sure you understand all the challenges and benefits of building concrete underground homes. These can be great structures to live in, but you need the expertise of a structural engineer to determine the proper location and building materials to use. Be sure to contact us if you’re considering living in an underground home so we can analyze the area to maximize the benefits and limit the disadvantages.