How To Build an Underground Bunker in 12 Easy Steps


Nuclear war? The Apocalypse? World War 3? Countless unanticipated events would necessitate the construction of an underground shelter. Let's take a look at what an underground bunker is and why you might need one before diving into this article on how to build one.


building a bunker underground



What Is an Underground Bunker?


A bunker is an underground safe house built to safeguard people and valuable items from bombs and other assaults. During the Cold War, bunkers were frequently employed as weapons facilities and storage facilities. Bunkers can also be used to protect you and your valuables from tornadoes.


Reasons Why You Would Need an Underground Bunker


1) Natural Disasters


Natural disasters have recently increased in frequency, and this is a trend that is unlikely to lessen very soon. Mother Nature has thrown us several events that would be safer and more comfortable if we had an emergency shelter further down the road.


2) Manmade Disasters


There is no lack of tragedies hanging around every corner as we all watch the never-ending news cycle.

It doesn't take a cynical survivalist to understand that we're heading for a rough patch. It would be a terrible mistake to not prioritize manmade disasters in your journey to learn how to construct an underground bunker.


3) Pandemic


Everyone understands what a pandemic is by now. Pandemics are described as an outbreak that spreads across a vast geographic region, in case you've been living on a deserted island since 2019. Isolation is essential for survival during a pandemic. This is another important reason why you need to build an underground bunker.

Let's learn how to build an underground bunker now that we know what one is and why we need one.

 Reasons to Create a Bunker


How To Build an Underground Bunker


1) Get Permits


permit checklist on clipboard

Credit: Fremont


Permissions are needed to keep you and your neighbors safe. You cannot simply begin digging a large hole in your backyard. This is particularly true if you reside in a densely populated area. It can be tough to obtain bunker permission for your backyard in a city. Underground gas lines, water pipelines, electrical wires, and other utilities can be found in most metropolitan locations.

You don't want to break a pipe and have to pay a large pipe fee, or worse, have your project shut down. Depending on your state's legislation, permits may be necessary for everything from electrical to plumbing to grading and construction.

It is strongly advised that you obtain all of these permits before beginning construction on your underground bunker.


2) Locationlocation pin on map

Credit: Economictimes


Find a location with clay-free soil. If you choose rocky soil, be aware that it is more difficult to excavate, so be prepared to put in more effort. Natural gas pockets, bedrock, electrical circuits, and shallow water tables should all be avoided.

Places near the bottom of a steep slope should be avoided.

Install a French drain if your only alternative is clay-rich soil. Any location near major bodies of water should be avoided because they are more likely to flood, compromising the structural integrity of your bunker. Similarly, stay away from any combustible area.

Avoid digging in an area where trees and vegetation are present. You should also avoid digging into any utility wires. You'll know where the utilities are situated if you dial 811.


3) Plan Out the Layout of Your Underground Shelter


blueprint map

Credit: Live Home 3D


Before you get started, consider how big you want your bunker to be. Is there enough room for more than one person? How much room do you require? What will you store in your underground bunker? Draw a blueprint with the length, height, and width once you've answered these questions.

Determine where the bathroom, kitchen, washroom, and common space will be located.

Consider the types of furniture you'd like to include, such as sofas, chairs, and beds. To obtain a sense of where everything will go, write or draw each item.


4) Materials


construction materials wood ladder pipes boards paint roller

Credit: World Construction Today


The material you use in the bunker's construction can have a big role in its long-term endurance. Concrete is a good option for your bunker. It's simple to work with, durable, and may last a lifetime with minimal upkeep. Concrete is also a cost-effective option.

Concrete and bricks can be combined. Bricks are strong and inexpensive, and they make excellent insulators. Steel is a durable and robust material. Metal sheets are also used by certain people in their underground bunkers. Metal sheets are robust and lasting, but they are expensive and require insulation.

Similarly, using wood to build your bunker's foundation or the entire structure is not a good idea. Wood is porous and susceptible to moisture, and it can decay and weather. You don't want the ceiling of your underground bunker to collapse on you.  It's also prone to infestation, which will be a major issue in your bunker.


5) Excavate


excavator digging up land to build  underground



You can start digging for your backyard bunker once you've gathered all of your materials. Obviously, using an excavator is the better option. For a job of this magnitude, a shovel is insufficient. Excavation equipment allows you to dig swiftly and efficiently, even in narrow, inaccessible spaces. An excavator can assist you in achieving the desired speed and accuracy.


6)Hide Your Underground Bunker’s Roof From View


camouflage bunker in woods

Credit: The Post-Star


Cover your bunker with soil and surrounding flora to keep anyone from discovering it. Make every effort to ensure that it merges in as much as possible with the surrounding environment.

To avoid water buildup and rodent habitat creation, use tire sidewalls instead of tires whenever possible. You can conceal your bunker's entrance by building a shed on top of it or by placing an outhouse on top of it. Make sure you install air vents so that it doesn't get too suffocating.


7) Strengthen the Shelter


strong concrete foundation bunker

Credit: BanksPhotos/Getty Images


To construct an underground bunker, you must first reinforce your shelter. Due to soil, water, vegetation, and other outside items, you'll have a lot of weight pressing down from the top no matter how deep you dig.

Before you build your shelter to support your bunker, start by laying a good foundation. To keep your bunker from collapsing, lay metal beams over the trench. For enhanced protection, reinforced concrete can be used to build an additional exterior layer. 

If left untreated, water damage can lead to the growth of mold and the destruction of your structures. Use waterproof materials, such as rubberized asphalt or waterproof coating, to coat your bunker and protective systems.


8) Power Your Bunkerportable red power generator with cables

Credit: Wegner


Batteries, solar panels, and generators will keep your bunker running. At all times, keep at least eight 6-volt gel-cell batteries in your bunker. In addition, for long-term power sources, consider solar panels and electrical generators. When you need to utilize your electricity generator, just remember to take it outside. For maximum efficiency, use batteries to power lights and radio transmission. Diesel generators are preferable to propane or gasoline generators.


9) Tanks, Filters, and Heaters Are All Good Investments


underground bunker in dirt

Credit: Rising S Bunkers


Later, you'll install a toilet in your backyard bunker so you can concentrate on making provisions for clean water for your consumption. Invest in a water tank to store your water, as well as a filter and heater.


10) Stock Up on Supplies


emergency closet supplies food drink

Credit: Economic Times


You'll be spending some time beneath your bunker during the initial incident, whether it's a radioactive holocaust or an apocalyptic scenario. Each individual should have enough food and water to last at least two weeks. Make sure you're refilling and changing your foods regularly; you don't want to eat spoiled food in an emergency.


11) Make Your Bathroom Area More Functional by Adding Portable Camping or Composting Toilet


composting white toilet

Credit: Rising S Bunkers


Composting toilets turn waste into fertilizer, but portable camping toilets require you to dispose of it yourself. The latter is better for long-term stays and situations where you can't leave your bunker.

Toilet paper and cleaning supplies should be readily available in your restroom.


12) Make it Warm and Inviting


decorated underground bunker

Credit: Atlas Survival Shelters


Your underground bunker doesn't have to be a bleak and dingy environment. It's best if you did everything you could to avoid any psychological harm caused by isolation. Cabin fever is a popular term for the bad emotions of solitude that many people experience. Some key living materials will help reduce cabin fever.

To keep yourself occupied, hang photos, wall-mounted furniture, construct a speaker system to play music, or add a fitness space. Make sure your living space is as homely as possible. If you want a luxury bunker, you can install hardwood floors. Your mental health is equally as essential as your physical health, so make sure you're taking care of it.




It takes a lot of effort to construct an underground bunker. To complete this job, you'll need to work together with your family and have a strong will. However, once you're finished, you'll have a secure environment for you, your loved ones, and your valuables. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your underground bunker today.