Idaho Modern Oldtimer Builds An Underground & Solar House For $50…

Idaho Modern Oldtimer Builds An Underground & Solar House For $50...

Mike Oehler lived for over 30 years in an underground home that he built for $50 (and expanded for $500) on his land in Northern Idaho near the Canadian border. Now in his seventies his arthritis keeps him from hiking up to his home, but he continues to “write and proselytize”.

In 1968 like thousands of other San Franciscans hoping to go “back to the land”, Oehler bought property and began to build a homestead. After spending a winter freezing in a small cabin, he designed a home that would use the earth as insulation. With his first attempt he fell into the easy errors of what he calls a “first thought house”: a hole cut into a hillside with south-facing windows.

Gradually he began to innovate with subterranean design, creating better ways for letting light in: among them “the Hollywood Wing”, “the Royer foyer”, gables and most-importantly the “uphill patio” (which also provides space for an earth-sheltered greenhouse). He also created an inexpensive, low-tech approach to basic design with what he calls PSP or Post / shoring / polyethlene. Check it out in the video below…



Here are a few reasons to consider building underground…

1: Warm in winter, Cool in summer. 2: Half the building materials 3: Build it yourself with hand tools 4: Less taxes. “What for this hole in the ground?!” 5: Aesthetically pleasing 6: Can be built by anyone 7: Camouflage it so it can’t be found 8: It’s defensible 7: Takes up none of earths growing surface 8: Radiation resistant 9: Tornado Proof. What do you think? Would you live underground?

If you like this idea, be sure to share it with your friends and inspire someone you know. Anything becomes possible with just a little inspiration…

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