How to build a bunker

Written by ehow contributor
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You don't have to be in active warfare to want a bunker. If you have lots of land and like to play games like paintball, then having a bunker can add a new dimension to the game. Whether it's for safety or fun, here's how to build your own bunker.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Check the zoning for the land you want to build the bunker on. Many cities have strict guidelines on construction and require plans to be submitted and approved before any building or additions take place on a property. To avoid fines, contact your local building department.

  2. 2

    Decide the purpose of the bunker, how many people it needs to house and the accommodations that you would like to include when you build it. A bunker built for a paintball war may need to house a few people but need little else. A hunting bunker will likely only house one person, but would include a few more accommodations and possibly heat for the cold winter months. A safety bunker for a family would be a more permanent structure that has the ability to keep a family comfortable and safe for a month or even longer.

  3. 3

    Hire a licensed contractor for building a permanent bunker for emergencies. These shelters need to have a protection factor of 40, which is the minimum in the United States. These structures may also include fresh air ventilation, and account for any water leakage and ground water tables much like a basement.

  4. 4

    Start digging. Essentially a bunker is a hole in the ground, so that's the first step no matter what plan you choose. Try to keep the walls as vertical as possible and continually measure to make sure that the hole you're digging fits the plan you have, especially if different levels are needed for the bunker.

  5. 5

    Put in reinforcements while digging. This will ensure that the hole's walls do not collapse during the process. Temporary reinforcements can be made from 2-by-4s and can be switched out to rebar for concrete foundation if necessary.

  6. 6

    Create a roof for the hole by using a structure of 2-by-4s and plywood. Material that is waterproof or will repel the elements should be used to cover the plywood. Account for any windows or entry holes while building the roof.

Tips and warnings

  • For houses without basements, building an underground bunker can provide a place for your family to go in the event of extreme weather or dangerous situations.
  • It's best to hire a local contractor to ensure the work done to build the bunker is up to code and done correctly to pass an inspection.

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