This is sort of a combination update/book review. Since my initial article, I have become somewhat fascinated with either very cheap, or nearly free housing. But not just any low cost housing, but rather housing that would benefit from thermal stability (i.e. earth sheltered). So after looking through a variety of sources, I decided that I would pick up the classic book: Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties: And How to Make Them, By D.C. Beard. This book was written by Daniel Beard, who was one of the founders of the Boy Scouts of America (And whom one would imagine is spinning at about 4500 rpm’s in his grave, after seeing what the SJW’s have turned his fine former institution into). I was kind of hoping that there would be some earth sheltered options, and there were a few different options offered in this book. After all, we are talking about shelters for poor folks that will not be able to afford to heat them in the conventional sense of the word, and even less so following cheap energy.
It was a decent enough book, though I would have to say that I was mildly disappointed on some level. While a few of the sketches are decent, and provide the details enough to build the shelters discussed. Some of the other shelters lack the adequate details to build them. For me, this is not as much ahow to book as much as it is an idea book. But it provides enough detail for those that have a basic understanding of carpentry. Out of all of the plansoutlined, The American Boy’s Hogan P.107 was probably the most practical for what I had envisioned. There is no indication in the name, but it is a subterranean dugout shelter. You would also want to reinforce it beyond the basic plan (Also recommended by the author).
Some of the wording and terms contained within, might be enough to trigger the PC crowd. For example, “The Dago” and the “The Fagot Shack” (One presumes that Richard Simmons resides in one of those :D ) could send these folks scurrying to the nearest safe space, seeking a free cup of comfort coco, and a safety blanket :D
All in all, I’d say that it’s an okay book, and that it’s worth picking up a copy, but I’d try to get a reduced cost, used copy. And be certain that the copy that you pick up comes with the sketches. Apparently there’s a scanned knock off copy floating around out there that does not contain these images, and is useless as a result.
I would like to add that you are better off getting a paper copy. You can get it online for free, but none of them that I have seen have the pictures that really makes the book worth havingReplyDelete
I think the pictures are worth more than all the writing, for ideas. I know I had a copy about thirty years ago-never thought to replace it. So I'm not sure how much you gain over getting a wilderness living book that covers less shelter but more of everything else.Delete
Yes, for sure wrenchr2. I have the paper copy, and make it a point to buy paper copies on all publications that fall into the survival library category. So anything medical, building, or somehow “how to” related.Delete
I downloaded the $50 and up underground house book, and it was immediately apparent that this was the type of book that you really want a physical copy of. Though last I checked, I seem to recall rather high prices on that one, so I never did get a physical copy.
I don't seem to recall that a paper book is all that necessary. Once you have the basic info you are probably okay. There might be some info that is nice to have, but I think you can muddle through. I'd feel comfortable without the paper. Did you know that the sequel is also out on PDF? E-mail me is you can't find it. Good info on different types of rigid board insulation, if nothing else besides inspirational.Delete
Thanks Jim. I have the PDF on both my tablet and desktop, so I’m probably good to go then, but might consider the physical copy down the road. Didn’t know about the sequel, but will look for it. I’m starting to like that rigid board insulation. You can pretty much just lay it over your bare walls and call it good. I’ve done sheet rock and spackling before, and it’s a chrome plated bitch to the point that I’d prefer never to have to do it again. Then again, that pretty much sums up everything that I have ever built before, hence my ongoing search for cheap and super easy.Delete
As a counter, I would like to recommend the "$50 Underground House". It contains information on how to build a shelter that is partially excavated from a hillside location. Cost has probably risen since its publication but so has everything else.ReplyDelete
Thanks. I had posted the above @ 7:29 AM before seeing your post. I saw a used copy of this book for $16. I’m going through my PDF version now to determine if it’s worth dropping the $16 on a physical copy. $16 is a lot for me, but if there is some useful information that pertains to what I want to do, and that warrants having a physical copy, then it’s worth it.Delete
I'm thinking there is a math section in the back which is probably the only thing you need hard copy on? Been awhile. Do you have a printer? A few pages might be all you need.Delete
Yes, I have a printer. I’ll go through the book to determine if I will be using anything from it, and then perhaps print it out. Right now I’m leaning towards using store bought lumber, and it appears that he used raw timbers. I won’t have such resources in the high desert, but my project won’t be very big, and I won’t be using so much lumber that it will be a costly venture. Most of the price I pay will be in wear and tear on my 50 something year old body.Delete
That timber worked good for him, as even decades later he had to walk the last portion to his land. It had to be a bitch getting anything heavy up there ( he had some big plastic barrels full of wheat kernels, so at one time he was hiking that in, and even just one bag at a time! )Delete
"$50 Underground House"ReplyDelete
LOL, probably the funniest thing I'll see today.
It's called a grave - you dig a hole in the ground, throw all your money and stuff in it, jump in, and pull the dirt in over top of yourself. I heard it's nice and warm, and bullet proof. Bought one for my mother in law last year.
A grave is deeper than wider. A underground house is wider than deeper. I don't see an issue.Delete