I believe it is time for me to do more posts about longer term preparedness. To me your home is an important part of being prepared for the long haul. Aside from transportation, keeping your home comfortable will probably be your biggest expense and use of energy. Even if you are a deranged Rush Limbaugh fan, convinced that nukes are wonderful, you probably don't want to spend more than you have to on keeping your home at a comfortable temperature.
A way of keeping your heating and cooling expenses to a minimum is to build your home underground. It is possible to have a dry, light and airy underground home for much less than building a regular home.
I recently read a book by Mike Oehler, about how to use his method of underground home building. He has his book written for novice home builders to allow you to have the information to build your own underground home. The title of his book is, "The $50 & Up Underground House Book".
If you want to have a self-sufficient lifestyle, or if preparedness is important to you, then you should take a look at Mike Oehler's book. If you think of the book as only a book it is expensive. If you think of it as a way to save thousands of dollars on having your own home by substituting elbow grease for money, it is a bargain. He also offers a set of videos of one of his workshops on planning and building a home using his methods for $99.00.
For videos that is expensive, but in his videos, he lets you attend a workshop that allows you to participate vicariously in drawing up your own home building plans.
The back of the book has tables to help you calculate how many support posts you need depending on post diameter and length. He had an engineer help make those tables. They take into account snow load on top of your roof, once it is built. This is particularly gratifying for me, since I live in Alaska and we get a fair amount of snow.
Mike Oehler's method of building underground homes allows a lot of light and air into your home. There are videos available on the internet of Mike's own home and those of other people who have used his methods. You can see for yourself that they are not dark dank places. The plans are made so that moisture is not a problem for underground homes made with his methods.
Mike has thoughtfully provided tips on how to find recycled (cheap or free,) materials to make building your underground home easier on your budget. He makes allowances for the cowardly who wish to use a contractor and still save over the costs of building a more conventional home.
I don't believe that this post does justice to Mike Oehler's underground home building methods, so will continue telling you about it in my next post.