Part of the American dream is to have a huge house with a backyard in which your dogs and children can run around and play. However, by achieving this dream and having nice things in your life, it can cause the people around you to become jealous. It may be because you’re doing extremely well in your job, you’ve started a business of your own, or you have bought the latest sports car. For Wayne Martin, things were a little different. He already had the house and the yard, so he decided to start a whole new project that would be the source of envy for his entire neighborhood.
Plans For The Hole
When Wayne started digging the hole in his backyard, people thought he was crazy. The size of the hole indicated that he might want to put in a swimming pool. Well, if it had been that huge a swimming pool, it would definitely have been the talk of the town.
The 20-Foot Container
Before Wayne started digging the hole in his backyard, he was scouring the internet trying to find a 20-foot container. Eventually, he managed to find one that was available at quite a low price. It’s quite surprising to find out how many of these containers are on sale on the internet.
Keeping Costs Low
When you have your own DIY project, it is important to remember to keep costs low. If you start splurging on equipment or luxuries that you do not need, you will soon lose focus and mess up your entire plan. The only thing that allowed Wayne to bring the project together was his ambition and the fact that he found the container so cheap.
Installing The Door
After Wayne bought the container, the first thing he did was swap out the huge double doors for a swing door that would open up on one side. It made getting in and out of the container easy since the previous double doors were quite heavy and difficult to operate for a single person.
Sealing The Container
When Wayne was sealing the container, he made sure that nothing could get in or out of it. This was done to prevent any leaks. Even the swing door that he had installed opened inwards and not outwards. There was only one point of entry into the container and it was through the swing door.
Making The Right Measurements
Wayne wanted the container in the ground, which is why he had to ensure that the hole was deep enough. He dug the ground two feet deeper than the height of the container and even left two feet of space all around the sides. There was extra room for the door to swing too.
Lining The Bottom
Wayne had lined up the bottom of the hole with pea gravel so that the container had something soft to land on while also being able to filter through to the soil below. You might be confused as to what is going on with the hole and the container but if you are just patient enough, you will soon see the magic unfold.
Leaving Room Above The Container
Now we know that Wayne had about two feet of extra space when it came to the height of the container. This meant that there would be some extra space above the container after it was put in the hole. You might be wondering why there was a need to have this extra space. You will soon find out why.
Hitting A Snag
Since this was a DIY project for Wayne, he was trying to do everything himself without hiring any professional help. However, he was soon facing a problem. He did not have the equipment to pick up the container and lay it in the hole. He could ask his friends for some help picking up the container but it would be incredibly dangerous.
Hiring A Professional
Against his wishes, Wayne decided to hire some professional help to deal with the problem. After all, he did not have a crane lying around his house that could lift up a 20-foot container. The professional help came in the form of a septic tank company who came and lowered the container into the ground.
A Perfect Fit
Since Wayne had left two feet of extra space all around the container in the hole, the container fit perfectly inside. There was more than enough wiggle room for the container so if any adjustments were to be made to the positioning, now would be the time.
The Beginning Of The Real Project
The end goal was not to have a container buried in the ground. This was just the first step. Wayne had something else planned for the hole that he had spent so much time digging in his backyard.
Putting In The Sump Pump
A sump pump is necessary when you are building a bunker underground. This would allow the excess water to drain out of the hole. It will also help you keep your bunker above the water line that runs below it.
Wayne’s Plans For The Bunker
Are you still confused as to why Wayne was building a bunker in his backyard? Well, just carry on reading and you will find out why.
Putting In The Entrance
Since the bunker was underground, Wayne had to find a way to reach the door. He put in concrete steps and made sure the top step was on the same level as the top of the bunker.
Not The Most Popular Choice
Most people would have used a ladder or a fire pole as an entrance into the bunker. It would have used up less space. However, since Wayne had a lot of extra space, he did not mind putting in a rather grand entrance to his bunker.
Adding The Support Beams
There was still the danger that the ground could shift, causing the container to becoming unstable. This is why Wayne added two support beams to keep the container as stable as possible and not take any chances.
The Multi-fold Purpose
The support beams were not just there to prevent the bunker from shifting. They also served as a frame for the exterior design that Wayne had planned for.
Installing The Roof
When most people are building an underground bunker, they do not consider putting a roof on top since the roof of the container would serve as a roof for the bunker as well. However, Wayne wanted the whole structure to look good, not just the front and the inside.
The Beams Come In To Help
Since Wayne was building a roof over the container, it was going to require a lot of framework. This is where the beams came in. They served as a part of the framework over which the roof would be built.
The Underground Roof
It is rather strange to think that there could be a roof underground. However, an underground roof was exactly what Wayne had planned for and he used heavy metal sheets to form its shape. This could now support the weight of a fully-grown person.
The Exterior Was Finally Taking Shape
With the roof laid on top, the exterior of the bunker was almost complete. No one had any idea as to what Wayne was planning for his bunker. However, given the fact that he went through so much trouble to make things perfect, we are sure that whatever he had planned for the underground bunker will blow your mind.
An Unsatisfying Entrance
Wayne was rather unsatisfied with the entrance to his bunker. We have already shown you how he was planning to have a rather grand entrance for it and in order to achieve that, he left some space in the roof of the bunker. This allowed him to ensure that the entrance would be as grand as he had imagined.
Go Big Or Go Home
After leaving the space in the roof, he put up some temporary support bars to keep the roof supported. Many people thought that he shouldn’t have focused so much on the entrance of the bunker since most people were not going to think about it so much. However, Wayne did as he wanted and started the work on the entrance way.
Wayne was quite concerned about the safety of his bunker, which is why he made sure that everything about it was up to the city’s safety code.
Built To Last
Wayne’s bunker was in almost every sense built to last. It could have served quite well as a bomb shelter too. However, even at this point, Wayne still had not let anyone know what he was going to use his bunker for.
Adding The Air Vents
The whole purpose of an underground bunker is defeated if you cannot breathe when you are in it. To ensure the proper flow of air, Wayne installed two 12-inch air vents at the front and back of the bunker to ensure that there was always fresh air inside.
Securing In With Concrete
Even though the bunker was set in pretty tight, Wayne was not taking any chances. He poured in concrete on all sides of the bunker as well as on the top of the roof. There was no way that the bunker was going anywhere even when the ground freezes in the winter.
Six Inches Of Concrete
Wayne did not just put in a thin layer of concrete over the roof of the bunker. Instead, he put in a thick six-inch layer, so whether it rained or snowed, nothing would go through the top. Next, it was time to build the interior.
More Protection For The Entrance
When the concrete had all dried up, Wayne decided to add more cinder blocks to the entranceway. This way, he was strengthening the only part of his bunker that was going to face the wrath of the weather outside. Also, as we told you earlier, he wanted the entranceway to stand out.
Removing The Support Beams
After the concrete was set, Wayne found it was safe to remove the temporary safety beams that were holding up the roof. Everything was about safety for the bunker and the cinder blocks were not just for show, they were providing the strong foundation for the structure.
Filling Up The Hole
When you have put so much effort into building the perfect bunker, you cannot just fill it in with cheap dirt. Wayne decided that the hole needed an upgrade so he put in high-quality soil to fill in the hole around the bunker. After everything was filled up, Wayne wanted to seed some plants and grass in the soil.
Using The Bunker
It turned out that Wayne put in all this effort so that he could store his wine and other liquor in the bunker. It makes sense since all wine and liquor are best stored underground and it helps to preserve the alcohol.
Just A Wine Cellar?
When you have a container, you are not limited to using it for a single purpose. You can store almost anything in it. There is a lot of room in this particular container and Wayne used every inch of it to store things that were crowding his house.
Serving As A Hideout
A bunker could also serve you as a hideout when natural disaster strikes. You can stock it up with supplies that will help you and your family survive. Not just natural disasters, it can also be a good place to wait out riots or wars.
Plans Available For Everyone
Wayne decided to share the plans of his creation with everyone around the world. Now, all you need is a backyard that is large enough to build the bunker and a little money to buy all the supplies. Everything that he did is available to the world in a step by step format.
Sharing Tips And Recommendations
After Wayne was done building his secret bunker, he added some tips and recommendations for anyone who wanted to follow in his footsteps. One, he recommended adding handrails down the stairs. And two, he recommended an overhang for the entrance. Both of these things would come in handy to either deal with slippery stairs or avoid the stairs from getting slippery.
Other Fallout Shelters
Wayne is not the only one who has created a bunker in his backyard. There are many Americans who have created these fallout shelters in preparation for any disaster. Even though there is no war currently happening on American soil, many Americans have already started to prepare for the eventuality.
A Booming Business
Ever since 2017, the sheer number of bunker companies has risen. Foreign tensions were escalating and the average American did not feel safe in his own home. So, everyone was getting bunkers or starting to save up to get a bunker one day.
The Increase In Sales
Clyde Scott, who owns Rising Bunkers, a bunker building company based in Texas, said the business was at an all-time high in 2016-2017. His sales have increased by an incredible 400 percent.
Cost Of Wayne’s Bunker
Wayne’s bunker didn’t cost him very much due to not spending out on professionals. All in all, his bunker cost him nearly $12,500. If you are planning a DIY project of your own and want to create a bunker of your own, you should have a budget somewhere near this amount.
How Did It Cost So Little?
Wayne used his own tractor to dig and fill the hole. He put in quite a lot of his own efforts as well, which is how he saved quite a lot on labor.
Paul Seyfried, President and CEO of Utah Shelter Systems, says that the bunker business has been quite busy in the last few years. Even though he has customers all over the country, a majority of his customers are located in Texas, New York and California. “The smallest shelters start at around $50,000. The largest shelters we build, a 12 [foot] by 50 [foot], usually runs right around $100,000.”
For Sale In South Dakota
Vivos xPoint is a decommissioned army base located in South Dakota. It remains unused since 1967 but there are some plans to re-use some of the bunkers on base for the citizens of the USA. There are a total of 575 concrete bunkers and they are rather hard to find in the grasslands. These bunkers are available for lease for $25,000 for 99 years and $1000 annually.
The good thing about having so many bunker companies is that people get to have a lot of different options. The bunker companies design the shelters to provide you with the comfort of your home and keep you safe at the same time.
Trump’s Presidency Boosted Sales
Bunker companies have revealed that when Trump came into office in 2016, the sales of bunkers were three times as much as when people were scared that the world was going to end in 2012. One company, Atlas Survival Shelters, sold 30 bunkers in three days after Trump’s win in the elections while they had sold only 10 bunkers in the entire year of 2011.
Another Story In The Making
A man in Arizona, John Sims, bought a home in the midtown neighborhood of Tucson. However, he had no idea what he was getting himself into. It turned out to be something that changed his life completely. He had heard a rumor about the property and he just could not contain his curiosity and ended up buying the house.
Something Buried In The Backyard
According to the previous owner of the house, there was something buried in the backyard. John was all set to find out what the secret was and there was no stopping him. In the end, he was able to solve a decades old mystery.
Trusting The Previous Owner
John had bought the house from a friend, which is why he was sure that if there was something wrong with the house, he would have been warned beforehand. He knew it was safe to live in the house since his friend had already lived in it for years.
Spreading The Rumor
After John had closed on the property, his friend told him about the rumor that surrounded the property. He said that there was something mysterious that had been buried somewhere in the backyard years earlier.
Not Having The Time To Find Out
John’s friend knew of the mystery in the backyard since it had been told to him by the previous owner. However, he never had the time to find out what exactly was buried in the backyard. Simply put, he did not have the time to dig up his own backyard.
Could Not Stop Thinking About It
John was unpacking his stuff and was all ready to move into the new house. However, he could not stop thinking about the rumor that had been told to him. While he was going about his routine, his mind kept wandering back to the rumor and he kept having the urge to find out what was in his backyard.
A Mystery To Solve
John was becoming obsessed with the mystery presented to him. He knew that there was something in his backyard and he knew that he had to get to the bottom of it. He even asked his friend to borrow a shovel, jokingly of course.
A Shovel Was Not Enough
Soon, John realized that a shovel would not be enough to find out what was under his backyard. He would require a lot of equipment to solve the mystery and even though he had no idea what he was looking for, he began his investigation.
Even though John enjoyed thinking that there was a mystery brewing in his backyard, he knew that it could be all just a rumor. He knew that he could just be pondering over nothing. On the other hand, he was also wondering that the surprise could be quite amazing as well.
Deciding On Priorities
John knew that he could just make any repairs later on after he damaged his backyard. He could simply fill in all the holes that he dug up to solve the mystery. He decided that solving the mystery was more important than simply worrying about his own backyard.
And The Temperatures Run High
Living in Tucson, Arizona means that the temperatures can get really high, sometimes even in the triple digits. These were the conditions that John had to work in if he were to start digging up his own backyard.
He Was Determined
John did not get bothered about the high temperatures of the city. He was determined to solve the mystery in his backyard and continued on digging without caring about the heat. With a single shovel in his hand, he started digging, hoping that his hard work would pay off.
Digging Without A Plan
John had no idea where to dig. He chose random spots and just started digging. He did not even have a plan when he was digging the holes in his backyard. Even after digging up four holes in the backyard, he had not found anything that would give him hope.
The Sudden Mystery
John suddenly had a thought that he might have destroyed whatever was in his backyard. He thought that since he was digging without a plan, he might have accidentally snagged whatever was buried there and he was beginning to give up hope of ever finding anything.
Taking A Break
John was disappointed at not having found anything in his backyard after digging up four holes, so he decided to take a break. This led him to think about things in a different light and from a different perspective. Suddenly, he came up with a brilliant idea that would change the way he could locate the mysterious treasure located in the house.
Tracking Down The Records
John went down to the offices that held the municipal records and finally ended up tracking the records for his own house. This gave him more of an idea as to how he would locate the treasure that was lying in the backyard of his own house.
Finding New Clues
There were many records in the Tucson municipal records that told John things that he already knew. These details included things like the year that the house was built in and a rough sketch, the plans of the house. However, among the original sketches, he learned something new.
The Work Done By A Pool Company
The records showed that a company, Whitaker Pools, had applied for a permit to build a swimming pool in the house in 1961, nearly 50 years earlier. However, John was confused since there was no swimming pool in his house. He began to wonder as to what exactly the work was that the company did all those years ago.
Time To Get Serious
Since John had a better idea as to where the mystery treasure could be, he decided that he would not just go around digging randomly in his backyard. He knew that he had to be careful from now on and it was time to get serious if he ever wanted to find the treasure.
John decided to hire a whole team of consultants who came in with the proper tools to find what was hidden in John’s backyard. They came armed with tools such as metal detectors, which would give them a better idea as to where to dig exactly.
The Search Was On
Everyone was more focused and the search turned out to be a bit more measured. Soon, however, John found out that the mysteries that were surrounding his house turned out to be all true. Even as the team of consultants were hard at work, they did not find out much since the metal detectors were mostly silent in the backyard.
Music To The Ears
Tensions were running high when the metal detectors couldn’t find anything. The team of consultants were coming up empty-handed and they were beginning to lose hope as well. However, things soon changed and the metal detectors started to go off. This was music to John’s ears.
Two Spots Of Interests
Everyone was overjoyed to hear the sounds of the metal detectors going off and the interesting thing was that the metal detectors had found not one but two points of interest in the backyard. The team marked the spots and John was able to take a short break before continuing on with the search.
Bringing Out The Shovel
John brought the shovel back out again and got back to the task of digging in the hot Arizona air. With great anticipation, he focused his energy on digging at the two marked spots and was waiting excitedly for the treasure to be revealed.
Hitting The Hard Spot
John’s efforts paid off when he started digging a hole at the second site. It was not long before John’s shovel hit something hard and he heard the scrape of metal against metal. He was just so close to finally solving the mystery in his backyard.
Digging For Three Feet
John had been digging for three feet before he found what the metal detectors had found. His shovel had hit the metal object and he discovered that the metal object was a septic tank.
A Disappointing Find
The septic tank was a disappointing find for John. It meant that he had to be extra careful when he was digging around his backyard. He had to be careful of not damaging the septic tank or bursting a pipe since it could be very bad news.
Not A Septic Tank After All
After John dug more around the spot, he found out that it was not a septic tank after all. He found out that the thing that was buried in his backyard was something much more interesting.
Time Passed Quickly
As John carefully used the shovel to dig around the spot, he began to uncover the structure. It was not going to be long before his finding would be out in the open and ready for an inspection. The anticipation of having the treasure almost out in the open made time pass quite quickly for John.
The structure that John had uncovered was an entrance way to something. John was now confused as to where the path would lead. He was also not sure as to how to get into it.
Experience Came In Handy
John was quite surprised to see a portal in his backyard. He continued to clear the area around the hole and soon found a hatch with a lid. He pulled off the lid but since he had previously been a fire department captain, he knew it was not safe to enter the opening just yet.
Waiting For A Day
John was excited about finding the secret entry to something in his backyard. However, he knew that he had to wait a day before he could enter because of the potential dangers of entering the confined space.
The Dangers That Awaited
John knew that there could be quite a lot of danger waiting for him in the hole. It could be filled with mold or toxic fumes. John also knew that he had to have some people around him to assist just in case the structure collapsed when he finally went in.
Moment Of Truth
The moment had finally come when John was going to enter the hole. This was the moment that he had been waiting. This was the moment when he was going to learn what was beyond the hatch.
What Was Below The Hatch?
When John looked down the hatch, he was surprised. It appeared to be an arrangement of sharp metal blades that formed a spiral staircase that led even further down into the Earth.
It Was Risky
If John wanted it his way, he would have just rushed down the staircase. However, his training as a fire captain and his common sense told him not to since there were just so many risks involved.
The Delay In Satisfaction
John knew the risks which was why he had to wait. For starters, the structure had been built over half a century ago and he had no idea what sort of condition it was in. Secondly, he needed people around him in case the structure collapsed and he became trapped inside.
A Plan In The Making
John knew that his gratification for solving the mystery was not as important as his safety. John and a few of his trusted friends came up with a plan to get inside the structure. They documented the entire thing so that they could share the details of their findings with others.
Widening The Entrance
The friends got together and started to widen and reinforce the entryway. They added new rebars and layers of concrete to ensure everyone’s safety. They had to work in the Arizona heat which is why they put up a tent to block some of the heat.
Setting Up An Electrical Line
While most people would just rush in with a flashlight, John and his friends knew better. They planned ahead. John installed an electrical line over the staircase so that they could illuminate the entire way down and they could also use power tools if necessary.
Putting In Fresh Air
John and his friends did not want to risk going into a place that might be filled with mold or have gas leaks. This is why, they placed a pipe near the entryway that would push in fresh air and make things safer before they could go in.
Taking The Last Step
John and his friends could not fix the spiral staircase so they needed to find a way to descend safely. John found a solution by placing a tall ladder and securing it near the entryway.
Going Down The Ladder
This was the moment that John and his friends had been waiting for. John was about to climb down the ladder and he was going to be the first man in over 50 years to go down the hole. He was just wondering what he was going to see down there.
Rung By Rung
As John went down the ladder, he saw that he had stepped into a vast room that was in quite good shape. The floor was solid and there was an entire system of funnels that formed a complex down there.
From The Cold War
There was nothing in the vast room. Soon, it became obvious to John and his friends that they were in a fallout shelter, a relic of the Cold War when people were afraid of the tensions between the US and the Soviet Union, and had nuclear bunkers built below their properties.
An Opportunity Presented Itself
John and his friends had interesting ideas about turning the bunker into a cigar or wine bar. But John wanted to repair the stairs, clean up the interior, repaint it and turn it into a really cool man cave, HAM shack and Civil Defense Museum.
Restocking The Shelter
John began to put the museum together and started to fill it with artifacts like water supply barrels, Geiger counters, HAM radios and sanitation kits. It is rather impressive how he was able to get a hold of such vintage items in excellent conditions.