We strive in our lives in hopes of living a better life. We struggle and we work hard to live the American dream. Most of us dream of living in a big house with a beautiful yard and a good neighborhood. Well, this is what Wayne Martin already had, but that didn’t stop him from working on a DIY project that would require a lot of dedication and hard work. When he started digging in his yard, the rest of the neighborhood began to think that he was crazy, but they soon realized that he was working on an extremely ambitious project. What was it? Let’s find that out.
1. He Must Be Digging a Hole for His Swimming Pool
If your neighbor decides to dig a hole this size, the first thought that may come into your mind is that they’re planning to build an in-ground swimming pool. Even if it is a giant swimming pool, it can easily make the entire neighborhood feel jealous. But when it turns out that they’re not building a swimming pool, you may start to think that they have lost their mind or working on a project that is destined to fail.
That might have been the case when Wayne was digging a hole to do something more than just filling it with water. Once he was done laying down some gravel, he brought a 20-foot shipping container and that’s when everyone was curious to know what he was planning on building. Most of the neighbors were a bit skeptical about his new project.
2. DIYers’ Mantra
Wayne started working on his project by first purchasing a 20-foot shipping container. It is quite surprising how easily you can find one of these containers online at some really affordable prices.
Wayne is one of those DIYers who know how important it is to keep the costs as low as possible. So, he did some research and found the best container for his project at an incredibly affordable price. He could’ve easily gone to a bunker professional, but he had already made his mind on working on the project all by himself. But what was he building that he need the container? Keep on reading to find out about it.
3. Making Some Sense of the Project
Wayne brought his container and started working on it by first sealing it shut. He didn’t want to use the giant double doors. So, he sealed them shut and installed a swinging door on the other side. He spent many hours ensuring that nothing could get in or out of the container, especially leaks.
He also made sure that the swinging door he installed only swings inward and not outward. With a one-way entry point, some people who were watching it started to understand what he was doing. But still, it wasn’t making much sense.
4. No Room for Mistakes
One of the major mistakes Wayne could have made at the start was to dig a hole that was too small to fit in his container. So, he measured twice just to make sure everything was spot on and made the hole two feet deeper than the height of the container.
Wayne also didn’t want any room for error, so he left two feet of space of all sides of the container and extra room around where the door would swing-out. He thought of every little detail before working on his project.
5. Using Pea Gravel To Line The Bottom
It was very important for Wayne to line the bottom by using a layer of pea gravel because the container had to filter through to the soil below while also lying on a soft place. To accomplish both objectives, he had to use pea gravel.
We hope that by now you know what he was trying to build. If not, then keep on reading. Trust us, it will amaze you.
6. Calling In A Pro
Although it was a DIY project, Wayne had no option but to call a professional to help him in taking care of a little problem. Wayne had no crane in his backyard that could pick up a 20-foot container and lower it into the hole. That’s why he had to call in a company to do the work for him.
He could have asked his friends or come up with another plan to get the container down in the hole, but he didn’t want to waste time.
7. No Fitting In Complication
Wayne dug a little deeper hole and left the extra room to ensure the container fits in like a glove. He also left two feet of space on each side and everything turned out well.
Now the container was in the hole and he started working on the next important phase. It may seem like an average DIY project to you, but we guarantee you that the finished project will inspire you into giving DIY a shot.
8. Not Ignoring The Importance of a Sump Pump
A sump pump helps draining out water from enclosed spaces. It is considered an extremely important piece of equipment to use whenever you’re putting anything below ground because it ensures the bunker remains above the waterline.
After all, the last thing you want after doing all the hard work is to see your underground bunker to get ruined with a flood. So, what was Wayne putting inside his bunker? Are you thinking that is he the “Bruce Wayne” and using the container to hide his bat suit and other equipment?
9. Working On The Entrance
When you build an underground bunker, you have to work on the entrance as well. Instead of using a simple staircase, a ladder, or a fire pole, he did the logical thing and simply laid down a set of concrete steps.
He also made sure that the top stairs were at the same level as the top of the container. Once the exterior work was complete, he moved to the inside of the container.
10. Preparing For The Unforeseen Problems
Wayne did all the homework before starting his project. He installed two I-beams to make sure the bunker remains stable.
One would think that a giant 20-foot container can’t move much, but the banker can become unbalanced due to the shifting of the ground. These two beams not only provide support to the bunker, but they also act as a frame for the exterior of the bunker. What was going through Wayne’s mind? You’ll find that out soon enough.
11. Taking Necessary Precautions
Installing an underground bunker wasn’t the only thing on Wayne’s mind as he was taking into account other important things as well. He made sure the roof was stable and used a framework on top to support a roof. It all makes sense why he added the I-beams in the first place.
It also explains why he decided to dig the hole a little extra deep because he wanted the bunker to blend in with the rest of his yard. Everything was going as planned for Wayne.
12. Completing Underground Roof
You don’t get to see a roof being underground, but that is what Wayne had planned and he did it by laying down heavy sheets of metal across the framework. The roof was stable enough to support the weight of even 2-3 people.
With the first step of laying down the roof, the exterior was taking some shape. But what was he going to do with the inside of the bunker. Everything started to fall into place.
13. He Wanted More Than Just A Regular Entranceway
Wayne already had a staircase for going in and out of the bunker, but he wasn’t satisfied with it. So, after setting up and securing the roof, he went on to make a grand entranceway for his project.
By leaving an opening from the roof, he set up some rebar just to ensure everything remains supported. Although the grand entranceway seems like a waste of time and money, he wanted everything about his project to be big.
14. Not Compromising on Safety and Quality
Wayne didn’t just want his bunker to look attractive as he took the safety very seriously. With the roof set up and a grand entranceway, all he had to work was on the interior of the bunker.
But he had other plans in mind as he worked on the safety of his bunker so that it could last for a long time. Many neighbors even thought that maybe he was working on using his bunker as a makeshift bomb shelter. But Wayne had something entirely different in his mind.
15. Not Point In Living There Without Fresh Air
With a sump pump already installed to ensure water filters through the soil, Wayne had to work on another important addition: air vents. Yes, without air vents staying in the bunker for too long won’t be possible.
So, Wayne installed two 12-inch air vents to access to fresh air. It cleared one thing that Wayne was planning on spending a good amount of time in his bunker, but why?
16. The Need For Further Strengthening
You may have thought that Wayne did everything needed to make his project safe and secure, you thought wrong. Wayne had everything already in place, but he still didn’t want to take any chances. He took into account one factor that the ground can move and shift in the winter season when it freezes, so he went with concrete along the sides of the bunker to make sure there are no misbalancing issues in the future.
So, everything was in place with the concrete along all sides and on top of the bunker. It was all quickly coming together.
17. Foolproof Security Measures
If anyone thought that Wayne was going to stop with just a thin layer of concrete over his bunker, they were so wrong. After all, he also put six inches thick concrete over the top of his bunker. He made sure the bunker could easily withstand rain, snow, and sleet.
Wayne ensured the bunker was safe against any outside elements and now it was time for him to work on the interior of the project. It is really impressive that he spent so much time and energy on the outside when some people could’ve easily done the opposite of it.
18. One Last Thing For Added Safety
The concrete dried up and Wayne decided to do one last thing before working on the interior. He went back to basics and protected the entryway by adding more cinder blocks through the rebar.
It is because this part of the bunker would have to deal with all the outside elements and it was imperative to go with extra protection. Wayne took into account how the door would be taking a beating over time and the cinder blocks could provide the needed protection against the weather or animals.
19. No Shortcut Approach
In a project like this one, safety is of paramount importance and there is absolutely no room for shortcuts. Wayne was smart enough to take every precautionary step to ensure he doesn’t compromise on the safety and security of his bunker.
So, he waited for the concrete to dry up and removed the support beams that were initially installed to keep the roof secure. The cinderblocks weren’t put there just to make the bunker look good as they also provided the perfect foundation.
20. Filling In The Soil Around The Bunker
After doing all the hard work, the last thing you want is to have your bunker in the middle of a dirt pile. To avoid it, Wayne took the high-end soil to fill the space surrounding the entrance. He did it so that the bunker would blend it with the rest of his lawn once the project completes.
He had a finished project in mind that won’t look like a giant hole in the ground. Instead, he planned on making it look so level that no one would expect a bunker lying underneath.
21. No Freaking Way!
You might be expecting the bunker to be an underground man cave or an apocalyptic bunker, but did you expect it to be a cellar filled with wine. It is like a dream-come-true place for wine lovers. After all, wine and other liquor are best stored underground because the cool temperature helps them last for generations.
But is it the only reason why Wayne went through all the trouble and worked for many hours to build a cellar or he had other plans in his mind?
22. More Than One Purpose To Serve
If you thought Wayne built this bunker only to store wine then you’d be wrong because there’s plenty of room for storing other things as well. He initially planned to store only wine in the cellar, but it is quite spacious and that’s why he can store other things such as non-perishable foods in case of an emergency.
As there are people who build apocalyptic bunkers, this bunker can easily work as a safe place in case a disaster happens (both natural and human-caused). Wayne can spend some alone time there and the best part is that it doesn’t take up any extra space at all.
23. Get Inspired, Work On Your Own Bunker
Wayne worked on his project and now you can find the blueprint of his project online. His project showed one thing that you can have an amazing place for yourself by using a little bit of your money and resources. Wayne could’ve easily built a secret bunker for himself, but he decided to share it with everyone else.
He shared every little detail of his container so that people who try to recreate it don’t have to deal with any major issues. It seems quite clear that he aims to inspire others into building their own bunkers.
24. Some Important Tips
Wayne finished working on his project and shared the blueprint for others to recreate it themselves. He then shared some important tips for people who try to work on building their bunkers. He suggested adding handrails down the stairs for safety because the stairs might get slippery in cold weather.
He also suggested that building a small overhand over the entrance is a good idea if you live somewhere cold. This would also help in keeping critters out of your walkway.
25. Not A Unique Idea
Although Wayne’s idea of an underground bunker wasn’t unique, it was still quite good because he used it as a wine cellar as compared to many others who build them as fallout shelters. You may find it surprising that many people still have bunkers in their homes, despite the fact that there is no war on American soil.
It may be the case because during the Cold War the federal government suggested people to create fallout shelters and bunkers in their backyards or basements. The government recommended people to use as much concrete as possible and also focus on building more durable roofs. Although bunkers and fallout shelters weren’t designed so well back in the 1960s, they are much safer and secure now.
26. The Flourishing Bunker Business
2017 was the year when the bunker and container building companies saw a huge boom in their business because many Americans started to prepare for a war-time situation due to the tension and uncertainty in foreign relations.
Clyde Scott, one of the bunkers building company’s owner, gave an interview and said that the business was at an all-time high in 2016-17 and there was a 400 percent increase in sales. Even today, the business is flourishing as many people have started to consider it. Due to Coronavirus, it can be expected that many people will start building their bunkers once the situation settles.
27. How Much Wayne’s Bunker Cost?
Wayne completed the project and he had already set a budget aside before starting it. Many might have thought that this project must have cost him a fortune, but it only cost him $12,500. His DIY bunker was built in an insanely reasonable budget.
One of the reasons why his expenses were so less is that he worked alone – he did all the digging and took very little outside help. Most people approach professionals to build their emergency bunkers and this is also where Wayne saved a lot of money. DIY projects can save you a lot of money, so consider doing it yourself.
28. More and More People Are Getting Prepared
Paul Seyfried, President and CEO of Utah Shelter Systems, is satisfied with the booming bunker business. He says that the business has been very busy in the recent years. He has customers from all over the county, but the majority of them are from California, Texas, and New York.
He told Fox 13 that, "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." As you can see that even the smallest one cost around $50,000 and this is where Wayne saved a lot of money. You can do it as well by following his project’s blueprint.
29. Bunkers for Sale
Do you know about Vivos xPoint? If you are interested in bunkers, then you need to know more about it. Well, it is a decommissioned army base located in South Dakota. Although it hasn’t been operational since 1967, it still has war-era bunkers which can be utilized. So, there are plans for using them for citizens. There are about 575 concrete bunkers near the Wyoming border which are in good condition and they’re planning on building more.
These bunkers are available on lease for $25,000 for 99 years ($1,000 annually). The best part of about these 1,590 or 2,120 square feet bunkers is that they are quite spacious. However, there is still need for air filtration, electricity, and plumbing.
30. The Decision is Yours To Make
When Donald Trump took office, Atlas Survival Shelters (which is based in California) sold 30 shelters with three days. It is an interesting stat because they only sold only 10 shelters in the entire year of 2011.
If you look at their bunkers, you might want to get them as well. They are created by professionals while keeping in mind the comforts of a home. If you are not good at DIYs and want a shelter that doesn’t give the feeling of an unfinished basement, then you can choose from various shelters making companies. In times like these, maybe it is not a bad idea to invest in one of these bunkers.