A Review of Living in an Underground House

Roof maintenance: Merle Alix mows the roof of his family's undergound house.
Roof maintenance: Merle Alix mows the roof of his family's undergound house.

I came across this great article at Mother Earth News magazine and just had to share it. Merle Alix describes his family’s experiences of living in an underground house for the last decade. They love the energy savings, low maintenance, quietness and privacy.

The biggest downside is the difficulty of obtaining financing for underground houses. According to Alix, “It’s unfortunate. We live in what could be one of the best housing options for reducing our dependence on foreign oil and curbing our carbon footprint at the same time, but banking policies and politics have made it difficult — if not almost impossible — to buy and finance this kind of house. That said, aside from a few stumbling blocks in the beginning, the benefits of living underground far outweigh the few difficulties.”

Their house is made of concrete, but I’m posting about it because you could enjoy the same benefits of underground living by building with earthbags. And since earthbag building is obviously less expensive than concrete, you could build your home without bank financing.

You can read the article for free at Mother Earth News.
Original article by Merle J. Alix, October/November 2010, Mother Earth News
Image credit: Gil Grinsteiner

5 thoughts on “A Review of Living in an Underground House”

  1. Cool! I wonder though, if concrete would make the house safer, and keep it more insulated since it radiates heat at night and cools during the day.

    • You can do the same thing with earthbags for less money and less impact on the environment. Both will store and release heat as you describe. Best to insulate the outside of basement walls.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.