A hidden underground bunker requires much planning and hard work, but offers peace of mind that you will have somewhere to protect your family if, or indeed when, civilization as we know it implodes.

Part 1
Part 1 of 2:

Preparing to Dig

  1. This is the step where we tell you to make sure you are legally allowed to dig your bunker. If you excavate illegally and someone finds out, you will face a fine and have to fill it in, or your council will fill it in and charge you for the privilege.[1]
  2. The below stages are listed in order that they occur, but each stage needs to be considered before the project is started.[2]
  3. Digging a bunker under a home has advantages and disadvantages. Advantages include that the entrance to the bunker can be concealed, and it is easier to supply electricity, etc.[3]
  4. Soil type also needs to be considered. Sandy soil is more prone to cave in. Clay is less likely to collapse. Rocky soil is difficult to dig out.[4]
  5. Depending upon where you are in the world, you may have to think about what effect cold weather will have on the ground. When the ground freezes and thaws, the soil expands and contracts. This may lead to collapse.
  6. Ideally, you want to know what is beneath your feet before you start. Will you hit bedrock straight away? Where is the water table? You do not want to return the next day to your site to find it flooded. Do your research, know your soil.
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Part 2
Part 2 of 2:

Digging the Bunker

  1. You can use a backhoe or excavator to excavate out a large hole, then place or build a structure inside the hole, and then finally use the excavator to bury the structure again. Mini backhoes can be hired if you want to do it yourself, or the larger ones can be hired with an operator (e.g. for the day).
  2. The second, slower and more dangerous method is to dig out the bunker from the entrance and shore up the tunnels as you go. This is not recommended unless you really know what you are doing. Try to always have a phone, (call for help if you survive and are then trapped by a cave in), and a light. Leaving an emergency shovel and water to hand may save your life.
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Community Q&A

  • Question
    Would I be safe from an EMP blast in a bunker?
    Community Answer
    Community Answer
    That depends on many factors, including how deep it is, whether it is connected to the surface through wiring and ventilation systems, and the materials used in construction.
  • Question
    What if a nuclear fallout is in effect? How will I get safe air?
    Community Answer
    Community Answer
    If a nuclear fallout is commencing, consider getting various air purifiers. It could mean the difference between life and death.
  • Question
    Is it possible to put an elevator in a bunker or underground residence?
    Community Answer
    Community Answer
    It is technically possible, but very complicated and extremely expensive. Also, unless you have multiple floors, it is needless. Plus, after hiring people to install it, (which you will probably have to do) it won't be so secret.


  • The most important thing to remember when excavating is that being crushed to death by a collapse, or being trapped underground and slowly suffocating is not a good outcome.

About This Article

wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 16 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has been viewed 223,136 times.
318 votes - 79%
Co-authors: 16
Updated: March 6, 2023
Views: 223,136