Many people strive to achieve the American dream of owning a big house, a spacious yard for their loved ones and pets, and a project that sets their home apart from the rest. Wayne Martin had a house and a yard and decided to undertake a large-scale project to make his home stand out. He began by digging a hole, which initially raised eyebrows among his neighbors. But as they saw his plan unfold, they were impressed by his ambitious backyard project. Wayne's use of the giant hole is unique and one of the most impressive projects the neighborhood has seen.
A Unique Use for a Giant Hole: A Shipping Container Home
When many of us see a neighbor digging a hole this size, we might assume it's for an in-ground swimming pool. But for Wayne Martin, the hole had a different purpose. Instead of filling it with water, he utilized it for something that couldn't fit in a pool - a 20-foot shipping container.
The container, placed on a bed of gravel, caught the attention of the neighborhood and sparked curiosity about Wayne's plans for it.
The Container Spanned 20 Feet
Before starting the hole, Wayne Martin had already purchased a 20-foot shipping container. He was able to find one online at an affordable price, which was a crucial step in keeping the costs of the project low.
As a DIY enthusiast, Wayne knew the importance of budgeting and avoiding unnecessary expenses. The fact that he was able to obtain the container within budget helped bring the project together. The reason for the container was not clear yet, but it would be revealed soon.
Securing the Shipping Container: Sealing and Installing a Swinging Door
After acquiring the shipping container, Wayne Martin's first step was to secure it by sealing the giant double doors shut. Instead, he installed a swinging door on the opposite side, and took measures to prevent any leaks or infiltration.
He also ensured that the door swung inward, creating a one-way entry point to the container. The significance of these steps will become clearer as the project progresses.
Ensuring Proper Fit: Measuring and Digging the Hole
To avoid any mistakes, Wayne Martin made sure to measure the hole carefully before digging. He knew that the biggest error would be digging a hole that was too small for the shipping container. Therefore, he ensured that the hole was at least two feet deeper than the height of the container.
He also left enough space on all sides of the container's placement and extra room for the door to swing out. These precautions ensured that the container fit properly and prevented any potential issues.
Creating a Stable Base: Lining the Bottom with Pea Gravel
Wayne Martin also took the step of lining the bottom of the hole with pea gravel. This was crucial for the container to have a stable base while also allowing for proper drainage. The pea gravel helped the container to have a soft place to rest on, and the soil below filtered through the gravel.
Though it might be clear by now, what he had planned for the container and the hole, the ultimate goal of the project is yet to be revealed. The extra room above the container serves a specific purpose.
Bringing in Expertise: Outsourcing to a Professional
Despite being a DIY project, there are certain tasks that require professional expertise. Wayne Martin realized this when it came to lowering the 20-foot container into the hole. Not everyone has access to the equipment needed for such a task, so he reached out to a septic tank company for help.
It was a smart move, as it would have been difficult and potentially dangerous to try and figure out a way to do it himself or with friends. The container is now in the hole, but Wayne's plan is more complex than it may seem.
Perfect Fit: Leaving extra space for the container
Leaving extra space around the container is important for several reasons. Wayne Martin made sure to leave about two feet of space on each side, as well as a few feet in front of the swinging door. This not only ensures that the container fits properly but also provides room for modifications and additions.
Now that the container is in place, the real project can begin. The finished product might be obvious, but it will be an inspiration to those who want to take on a DIY project.
Ensuring Drainage: The Importance of a Sump Pump for Underground Spaces
A sump pump is an essential piece of plumbing equipment that is used to drain water out of enclosed spaces. It is particularly important when building anything underground, such as a bunker, as it prevents flooding and keeps the space above the water line. The sump pump is commonly found in basements.
Wayne Martin knew the importance of this equipment, as the last thing one would want is for a flood to damage the contents of an underground bunker. The purpose of Wayne's bunker and what he plans to put inside is yet to be revealed.
A Safe and Accessible Entrance: Installing Concrete Steps
Having a safe and accessible entrance is essential for any underground bunker. Wayne Martin made sure to include a set of concrete steps, ensuring that the top stair was at the same level as the top of the bunker.
A staircase is more preferable than a ladder or a fire pole as it provides a safer and more convenient way to access the bunker. With the bunker in place and the staircase complete, Wayne could move on to work on the exterior and prepare to outfit the interior.
A Strong Foundation: Installing Support Beams
Wayne Martin was wise to install two I-beams to ensure the stability of his bunker. Even though a 20-foot container may seem immovable, the ground can shift and leave the bunker unbalanced.
These beams not only provide support for the bunker but also act as a frame for other exterior plans. The additional plans that Wayne has for his underground bunker will be revealed soon.
Building a Sturdy Roof: Adding Framework
When building an underground bunker, it's important to ensure the stability of the roof as well. Wayne Martin added a significant amount of framework on top to support it, which makes sense in light of the I-beams he installed earlier.
This move also gives a hint of what he has in store for the rest of the bunker. The extra depth of the hole he dug will allow the bunker to blend in seamlessly with the rest of the yard.
An Unusual Roofing Approach: Laying Down Metal Sheets Underground
It may seem unusual to think of a roof being located underground, but that's exactly what Wayne Martin had in mind. He laid heavy sheets of metal across the framework, strong enough to support the weight of a person and even a dog!
This is just the beginning of the roofing process, but it gives an idea of what's to come. As the exterior takes shape, curiosity grows as to what Wayne plans to put inside the bunker.
A Grand Entranceway: Adding An Extra Touch to the Staircase
While the staircase serves as the only means of entering and exiting the bunker, Wayne Martin sought to create something more than a standard entranceway. After ensuring the stability of the roof, he began constructing a grand entranceway.
He created an opening from the roof and added rebar for support. This addition is a testament to Wayne's ambition and determination to make a statement with his project.
Ensuring Safety: Building with Concrete Blocks
Safety was a top priority for Wayne Martin as he constructed his bunker. He not only ensured that it was secure in the ground but also that it met all necessary building codes. The use of concrete blocks ensures that the bunker will be durable and long-lasting, even potentially serving as a makeshift shelter in an emergency.
However, the ultimate purpose and plans for the underground structure still remain a mystery.
Fresh Air for the Underground Bunker is Essential
Wayne knew that having a sump pump to filter water through the soil was important, but he also made sure to include two 12-inch air vents in the front and back of his bunker.
Access to fresh air is essential if one plans on staying underground for any length of time, so this addition was just as crucial. While it's unclear why Wayne might need such a bunker, its practical purpose is clear.
It's All Coming Together: Wayne Ensures His Bunker is Secure with Concrete
You might have thought that everything was already in place, but Wayne wasn't taking any chances. Knowing that the ground can move and shift, especially in the winter when it freezes, he encased his bunker in concrete along the sides as well as on top of the roof to ensure its security.
The results of his labor are evident - a perfect pour! Everything looks nice and smooth, and should fit perfectly with the rest of his yard. Although much of his yard has been taken over by this project, it's quickly coming together and will all be worth it once complete.
Wayne Ensures Six Inches of Protection for His Bunker
Wayne made sure to go above and beyond when it came to protecting his bunker. He put down a layer of concrete that was six inches thick, far more than what is usually used.
This will ensure the bunker can withstand any weather conditions like rain, sleet, or snow. Now that this extra layer of protection is in place, Wayne can focus on the interior design of his project.
Wayne Reinforces Entryway with Extra Cinder Blocks
Having completed the construction of his bunker's entryway, Wayne added extra cinder blocks and secured them with rebar to ensure maximum protection.
He wanted to guarantee that his door would be able to withstand any weather conditions or unwanted intruders over the years. Now that the outside is complete, it's time to explore what lies within!
Securely Dismantling the Support Beams
Ensuring safety is paramount when undertaking a project like this. It's always worth taking extra precautions to make sure that the bunker is secure, instead of trying to cut corners. To guarantee the best results and ensure no time or money are wasted, it's important not to take any shortcuts.
Once the concrete was dry and stable, Wayne could confidently dismantle all of the support beams which had been keeping the roof in place. Although they may have appeared decorative, each cinderblock helped form a strong foundation for an impeccable bunker.
Wayne Ensures Bunker Blends Into Lawn with High-End Soil
By filling in the soil around his bunker, Wayne was able to make sure that it blended into its surroundings. The high-end soil he used allowed him to go back and add plants afterward so that the entrance would be seamlessly incorporated into the rest of his yard.
When finished, no one will be able to tell there is a bunker underneath - making for a truly stealthy hiding place.
Could It Be Wine?
I had no idea what I was walking into, but it turns out that this basement is filled with bottles of wine! It's not too surprising to find out that wine and other liquors are typically stored in cool, underground places so that they can last for years.
But why did the owner build a bunker like this? Is there something else behind his decision to store his collection here?
A Versatile Solution: The Container That Does More Than You'd Think
This container is a great way to meet multiple needs with one solution. Not only can it be used for storing wine, but it also provides ample space for emergency items such as non-perishable food and Christmas decorations.
In the case of a natural disaster, Wayne can use this container as an underground shelter that won't take up any extra room in his yard!
Wayne's Project Open to Everyone: Detailed Plans Revealed
Anyone with a bit of money and some resources can recreate Wayne's project, thanks to the detailed plans he has revealed. Not only did he provide the specs of his container, but also tips learned along the way so that others may benefit from his experience.
This is an exciting opportunity for anyone looking to build their own masterpiece!
Helpful Advice from Wayne: Installing Handrails and Building an Overhang for Your Bunker
Wayne recently completed his own bunker and was kind enough to share some helpful advice with those looking to do the same. His top two tips are installing handrails down the stairs of your bunker, as well as building a small overhang above its entrance.
Both of these measures provide extra security and help protect against weather-related issues like icy steps or rainwater accumulation. Additionally, they can also help keep out any unwanted critters that might try to take refuge in your walkway!
Many People Have Bunkers to Protect Their Loved Ones During Unstable Times
As the Cold War ended, many Americans chose to keep their bunkers or fallout shelters in case of an emergency. With more access to resources and information today than ever before, many people have taken it upon themselves to build a bunker for their families in order to protect them during times of instability.
From concrete walls and roofs that can withstand extreme weather conditions, these bunkers are designed with one goal in mind: keeping loved ones safe. So how many American households have a bunker?
The Bunker Business is Booming
In early 2017, container and bunker building companies saw their business greatly increase. Americans were compelled to prepare for a war-time situation as foreign relations tension and uncertainty of the future grew.
Clyde Scott, who owns Rising Bunkers, a bunker building company based in Texas, said business was at an all-time high in 2016-2017. His sales have increased an incredible 400 percent, according to Independent and have grown to a $10 million a year business.
What Did This Cost?
In the end, all of Wayne's hard work came at a price, but it's way more reasonable than you might think. All in all, Wayne spent $12,500 on his DIY bunker, which is insanely reasonable.
He did say that he did most of the work all by himself, and he did have his own tractor, which likely helped with things like filling in the soil and even digging the hole in the first place. This is one resourceful way to go about creating a bunker. Other people are turning to the emerging bunker companies that will help build one for you.
The Upper Middle Class is Getting Prepared
President and CEO of Utah Shelter Systems, Paul Seyfried says their bunker business has been very busy in recent years. Although his customers are all over the country, Seyfried said the majority are ordered in New York, California, and Texas.
Seyfried told Fox13, "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." Most customers are building the bunkers for their families, and are able to deflect electromagnetic pulses and radiation.
Bunkers for Sale in South Dakota
Vivos xPoint is a decommissioned army base located in South Dakota. It hasn't been used since 1967, but now there are plans to utilize the war-era bunkers once again, this time for citizens. There are an incredible 575 concrete bunkers located "off-the-grid" in the grasslands, near the Wyoming border, and they're planning on building more.
Bunkers here are available to lease for $25,000 for 99 years, plus $1,000 annually. They're spacious at 1,590 or 2,120 square feet. However, there's no plumbing, electricity, or air filtration, so they need some work.
Several Options to Choose From
Atlas Survival Shelters, based in California, said it sold 30 shelters in three days when Donald Trump took office. Compare that to the 10 they sold in the entire year of 2011 and it's easy to argue that interested has increased.
The bunkers they create are designed to include the comforts of home. So if you're wanting to take shelter without feeling like you're hiding in an unfinished basement, this is a good option. Many of their customers are baby boomers who remember the threat of a nuclear or missile attack from when they were younger and want to be prepared.
An Ordinary Real Estate Transaction
John Sims wasn't expecting anything out of the ordinary when he bought his new home located in a midtown neighborhood of Tucson, Arizona. But buying the home turned into one of the most astonishing events of his life, thanks to a disturbing rumor about the house and a curiosity about it that just wouldn’t quit.
There was supposedly something buried in the backyard, according to the home’s previous owner. John just couldn’t rest knowing that there could be a secret buried somewhere out there, and he set out to find it. Read on to learn more about John’s quest to unearth a decades-old mystery.
Handing Over The Keys
The house that John Sims bought was formerly owned by someone who was a friend. John felt secure in his purchase knowing that this friend had already lived there and would have told him if there was anything wrong with the house.
But after John closed on the property, his friend said something unexpected. He told John that there were weird rumors about the house, rumors that involved a mystery surrounding something that was supposedly buried in the backyard years earlier.
What To Do With This Knowledge?
John's friend, who had previously owned the house John just purchased, had told him an exciting, yet creepy, hint about the property. But it turns out that the friend had never invested the time to find out whether the rumors were true.
As John set about unpacking and the other routine tasks of settling into a new house, he couldn’t stop thinking about his friend’s words. He just had to find out for himself what was going on in his backyard.
The Mystery Was His To Discover
Now that he had become a bit obsessed with the hint of a mystery surrounding his new home, John realized that he was going to do whatever it took to get to the bottom of things. In fact, he'd been so intrigued when the friend first mentioned the home’s secret that he’d jokingly asked to borrow a shovel.
Soon he’d realize that it would take more equipment than a single shovel. And although John had no idea what exactly he was looking for, he decided to investigate.
No Idea Where To Start
John enjoyed thinking about the mystery encased in his backyard. What could it be? He knew it was possible that there was nothing to the rumor and that he might not find anything. But he also knew that he could end up finding something amazing.
Not able to stand the uncertainty anymore, John thought about what he was going to do next. He could fill in any holes and repair his lawn later. The task at hand was more important than his yard's appearance. So he got out a shovel and started to dig.
A Triple-Digit Threat
John was so determined to get to the bottom of these rumors that he was willing to overcome a lot of difficulties. Tucson, Arizona gets hot in the summer – as in triple digit hot. Those kind of conditions are dangerous to work in.
Many people would have given up at this point. But undeterred, John continued on with his mission. With his shovel in hand, he dug. And dug. He hoped this hard labor would pay off.
Holes Dotted The Yard
John had no plans in place when he began his laborious digging. He just starting digging hole after hole in his backyard. After he had excavated four different holes, pretty much ruining his yard, John still hadn't found anything.
He started to worry that if there was in fact something to find out there, that he might have destroyed it with his digging. Disappointment set in and John temporarily gave up hope of finding his yard’s hidden mystery.
John's temporary discouragement and break from digging led him to think about his situation in a different light. He had a new idea, one that could finally help him locate his home’s mysterious treasure.
He tracked down Tucson’s municipal records and reviewed page after page until he located information about his own home. John was rewarded in a big way for all this intensive research. He received some more clues about what might be lurking under his lawn.
The Tucson municipal records provided John with the information he already knew, like the year his home had been built. But thanks to a rough sketch in the documents, John learned something new.
According to the records, a company called Whitaker Pools had applied for a permit to work at the property back in 1961 – more than 50 years earlier. But John's home didn’t have a pool. So what exactly had the pool company done there in 1961? The answer to that question surprised everyone.
The Mystery Deepens
Now that he had a sketch and more detailed information, John knew he had to go about his search in a more careful way. No more careless digging with his shovel based on his instincts alone! No, it was time to get serious.
So John hired a team of consultants, who arrived armed with all the proper tools including metal detectors. Hopefully, they were going to get to the bottom of this mystery once and for all.
Would The Metal Detectors Find Anything?
As the search turned more measured and focused, John hoped that he would soon learn whether those old, mysterious rumors about his new house were true. But as the team of consultants worked over different areas of his backyard, the metal detectors remained silent.
The tension mounted as it appeared that the consultants would also come up empty-handed in their search. But then the detectors began to go off. The sound was music to John's ears.
Multiple Sites To Explore Further
John was overjoyed to hear the experts' metal detectors pinging in the hot Arizona air. And in further good news, the machines located not just one spot of interest, but two! After carefully marking both the locations in his backyard, John was able to briefly rest as he planned the next step of his search.
Now John’s efforts would be focused and he wouldn’t have to expend his efforts haphazardly. He could barely wait to discover what it was under his backyard.
The Shovel Comes Out Again
John grabbed his shovel and got back to the hot and difficult task of digging. This time, however, he knew exactly where to focus his efforts. With anticipation, he began to dig at the two spots that the metal detectors had located.
His work paid off quickly at the second site pinpointed by the consultants. It wasn't long at all before he felt his shovel hit something hard, and he heard the tell-tale scrape of metal against metal. John was so close to solving his backyard mystery.
Three Feet Down
John had been digging about three feet down into the earth when he first felt his shovel hit the metal object. While he was glad to finally discover something, he began to worry that it was a septic tank that he'd found.
Not only would a septic tank be a disappointing find after all this time and work, but it also meant that John had to be extra careful when he continued to dig around it. Damaging a septic tank or breaking a pipe would be very bad news, indeed.
It Wasn't A Septic Tank!
He continued to dig, more carefully than before. To John's great delight, he realized that the object he’d found wasn’t a septic tank after all. No, it was something much, much more interesting than that.
He gingerly used his shovel to uncover the structure. It wouldn’t be long now before John’s discovery was out in the open and ready to inspect. The anticipation of this made the time pass quickly as John worked.
More Questions To Answer
John had finally determined that the thing buried under his new home's backyard wasn’t a septic tank. But now that he had uncovered a substantial part of the structure and could visually examine it, there seemed to be even more questions to answer than when he started his journey.
The concrete form that John had unearthed appeared to be something resembling an entryway. But where did it lead, and how did you get into it?
Closer To Getting In
John was astonished to see that his backyard contained an entryway or portal of some sort, buried deep under the ground. He was so close to getting to the bottom of the mystery!
He continued to clear the area of earth and discovered that the entry had a hatch with a lid. He carefully pried the lid off, but his work as a fire department captain had taught him that it wasn't safe to enter the opening just yet.
A Long Day Of Waiting
You can probably imagine how excited John was to finally get some answers about his backyard's hidden secret. But waiting a day was necessary. His fire department training had taught him about the dangers of confined spaces.
The area could be filled with mold that could be very harmful to inhale, or toxic fumes. John also knew that he needed to have several people around when he finally went underground, to assist if the structure collapsed or if he became trapped somehow.
The Moment Of Truth Had Arrived For John
After a wait that must have felt excruciating, it was finally time for John to enter the hidden space beyond the hatch. The moment of truth had arrived for this backyard explorer – he was going to learn what exactly was down there.
John got down and cautiously looked into the hole framed by the metal hatch. The sight that met his curious eyes was completely unexpected! So what was it?
What Is It?
When John first looked down through the hatch, he was completely astonished at what he saw. It appeared to be an arrangement of sharp metal blades. What could their purpose be?
It wasn't long before his eyes adjusted and he was able to make out what it was that he was really looking at. The seemingly random metal blades were actually part of a spiral staircase, leading even deeper down into the earth under John’s property.
A Risky Proposition
In his anticipation, John might have rushed right down the spiral staircase that he'd just uncovered in his backyard. After all, the truth behind the mystery was so close he could almost touch it.
But he did not. It was both his training as a fire captain and his good common sense that stopped John from entering the underground space that he’d found right on his own property. There were just too many risks involved.
What were the risks of simply walking down the spiral steps leading down into the earth? Well, for starters the structure just wasn't stable. It had been built more than 50 years before John uncovered it, and he had no idea what condition it might be in.
And second, John knew it was best if there were people with him when he finally went down the hatch. They could help him out if he became trapped or if the structure collapsed. So he assembled a team of friends to help him make the structure safe to enter.
A Plan Comes Together
John was playing it safe with his backyard find. Even though he was filled with excitement at the prospect of finally solving the mystery, he knew that his safety was more important than immediate gratification.
Along with his trusted friends, John came up with a strategy to proceed into the underground space safely. Their patient planning was soon going to pay off in a very big and unexpected way. And luckily they documented the discovery along the way to share the details of their findings.
Preparing The Passageway
John had no earthly idea what condition the structure might be in, after sitting unused for decades. So he knew that he and his friends needed to reinforce the entire concrete entrance and repair it where necessary.
The spiral staircase leading down into the underground space also needed some serious attention. The metal steps were almost completely rusted through and not safe to stand on yet. They could even collapse if someone tried to use them in their current condition.
Solid As A Rock
John Sims and his friends widened and reinforced the entryway around the stairs with new rebar and multiple layers of concrete. To ensure entrants' safety, this step was absolutely necessary. The risk of a structural collapse was too great otherwise.
Their curiosity and excitement kept them going as they poured layer after layer of concrete. And their task was made all the more unbearable in the Arizona heat. They put up a tent to help block the sun and keep the temperature relatively cool.
Still A Couple Of Tasks Ahead
John is obviously the type of person who thinks ahead. He knew that when he was finally, at long last, able to enter the mystery structure in his backyard he needed to be able to see. Many people would just rush ahead with a flashlight, but not John.
So he installed an electrical line that would allow for the space to be illuminated. He and his friends could also use power tools down there if necessary, once the electrical line was complete.
A Breath Of Fresh Air
As we've read, John’s work as a firefighter made him very aware of the danger of tight, enclosed spaces. Mold and gas leaks were a major concern in the 50-year-old structure he was about to enter.
John and his friends placed a pipe in the entryway. It would funnel fresh air down into the space, making things that much safer when they finally got to go in. It was almost time for everyone to see the secret that had long been hidden in John’s backyard.
One Last Step
Unfortunately, John and his friends weren't able to repair that rusty spiral staircase yet – they’d have to be fixed from within the space. It was too risky to put any weight on the steps, since no one knew how sturdy they might be. So how would people descend into the space safely?
John had the solution. He got a tall ladder and securely placed it in the entryway. He was finally going to learn what was down there.
The Wait Was Over
At long last, John got to uncover the secret that he'd heard his friend talk about. He’d been nearly obsessed with learning the truth behind the rumor and had worked very hard to get to this moment.
He was about to climb down the ladder and into the mysterious hole in his backyard — the first person in 50 years to do so! As John descended, his imagination ran wild. Just what was he about to see?
Stepping Down Into Space
John lowered himself down the ladder, rung by rung, as his excitement grew. He stepped off the ladder and was finally rewarded for all his hard work.
He was shocked to learn that there was a vast room deep underneath his backyard! And it was in good shape, complete with a solid floor. But that wasn't all. In fact, there was an entire system of tunnels forming a complex down there!
The Rumors Had Been True
John's friend, the former owner of the house John recently purchased, had told him about the existence of a secret buried deep in the backyard. Through research, John had learned that the structure in question had been built by a company called Whitaker Pools.
But this underground cavern was clearly not a pool. The year it was constructed, 1961, was a huge clue to the structure’s intended purpose. And John knew what that purpose was as soon as he laid eyes on the space.
The Years Had Taken Their Toll
Although the structure seemed to be in pretty good shape given its age, one thing was a giveaway to John that he still had some work to make the space safe. The clue was in the fiberglass ceiling.
Fiberglass can be extremely toxic to people if they breathe it in, and is an irritant to bare skin. And the fiberglass in the ceiling was coming apart – not a good thing at all. But it was something that could be repaired, fortunately. And John wasn't ready to give up on his new find anyway, after all the work he had put in.
A Relic Of The Cold War
The structure below John Sims' house, although huge, was empty of furnishings or any other décor. It became obvious immediately that the underground bunker was built as a nuclear fallout shelter.
Many people had grown fearful, even paranoid, during the period of Cold War hostilities between the Soviet Union and the U.S., and had built backyard shelters as a result. But why had a company called Whitaker Pools built a nuclear bunker?
Doing Double Work
It turns out that Whitaker Pools had responded to consumer demand during the Cold War and had added building backyard shelters to its list of services. In fact, this was pretty common across the country.
As pool builders realized that building fallout shelters wasn't all that different from building inground pool shells, many of them expanded their operations accordingly. By 1961, one Los Angeles company called Catalina Pools had built 500 shelters!
A New Underground Opportunity
What would you do if you discovered that you had an enormous maze of rooms buried right in your own backyard? How would you use the space? John's friends had some fun ideas for him, including a cigar bar, wine cellar, or "man cave."
Other people around the world have converted old bunkers into beautiful modern homes, hotels, art galleries, and recording studios. But John had something different in mind for his backyard treasure.
John Connected To Others With Backyard Shelters
After posting about his shelter online, John Sims learned that he was in good company. His post on Reddit went viral, and he began connecting to others who have backyard fallout shelters.
His interest in these shelters, and the Cold War era, has grown. In fact, he has special plans to turn his own historical bunker into a museum of sorts – meaning he has a lot of work ahead of him. So what was the next step for John?
It Started With A GoFundMe Page
John's next step in restoring his bunker to its former glory was setting up a GoFundMe page. He wrote, "Hi, I’m John and I need some help restoring a vintage Fallout Shelter that I have uncovered in my back yard.“
He was specifically looking for assistance in reconstructing the shelter’s entryway, since that needed to be done before he could start making repairs and improvements downstairs. He elaborated, “the upper entry needs a large concrete pour to secure the entry and the metal circular staircase needs to be replaced." John estimated that the project would cost around $2,000.
The Stairway Is Complete!
Although John's GoFundMe campaign was widely shared and he received several hundred dollars in donations, the goal of raising $2,000 for the stairway rebuild ultimately fell short. Of course, that didn’t stop John from proceeding with his plans! He even took time off from his job to work on the all-important staircase.
After sharing a series of updates on the project, John reported that the entry area was finally done: "Stairs are finished! Now it’s easy and safe to climb in and out." He also posted a photo of the completed stairs, which are painted an appealing shade of blue.
Now That The Stairs Are Complete
On his GoFundMe page, John shared further details for his shelter now that the staircase and entryway are done. "My plans are to clean up the interior, repaint it and turn it into a really cool man cave, HAM shack, and Civil Defense Museum."
He continued, “Once I started this project I researched a bunch about the Cold War period and how the civilian fears prompted many people to build these shelters.” Discovering this bunker has clearly made a big impact on John's life!
Stocking The Shelter With History
John has already begun amassing supplies and props for the museum portion of his backyard shelter. He says that he's found artifacts like water supply barrels, Geiger counters, HAM radios, and sanitation kits to display.
Pictured here are some of the items John plans to display at his museum. It’s impressive that he was able to get a hold of so many vintage pieces that were in excellent condition to teach others.