Underground animal shelter
we can cut up the big,
straight trees from the pasture clearing expedition, we need to
decide whether we want to use them for creating an animal house.
Mark has suggested making a Holzer-like, semi-underground
dwelling for this area and I'm intrigued by the idea.
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open-fronted shelters using logs as the walls and roof, puts on a pond
liner sandwiched between two layers of building felt, then piles dirt
on top. Heavy equipment means he can create a shelter like this
in a day, but it seems feasible to do it by hand over a longer time
period with three workers. I estimate the total cost would be
about $300 for the pond liner and maybe another $30 or $40 for the
building felt for a 6-or-7-foot-square structure.
The question is --- would it
be a lot more work than an aboveground shelter? Would soft
tulip-trees stand up for at least a decade or two in the ground if the
liner extends out on all sides for a couple of feet and we try to
channel the water away from the structure? (Holzer apparently
uses tamarack, which as best I can tell is naturally rot-resistant, a
bit like cedar.) Would it be better to make the building
log-cabin-style with the few red cedars we have as the bottom layer to
lower the rot potential? At the other extreme, is it worth saving
a couple of hundred dollars by using cheaper plastic (as Mike Oehler
does in his underground houses), perhaps with a pond liner for the roof
only? And, since this structure would probably also be home to
chickens, would birds enjoy a cave-like dwelling as much as pigs and
cows apparently do?
I'd be very curious to
hear from anyone who has tried to make a Holzer-like underground animal
shelter on the backyard scale. What worked and didn't work for