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Thread: Tunnel from house to garage

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Default Tunnel from house to garage

    Started actually thinking about this today as a plausible idea during new home construction. Say you build a regular looking house with a detached garage nearby. Would it be plausible to build a "basement" entrance in the garage that is a tunnel between the house and the garage?

    Seems like you could build a tunnel that would double as a nice walkway between the two if you don't want to go outside during bad weather yet have a detached garage (the woman would like this part), and also either have a room inside this tunnel that could double as a nice bunker type shelter, or put some heavy duty doors on each side and use the tunnel itself as the shelter. Not sure if this would be extremely expensive or not, but it seems like it could be pretty possible to do.

    If this was a pre-existing house, I would see this as being a little more complicated as you'd have to dig a trench to do it and tap into an existing foundation (many new headaches), but could still be plausible.

  2. #2

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    If you are only talking basement deep it probably would not be that expensive. To ensure a nice chunk of earth between the cieling of your tunnel and the world above you may want to consider going a little deeper than the floor of your basement. Perhaps a stairway dow from the basement entrance into the main tunnel itself.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Southern California
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    You would have to plant it pretty deep. Think about load bearing as well. Most areas like this have a drive where you can pull your vehicle up tot the house. Not saying this is your situation, but if this was an area where you might or others might drive up to your house, then it would have to support a three quarter ton vehicle. Which really limits what you can make the tunnel out of.

    So if you were to make this tunnel out of concrete and didn't have enough skill to do it yourself, then you may have to have someone build it for you. Now your tunnel isn't so secret, because the individuals that built it went tot he bar that night and talked about the crazy who had you build a tunnel from his house to his garage.

    Just a few things to think about.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Liberal New England
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    Ask a contractor. I don't see it as a difficult job.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Long Island, NY
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    Definitely possible. Reinforced concrete is the only way to go for something like this. Unless you have extensive experience with these types of structures it is best left up to the professionals as there have been many technology advances and considerations that go into concrete buildings these days (psi, waterproofing, lateral loads, vertical loads, soil definitions, local codes, drying time, temperature at pour time, rebar size and grid layout, etc).
    For practical DIY consider ICF’s and finding a local contractor that is willing to work with you, not to mention a structural engineer who has experience designing structures using the building method you plan on using. Have the concrete mixed at the plant and poured and vibrated by professionals. Large amounts of concrete mixed by the bag has many drawbacks, but mostly that there is a science to it and if you don’t know exactly what you are doing you risk inherent weakness in your build.

    Joe-NY

  6. #6
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    Apr 2010
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    Mahoning County Ohio
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    I thought about burying a CDX container under ground and planting a shed on top of it. You should be able to place two 40' ones end to end or "L" shaped for cheap.

  7. #7
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    Feb 2010
    Location
    Mississippi
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    Asphalt coated galvanized culvert.Up to 12 foot diameter any length desired by using on-site applied "bands" or couplings. I have seen some last 20+ years with runoff from chicken houses going through them. Larger sizes available in arch or oval shape which has a mostly flat bottom. Good load bearing if deep enough. Available in up to 8 gauge metal. Now these are heavy and may require a crane and a lot of manual labor. The plus is they are fast to put in. Large trench, gravel bed, back fill. With the proper equipment and crew I have installed a 100 foot long 10 foot diameter pipe in 12 hours ,from starting the trench, placing and coupling, to a filled trench with gravel and open to traffic. Obviously the time may vary a whole lot. Just a possibility to consider.
    Last edited by tired-medic; 05-18-2010 at 01:07 PM. Reason: omitted words

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    i think this would be even easier than most people think. because the op is talking about a tunnel - not a bunker. if you look at the load bearing capacity for most beams - be wood, steel or concrete - you will see that the load capability skyrockets for short clear spans. if your tunnel is something like 4 or 5 feet wide it wouldnt need to be anywhere near as solidly built as compared to say something with a 20 ft clear span. i'd say your biggest trouble would be settling. a long, thin structure burried underground is going to be difficult to keep waterproof because it will be difficult to keep the thing from settling unevenly.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    swampeast missouri
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    The top of it would be a sidewalk,and you would pour your walls just like a basement,8" thick and 8' tall, and you would call it a mechanical chase, to run duct work, wiring, etc. Very common, between two buildings, if you put a room to one side of it the top of it would be a patio.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by 44044 View Post
    The top of it would be a sidewalk,and you would pour your walls just like a basement,8" thick and 8' tall, and you would call it a mechanical chase, to run duct work, wiring, etc. Very common, between two buildings, if you put a room to one side of it the top of it would be a patio.
    as with many things - hide it in plain site

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