Move over Fred, Barney and Wilma!
Modern living in a cave home
For my books in the Wendael Series, one of the antagonists, Maven, builds his laboratories in caves. The idea for this comes from a documentary I watched on television many years ago about building a house partially sunken in the desert and made from recycled tires. These are called subterranean homes. The water and electricity is green friendly too. The house was beautiful and contained all the amenities.
Taking this memory, I thought why not have Maven live and conduct his experiments in caves?
Living in a cave sounds prehistoric, but there are many people worldwide who are currently living in them. To my surprise, it’s not as bad as you might think, and some are gorgeous!
Caves maintain a cool temperature in the summer, and warmth in the winter. The cost of living in a cave is cheaper than standard housing, so it’s possible to ditch the nine to five job, although you will still have bills, some form of income is necessary. These homes do have all the modern conveniences after all. These two factors alone are enticing, not matter how you slice it.
Living room in a $1.5 million cave home in Bisbee Arizona. Watch the video below for a virtual tour and interview with one of it’s owners.
How about this interior pool? Natural water to swim in at the perfect temperature. Anyone up for a swim?
I know you’re all wondering about bathrooms right? Read the below blog excerpt from Spirit of Maat’s website. He shares his experience on his visit to a man living in a cave. As a writer myself working 9 to 5 to pay mortgage and other bills, I can understand this man’s desire for his choice.
A Malibu cave dweller
A few months ago, I attended a party high in the mountains in Malibu, California, given at a cave occupied by the man who threw the party. I asked him why he lived there, and he said that it simplified his life. He wanted to write a book, but he didn’t want to waste writing time working at a 9-to-5 job just to pay rent.
He said that he also wanted to reclaim a prehistoric lifestyle, because it made him see the world differently. He felt that it really was not necessary to live with much money at all, for he had discovered that he needed very little to survive.
This man enjoyed the solitude and harmonious feel of cave-dwelling — a lifestyle connected to the rising and setting of the sun.
His cave had a queen-sized bed under a hole in the cave wall that overlooked a valley. He had constructed a wooden door at the entrance to the cave and a patio on the land above it. A neighboring cave was used as a kind of band shell for performers on the night of the party.
Like many modern cave dwellers, his cave did have a few modern conveniences, including a self-contained toilet and shower. (There are a variety to choose from, including water-less toilets that have composting capacities and need no plumbing, electricity, sewer, or septic system. Other portable toilets have flush-water tanks and manual flush [see this month’s article on septic systems].)
According to Earth Homes Now, here are advantages and disadvantages of living in cave homes.
Advantages of living in a cave home
It may seem unthinkable, but cave homes actually have a lot of advantages and offer a lifestyle that is totally different to the traditional one. Here is a list outlining some of the benefits of having your own cave home:
- Cave homes are ecologically friendly and roughly 80-percent cheaper in terms of power and heat consumption compared to conventional dwellings
- They come will a natural layer of insulation. Rocks are also a good sound barrier.
- Cave homes provide a natural hideout in a case of global conflict and are also a defense against storms.
- Cave homes can be bought or built much more cheaply than traditional above ground houses.
- And, cave homes offer a natural barrier to intruders since there is only one side to protect instead of four.
Disadvantages of living in a cave home
- Moisture and lack of natural light
- Risk of rocks collapsing in case of an earthquake
The disadvantages can be overcome by installing large window, preferably south-facing so that natural light comes in the cave home all year long. Also, your builder can offer construction techniques that will minimize the impact of earthquakes if there happens to be one.
So, remember you don’t have to be a caveman or woman (or Batman) to live in a cave home. Green architects and builders in modern times know how to build many different types of alternative living spaces that are eco-friendly and appeal to environmentalists everywhere.
If this isn’t enough, watch this video for a closer look at life inside this Arizona cave home. This is a virtual tour and interview with it’s owners.
Would you live in a cave if the opportunity presented itself? What are your thoughts?