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This YouTuber built an underground bunker in his backyard for less than $100,000

JerryRigEverything is in the process of building an underground bunker.
JerryRigEverything is in the process of building an underground bunker.Courtesy of Zack Nelson
  • YouTuber Zack Nelson built a bunker in his backyard for under $100,000.

  • He's documented the nearly-three-month process in a series of videos.

  • Nelson said he's not a prepper, and has mainly taken on the project to boost his YouTube channel.

YouTuber Zack Nelson built an underground bunker in his backyard for under $100,000 in under three months.

Nelson, known for his account JerryRigEverything, said he aimed to keep the project under $80,000 but ended up spending $98,265 on the bunker. That included over $30,000 to dig the hole and another nearly $32,000 for the tubes that make up the bunker.

Nelson, who documented the entire experience in a series of seven videos, said he wanted to show people how they could build a bunker for themselves. However, he noted that the expenses he'd tallied didn't include some of the tools and consumables he'd purchased to make the bunker — as well as the about 1,200 man-hours that he and some of the workers from his Not-A-Wheelchair company put into the project to get it done in time for winter in Utah.

The YouTuber told Business Insider the bunker is designed to sleep six people and will be between 400 to 500 square feet, calling it a "mobile home underground."

The entire unit will also be battery-powered.

Nelson's first two videos show his overall plans for the underground space and the process of getting two 20-foot pipes that weigh about 4,000 pounds each welded together and set up to go underground.

Nelson chose to design the bunker using storm drainage pipes.
Nelson chose to design the bunker using storm drainage pipes.Courtesy of Zack Nelson

He began posting videos about the project in November but told BI he'd started planning for it about a year prior, including working on the design with a civil engineering firm and getting city permits.

The process came easily to Nelson, who has a background in residential construction.

Nelson chose to design the bunker using storm drainage pipes.
The culvert pipes are 20 feet long and weigh about 4,000 pounds.Courtesy of Zack Nelson

Initially, he told BI he'd envisioned building the bunker from a shipping container, which he quickly learned would be a disaster. He later considered creating it out of cement but decided using culvert storm drainage pipes instead might be the cheaper option. The pipes are designed to be buried deep underground and have a service life of over 100 years.

Nelson welded the two pipes together, a process that he said took more work than he'd anticipated.

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Nelson welded the two pipes together.Courtesy of Zack Nelson

The YouTuber decided to bury the pipes about six feet underground, deep enough to protect from a catastrophe and to take advantage of the thermal insulation from the Earth.

To accommodate the size of the pipes, he had to dig a hole over 18 feet deep.

Nelson told BI excavating his property was by far the most dangerous part of the project.

"There's always the risk the hole could collapse into itself," he said.

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Nelson's project required a hole that was over 18 feet deep.Courtesy of Zack Nelson

Nelson said he was pleasantly surprised by how cheap it was to bring in a crane, which cost $1,864.

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Nelson used cranes to deposit the pipes into the hole.Courtesy of Zack Nelson

He also had to set up an entrance structure using steel and added space for an elevator shaft.

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The bunker also needed an entrance.Courtesy of Zack Nelson

After the pipes and entrance had been set up, the next step was to fill the hole, which he said was a more difficult process than expected and involved a series of steps to ensure the dirt and gravel settled properly.

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It took several steps to fill the hole.Courtesy of Zack Nelson

After the hole was filled in and he'd added sod to cover the freshly dug ground, the only identifier for the bunker was the entrance.

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Nelson covered the ground in sod.Courtesy of Zack Nelson

The YouTuber said his goal was to get the bunker set up underground in time for winter. He still needs to structure the interior of the pipes, including an elevator, a primary bedroom, a bedroom with bunk beds, a kitchen, and a bathroom. Nelson also plans to build a "man cave" area with a massive flatscreen television.

"It's been a dream of mine since I was a little kid to have an awesome hideout filled with technologies where a man can just chill," Nelson said in his initial video.

But unlike many bunker enthusiasts, Nelson told BI he's not a prepper and that the project's main goal is to drum up additional funding for his wheelchair manufacturing company. Throughout the process, Nelson has sold jars of dirt from the excavation project and branded t-shirts, which he said has helped pay for the project in addition to the millions of views his videos have generated online.

However, he said he plans to keep enough water and food in the bunker so his family could survive underground for a while.

"I think everyone at some point imagines the end of the world, but I don't think it's imminent," Nelson said. Still, the bunker is "definitely nice to have."

Read the original article on Business Insider