Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Word About Construction

Hardened Structures operates in all 50 states. I believe they have the ability to build worldwide. Note the hidden reinforced areas underneath the home for both living and storage.  is a full service company who builds everything from commercial structures, to miltary structures, to fortified homes and special projects.  Their architects and engineers do everything from risk assessment to design and implementation of everything from your very prepared home, to entire "bug out communities" with bunkers.  They also provide EMP mitigation, should you be interested.  Definitely, take a look at their website:

They also provide emergency bunkers including installation, for tornadoes, and other man-made or natural disasters.  Some of the smaller structures are quite reasonable for the amount of engineering and expertise one receives.  Please take a look when you have some time. Their website is very complete and quite interesting.

This is a wonderful interactive tour for those of us who would likely drool at these features:

      Most of us cannot entertain building a "hardened facility" of some kind as a residence.  Over the years, my husband and I have owned many homes, and actually had two built for us, and the closest we were able to get was to build a hardened basement under our home.  We did this because there are enough tornadoes, and we suspected there could be earthquakes, and we wanted there to be a reliable and solid place not only for our family to go in an emergency with little notice, but also a reliable place in which to store emergency supplies.  Most of us must structure some type of a compromise.

        Our own compromise entailed building with "superior walls"

These walls comprise a variety of products which are constructed as concrete walls off site, under ideal conditions for hardening, and they are made to your builders exact specifications.  Then, they are trucked to the site, and fastened together permanently.  The result is a line of different products which are incredibly resistant to earthquake and to tornado.

This is a cabin being built over superior walls. Note how the doors and window openings are all custom. (Photo belongs to: Hidden Lake Lodge of Kentucky)    Superior Walls can be left with a stucco exterior, or faced entirely in brick, as we did.

This is how the pieces arrive and are assembled by the company itself using a crane.  Ours was set within an area cut in the soil so that only the back was windowed and accessible from the outside.

We chose superior walls not just because it was energy efficient, and very strong, but because we could get a very tall ceiling basement, like another home entirely, beneath our home.  The entire basement project did not cost very much more than a tall basement with additional courses of concrete block would have.

This is what it looks like when installed, before it is finished.  Since this is completely custom, holes for electrical wiring and other modifications are made in advance of factory construction.  These areas are very energy efficient.
Ultimately, our basement was finished and looks identical to any other construction inside.

Our own floor was reinforced concrete also.

              Of course, building structures is a lot like living a life.  We must chose the things on which we must compromise, and in turn, make the best choices for our family.  My goal is to educate everyone in terms of knowing more about some of the construction materials which are now available.   Selecting carefully can allow you to construct your project well under the budget you believe will be required.   This is an excellent time to build anything from a home to a cabin.   There are many construction specials, land specials, and builders are ready to make deals to keep their crews working.   If you do decide to build something, then take lots and lots of before, during and after pictures.  Whether you choose to share them or not, it's good to have documentation of your structures should repairs or modifications be necessary.

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