Idaho-based American author Mike Oehler is a proponent of self-sustaining affordable houses for living. He is also the writer of famous ‘$50 & Up Underground House.’ In addition to writing, he’s also a participant of 1960’s back to the land movement. According to Oehler, he got the idea of building an underground house for himself after spending a freezing winter in small cabin built by him on his farmstead in Idaho Mountains.
The underground home in which Oehler lived for 30 year is built on his 40-acre farmhouse. He built the home for just $50 (and he spent $500 more expansion). This house is built to use the earth as insulation, the first underground house supported many errors and due to this Oehler calls it ‘first thought house.’
As per Oehler, the underground house built by him was constructed in three months, he dug everything by hands and the beams used inside the house were mostly thrown away lumbers taken from the mill. The self-sufficient house was provided with basement windows to welcome plenty of natural-light.
Oehler’s creation is nation’s first underground house built in 1971. Now due to arthritis and age factor he keeps himself away from hiking up to his house, but he still writes and make people aware about self-reliance housing projects. Mike Oehler has gradually evolved the building techniques and is now innovating the earlier design, to create better ways of letting light in. The evolved housing project include: ‘the Hollywood Wing,’ ‘the Royer foyer,’ and most-importantly the ‘uphill patio’ (which also provides space for an earth-sheltered greenhouse).
Mike Oehler is the man behind the underground movement, he is the person who clarified that underground self-sustaining living is not only for hippies and migrators but can be used by families, who want to appreciate the natural surroundings and be close to earth. To get more details on underground living and latest projects by Oehler, feel free to check out his website Underground Housing.
Still the only question that comes into mind is that with all the new housing construction rules, is it possible to build underground houses on the concept of PSP i.e. post/shoring/polyethylene? Do share your views on the simple, self-reliance living concept started by Mike Oehler.