Shipping Container Makes an Amazing Underground Shelter/Wine Cellar

shipping container wine cellar

If you have the space and resources, you can turn a shipping container into an amazingly effective underground shelter.  This is a great step-by-step example of how a 20 foot container can be buried, reinforced, and have utilities added to make a shelter that has everything you’d need in an emergency, and double as a cellar for food storage – or in this case, wine. 🙂

Shipping Container Makes an Amazing Underground Shelter/Wine Cellar

container-shelter1First, the hole is dug 2 feet deeper than the height of the container and gravel is added to the bottom and leveled.

container-shelter2A septic tank company is hired to place the container in the hole.

container-shelter3A space for a sump pump is placed at the bottom of the hole next to the container door to help keep water out, and concrete steps are built going down into the hole.

container-shelter4I-beams are placed on each side of the steps level with the container, then heavy sheet metal is placed over the top and across to each of the side banks.  Blocks are set to create the entrance down into the container.  Air vents are installed, along with PVC stubs for utilities, then a rebar framework is built over the whole unit.

container-shelter5Next, concrete is poured and leveled.  A total of six inches of concrete covers the container.

container-shelter6Everything but the entrance is covered in soil so the surface of the ground can be replanted with grass or trees.  The entrance can be left as is, or have a small building built over it.


The steps taken to build this shelter by installing the concrete cap and keeping water and dirt away from the walls will ensure it will stay relatively rust-free and last for many years.  See the building process in the video below.


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