I am hell bent on bugging in. I spent 20 years close enough to the federal government to believe the dog was eating its tail at a terrific rate. So I pulled the string and strategically relocated most of the family to a sleepy, creepy small town where I believed retirement dollars were maximized, churches were full and the locals were of similar mindsets and globally diverse. Coming from the west coast, somewhere south of Los Angeles, we were used to 1500 square feet, ten feet from the next floor plan, and mortgaged for life after the bubble burst. As normal consumers, we were memorized by our new towns housing market and what money could buy.
My strategery was first to have enough footage to provide for my two adult daughters and a son in law, who had decided to drop everything and journey with us. Second was to ensure the location was well hidden, protected by trees/forest and had natural water within walking distance, as in, “lake in the backyard”. At $90 per square foot, we ended up with 4500 square feet.
Everything was fine while the kids owned downstairs. It meant we only lived in about 2400 square feet. Then, all three kiddos found careers and bought (and built) their own homes. Exciting for parents to see moving trucks pull up for their kids when they are embarking on one of the last American dreams. Then it hit me, what am I going to do with another 2100 square feet for my husband and I and our three year old son named “holy shit, howd that happen!”
The extra space including a full kitchen, baths, great room, mud room and three bedrooms was perfectly empty. Heat it, cool it, maintain it, furnish it? We don’t even entertain (much) so do I rent it out for extra jack?
I’ve shared my recent discovery and enthusiasm for preparing and after weeks of walking through the vacant underbelly of our castle, it hit me. This space will become a fortified prepper’s Mecca. Not something you would expect to see on an episode of “Hoarders” rather a well designed functional living space with normal things that hide un-normal things like weapon systems, fortification, safe rooms, bulk food and water, radio room, solar backup station, etc. But first I had to lower the costs of monthly bills to bare minimums with the size of the property.
I did this by dumping cable and delivering content through WiFi and available tower bleed. I replaced all fixtures with single bulb, high efficiency, timed power delivery, heating and cooling has been difficult because the HVAC system was designed for high flow, meaning vents cant be closed without driving efficiency down. Winter is not bad but summer is cash pit. I killed one of three lawns and changed irrigation for entire lot to the lake source with an efficient submerged pump system. Critical watering can be done with hand pump. All exterior lighting is solar. I reduced costs by about $380 per month which is re-invested in food and water storage.
How odd is this? My hubby measuring for things like theater screens and home brewing equipment and I’m looking for hidden space cavities, tactical rooms, escape routes, defensible positions and of course, evac routes. So here’s the rough draft with future updates promised:
- Main food and water storage room climate controlled at 58 degrees. One hidden entry protected by a ballistic hallway and one normal entry.
- A cement safe room between then ballistic hallway and the main living space.
- A guest master suite with closet fed evac route to safe room via the ballistic hallway.
- A tribe quarters with wall mounted bunkers for 10.
- A radio room with significant capabilities with grid and solid functionality off grid.
- A normal kitchen primarily designed for brewing beer, yep, I said it.
- A normal great room with excessive screen space, record player and most if not all the 1970-1990 classics on LP.
- Exit through sliding storm doors to deck 1 which is two rocket stove stations and wood storage.
- Deck 2 is raised bed planters for a host of grow prep’s and yes, a hop garden.
- Weapons systems are in four tool segments
- Sniper rifles
- All weapons are identical set ups and calibers for user familiarity and ammo sustainability.
So there you have it. As this money suck starts in March, I will keep you posted.