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Costs of Building an Earth Sheltered Home

Due to substantial increases in building materials and transportation costs, we have had to increase our pricing. We do keep the needs of our clients in mind and find you the best builders’ deals on materials and fixtures as needed.

Basic Costs:
Effective 10/21/2017 – $33 per square foot 24′ module (for construction of shell structure only) includes:

  • footings
  • shell structure (does not include floor, which is poured after plumbing, 
    electrical, phone, ductwork, & outlets, and completed at owner’s expense.)
  • blockouts & arches in shell & footings
  • labor for placement of vents, flues
  • labor for installation of electrical conduit
  • thermal break insulation as needed
  • 28 ft. modules estimated at $35.00 sq/ft

*Out of Texas state –  add $1.00 sq ft for each module*
*Concrete Allowance – ($100 yd.), Pumper Allowance ($450 per), Waterproofing – standard ($2.25 sq. ft.) premium ($4.25 sq. ft.)*

Site Analysis: 
Within 40 miles of Bastrop, Texas, minimum of $300. Outside this area, $300 per day plus all travel expenses and $1.25/mile.

Drafting costs:

  • $300.00 per 24 square foot module
  • $350.00 per 28 square foot module
  • to be paid at time of Site Analysis


  • Standard non-VOC waterproofing, applied at $2.25/square foot of
    surface area

    • Freight charges to be determined per job
  • Premium waterproofing is available, applied at $4.25/square foot of 
    surface area, which includes:

    • 10 mil membrane
    • Drainage mat & Protection Board
    • 10 year manufacturer’s written warranty
  • Travel costs are charged in addition to waterproofing charges.

Prices subject to change

  • 6′ octagon – $3,000.00
  • 3′ x 3′ square – $2,200.00

Loop System (duct work): 
Price to be quoted on a per-job basis:

  • Installation of 6″, sch40
  • Installation of 8″, sch40

Special Design Work:

  • Our consulting time is based on $120 per hour.
  • Engineering is required, charges will be per engineer’s billing.
  • Special design costs will be billed as incurred and due upon billing.

Travel Expense:
For construction that is 40 miles outside of the Bastrop area, the Owner 
will pay for:

  • Motel accommodations for work crew (4-5 people)
  • $30.00 per man per day meal allowance
  • Moving and transport expenses will be determined per job.
  • For out of state expenses, there will be additional costs determined accordingly

Design & Preliminary Construction Contract:
A preliminary drawing will be provided to the Client for his review and changes and will be returned to Ralph Smoot for Final Plans to be drawn. Any changes to Final Plans will be made and billed at the rate of $120.00 per hour. All VA/FHA specification requirements will be billed at cost.

Consultation Cost:
Initial consultation for the preparation of the “working drawing” will be at no charge. Upon signing of contract, six (6) hours of technical consultation relative to the construction of home will be provided at “no charge”; thereafter, consultation will be billed at $120.00 per hour.


  1. A concrete allowance and concrete pumper allowance fees are specified
    in the Construction Contract.
  2. Cost of concrete additive “Super Plasticizer” will be charged at cost when purchased.
  3. Strengthening fibers can be added at additional cost.

All prices quoted on this page are as of 10/21/17, and are subject to change without notice.