How Much Does it Cost to Build a Bomb Shelter?

Typical Range:

$37,000 - $65,500

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated June 9, 2021

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Underground Bunker Prices

A 200-square-foot bunker costs $52,750 on average, for just the bunker itself. Most bunkers of this size range from $37,000 to $65,500. Smaller bunkers may only cost around $19,000 but you could easily spend upwards of $8 million for a large underground shelter.

While these prices are for kits that typically include water and air filtration, they often won’t cover delivery fees nor installation. Shipping alone can cost around $10,000. Excavating the land and installing the bunker could cost anywhere from $20,000 to $25,000. Your most affordable option for installation might be putting in a bunker during construction on a new house.

Average Bunker Costs

Average Cost$52,750
High Cost$65,500
Low Cost$37,000

Costs above are for a 200-square-foot bunker. Installation not included.

Bomb Shelter Cost

Depending on size, bomb shelters can cost anywhere from $19,000 to $8 million or more. Bomb shelters and underground bunkers usually refer to the same thing and include filtration systems to handle nuclear fallout.

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Fallout Shelter Cost

A 200-square-foot fallout shelter costs $52,750 on average. Nuclear fallout shelters became popular during the Cold War. Nowadays, nearly every bunker or bomb shelter comes fully equipped with water and air filtration to protect against radiation exposure.

Prefab Nuclear Bomb Shelter Price

Prefabricated nuclear bomb shelters span from $40,000 to $80,000 (not including labor and shipping costs). It’s common for manufacturers to offer prefab bunkers or shelters and then either construct them onsite or ship you the materials.

Doomsday Bunker Cost

A doomsday or apocalypse bunker can cost anywhere from $35,000 to several million dollars. Some companies use “doomsday” bunkers interchangeably with nuclear or fallout bunkers but some people see these types of bunkers as different.

A bomb shelter is sometimes seen as a temporary place of safety whereas a doomsday bunker is sometimes considered to be a long-term housing solution. As such, doomsday bunkers might cost millions and include things like a hydroponic gardening system, greenhouse, or even a movie theater or pool.

Depending on what you’re looking for, here are a couple additional costs to consider:

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Above Ground vs. Underground Bunker Cost

An above-ground shelter typically costs less than one that’s underground, both in materials and labor. For reference, the average cost to build a storm shelter ranges from $3,000 to $15,000 above ground and $4,000 to $30,000 below ground. Talk to an architect near you for an estimate.

DIY Bomb Shelter vs. Hire a Professional

Building an underground bomb shelter is a ton of work and requires professionals with engineering and architectural backgrounds. Trying to tackle this project on your own is extremely risky and could even be illegal if not built to code.

Hiring an architect costs $5,300 on average but it’s a price well worth your safety. When building something to protect you and your loved ones, the last thing you want is to cut corners.


What is a bomb shelter?

A bomb shelter is an abode built to withstand disaster. Bomb shelters may refer to a space or bunker that can protect inhabitants through a hypothetical nuclear attack, apocalypse or any other massive crisis. They’re usually built underground and stocked up for people to live there for months or years at a time.

How do you build your own bomb shelter?

Bomb shelters are often built with reinforced steel, box culvert, concrete or other durable materials (but many professionals do not recommend shipping containers, as they’re not designed to live underground. If building underground, you’ll first have to excavate land before building the actual structure. You’ll have to implement filtration systems for air and water, as well as a septic system and power supply.

It takes a lot of experience to safely and legally construct a bomb shelter, not to mention make sure it’s fit to live in for extended periods of time. It’s best to talk to a residential structural engineer near you for proper guidance.

How do you filter air in a bomb shelter?

To filter air in a bomb shelter, you have to buy a filtration system that pumps and filters air in from the outside. Most bunker manufacturers include an air filtration system in their prices.

How much does a doomsday bunker cost?

Doomsday bunkers typically cost at least $35,000 but could cost as much as several million dollars.

What are Rising S bunker prices?

Rising S bunker prices depend on the size, ranging anywhere from $58,500 to $8.3 million. Their least expensive model is 200 square feet while their most expensive model has a gym, swimming pool, hot tub and bowling alley.

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