I AM GOING TO BUY CAVE-HOUSE, what must I consider?
If I am going to live all the year round, I will consider the location and orientation. The best house cave will be oriented to the SOUTH, SOUTHEAST or SOUTHWEST, because caves oriented to the NORTH are colder and fresher and only advisable if you are going to use them between May to September.
It has to be well aired and dry and have some exterior windows or with the possibility of making new windows facing the street or a patio with light or "locana". A cave-house with a good entrance and car access is preferable
Another factor to be considered is that the cave should be old; the older it is, the harder its walls.
The land it is constructed on has to be robust and compact, and the rooms should be arched with an average space of 2.60 meters to 4 meters. (This space corresponds to the width of the room). When the space is minimal, the ceiling can be flat if the land permits.
REFORMED CAVE OR TO REFORM?
We can choose to buy a reformed cave-house or to reform it. Personally, I would advise you to opt for the latter and request that it be reformed to your own taste. In this way, you can make storage spaces, lockers, cupboards, space for electrical appliances, a garage, a stable or pen for horses or animals, etc, in other words you can add your own personal touch.
A cave with several rooms/bedrooms, kitchen with a wood fire and chimney, pantry and a toilet, or a room with an exterior window that can be converted into a bathroom, is a good cave. Furthermore, if it reunites the previously mentioned characteristics, it is an excellent cave. If in addition it has ample outdoor space for a garage, garden, swimming pool or barbecue, it is a luxury.
A cave in itself is pretty, because it is a work of art and there are no two caves alike. Caves were made to live in with the FAMILY: to keep grain, straw, animals etc. Nothing at all like our present day houses with views of virtually nothing.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
BIOCLIMATIC. Cave-houses have a minimum cost of heating and cooling, as they are isothermal. Every cave is isothermal due to the great walls that maintain it and to the hill that covers it and protects it from abrupt changes of temperature. In addition, caves can support any structure that serves to obtain alternative energies (solar, Aeolian).
ECOLOGICAL. The material of which a cave is made is natural. Electromagnetic waves from the outside do not pass through walls and hills, which provides complete calm. Inside, cell phones leave us in peace, and it is necessary to go to the first room, vestibule or kitchen with an exterior window, or to the entrance or outside if we want to use our cell phone.
SAVING. The caves are cheap in terms of square meter compared with an apartment or house. Cave-houses are at the moment, the cheapest properties on the market. 2006 prices started at 30,000€ for a cave requiring a few reforms to convert it into a cheap cave dwelling to live in or as an investment to resell or to be used for rural tourism. There are no community costs; these are detached houses with no communal expenses.
Local council property tax (I.B.I.) is very reasonable at the moment. You pay only 1/6th of what you would pay for a flat or house.
Municipal taxes: potable water, sewage system and rubbish collection. These are only 1/4 of the cost in Madrid or Alicante.
SECURITY. Caves are safe as far as adverse weather conditions are concerned. Documented evidence shows that an earthquake in 1531 destroyed the houses and all the caves were left intact. Only a few had some small cracks that did not affect the robustness of the cave. They are robust, are not affected by aluminosis, or termites, nor is it necessary to change the main beams or girders because they do not exist. Very resistant to earthquakes.
TRANQUILLITY. You do not bother the neighbours when moving furniture around, as they are completely soundproof.
SPIRITUAL PEACE. If you are searching for the inner you, nothing better than peaceful meditation inside a cave.
- Caves are usually located in Rural Towns far from our workplaces.
- Building permissions and electricity installation usually take more time.
- With some exceptions, caves have less ventilation than apartments.
- You waste a lot of time with the siesta, because you do not know when to wake up!
Although the prices of caves are rising, they are still two to three times cheaper than apartments.
You can buy a cheap cave-house for between 40.000€ and 94.000€ or a medium or high-priced cave with more rooms, plot and extensions for between 120.000€ and 240.000€.
As with everything, there are super caves that are sold at higher prices for businesses like Restaurants, Rural Tourism, etc..
In addition, complexes of several caves together are on sale that cost more because they can be adapted and used exclusively for Rural Tourism.
To buy a cave with three or four bedrooms is an investment in a house that can also be dedicated to Rural Tourism during the time that you yourself cannot use it. (A house cave is rented for 140-180€ a day).
WORK AND MAINTENANCE IN CAVE HOUSES
The rooms can be enlarged as long as you want depending on the hill, but they can never be as wide as we wish.
The ventilation of the house cave is so important that if there is none, then it is necessary to create it by means of natural systems of ventilation like a mineshaft that crosses the hill or that leaves some inner room as far as the street. Another system is to open a well-chimney with openings above to the outside. Also, glass floor tiles can be laid to provide solar light to the cave. Caves with little ventilation must be aired by leaving the door and small windows open on sunny days and the walls must not be painted with impermeable or insulating paint. The best thing is to whiten them with stone lime.
IF YOU LIKE ANIMALS…
This should be located in the most far away area of the cave next to the courtyard.
Stables for horses:
These can be located in rooms that have a window and exit door to the outside. It is advisable to provide the stable with a tunnel or corridor from any inhabitable room of the cave to be able to feed the horses without having to go outside.