A BRIT mum is building a luxury cave with a sauna and chandeliers after buying the land for just £11,000.
Jennifer Ayres, 50, moved to Australia 15 years ago and is now on a mission to build the unique cavern home.
The mum-of-two started the project last year, after living in a tent for three months and then a caravan while she dug her new home with the help of a local cave-building expert.
Jennifer is hoping to turn the dusty cave into a two-bedroom house and one-bedroom “granny flat” that she can rent out – after purchasing the land for just £11,000.
The water engineer originally from Darlington, Durham, has also been collecting luxurious statement pieces to kit out the cave with such as a copper bath, black standalone sink, a Smeg integrated coffee machine, temple doors from India and several chandeliers.
“My friends are killing themselves laughing about this, but it will be the most luxurious cave house imaginable, including a sauna and a gym,” she said.
Instead of forking out on contractors and architects, the ambitious mum personally moved thousands of tonnes of dirt with machinery she bought herself after drawing her own “dream cave” designs.
“I have already moved thousands of tons of dirt with a conveyor belt and I thought it would be easier if I also got my own Bobcat – a machine to easily move materials from one location to another – so I can dump it by myself as well,” she said.
“I couldn’t afford an architect to draw the plans so I taught myself to do it.”
The cavern home is being built in Coober Pedy, just north of Adelaide, where temperatures rise to almost 50C in the summer seasons.
Jennifer explained this is why most residents either use old mines or dig their own caves as they stay a comfortable 22C to 24C all year round.
The 50-year-old has set a personal goal to have the tunnelling completed by Christmas – but there’s still a long way to go.
Jennifer has to dig a whopping six metres to reach ground that’s solid enough to build her cave which will create an insanely steep driveway that will one day lead to her front door.
“After tunnelling, I still have to do a lot of work on the internals – I’m going to be doing most of that myself as well,” she said.
Jennifer explained that she will also need to learn how to lay concrete tiles for the floor, as well as installing the plumbing and electric.
The budding builder has already spent £60,000 on the build so far, but said it’s been worth every penny to work on her dream home.
As the building is ongoing, the mum is living in her caravan while her husband and two adult kids stay at their family home in Adelaide.
Her husband drops by sometimes to visit, but she mostly spends time alone in sunny Coober Pedy getting to know her new local community.
She revealed that she’s been playing golf in the desert with a Catholic priest, joined the gun club and has been visiting underground pubs and restaurants.
But with the hug project underway, Jennifer is in no rush to finish it.
“If I want the cave house, I will have it, even if it takes me 10 years. I’ll sit there and do it, because it’s fun,” she said.
“I don’t just want to get a team of builders, but I want it to be my house, that I built.”
This comes after one couple turned a cave into a family home for five in just seven months, but they still battle the major issue of bad smells.
And a hermit told how he built a tiny cave home in a remote mountain after becoming sick of people hassling him.