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Hidden / Safe Room

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by 44 Guy, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. 44 Guy

    44 Guy Washington State Member

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    I am moving next week and the house I am buying has a space the size of a bedroom that is pretty much hidden. I will be making it completely hidden. My reloading equipment, emergency supplies, guns etc. will all be stored in it. Any ideas on how to make it a safe room? What would be the best lining for the walls?
     
    Stepside2000 likes this.
  2. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    AR550 steal plates... Really though, I just watched a YouTube vid on a guy who did just this. He did plate it in 2 layers of 3/8" steel on top of mesh and practical board with 12" stud centers.

    Way over built but pretty cool idea.
     
    Peteralexander78 likes this.
  3. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    There are kits to line rooms with steel. There are kits to make a safe room in a basement. There are safe room doors you can buy varying from a security door to a full on vault door that costs more than a top of the line gun safe.

    Personally I would just put a good security door on it and have my gun safe inside it. Not sure what I would line the walls with - if your gun safe was tall enough you could take the guns out and stand or sit inside it with the door partly open as an ad hoc protection from gun fire - but this would probably only allow one or two people inside it.
     
  4. huthuthike

    huthuthike Hillsboro OR Active Member

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    I think you have to determine what type(s) of threat you are protecting yourself from and go from there. Do you need to stop pistol or rifle rounds? Something bigger? Do you need to be able to fight your way out? Is this a place to hide in case of home invasion? Do you need a secondary entrance/exit? Will you be able to call for help by phone or other means? Are you going to wire surveillance to the room? What will happen in earthquake, mudslide, volcanic eruption or flooding - are the supplies in this room accessible or can they survive those events?

    I've seen videos of guys building these safe rooms and I usually don't understand what threat they are protecting themselves from. They build the rooms to be survivable for the end of the world but don't have provisions inside. I saw one where the guy had a vault door and bullet resistant wall paneling but nothing on the ceiling - just sheetrock and wood-framing.

    It sounds like you are being smart and trying to formulate a plan before spending a lot of money but you will need to examine what you are trying to protect yourself from using your best judgement, I wish you luck!
     
  5. solv3nt

    solv3nt Portland Well-Known Member

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    I'd just build a bookshelf that opens to the bathroom, and skip the metal plating.
     
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  6. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Hardy board for fire protection,inside and out if possible without tearing the place apart.Some use chain link fencing to slow down power saws.Heck if you had the room inside,you could use cinder blocks filled with gunite or just sand.Cinder blocks alone barely slow down a 308
    And a sprinkler system around the outside perimeter of it so it will keep you and your valuable safe.
    Oh and some type of waterproofing over the top of the room to keep all inside dry.
    I have thought about this after hearing guy say they're buying their 3rrd or 4th safe.
    You're half way or better,money wise, to a safe/gun room.Plus you get to walk in and look at your guns instead of banging them into each other getting them out of the safe
     
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  7. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Books stop bullets pretty well.
     
  8. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I am thinking my next house, which I will probably have built when I retire, will have a safe room with concrete walls reinforced with rebar, and a vault door. It won't be so much to keep me safe as just a secure storage room instead of a safe. I am going to be traveling in the winter so I want a strong secure room to store valuables in.

    I currently have a walk-in closet in the master bedroom that I could probably make hidden to a degree - if I hid the door somehow it isn't immediately apparent from the layout of the house that there should be space there.

    Beyond that, the walk-in closet has a backend that could have a false wall and a safe could be put behind that, or just simply put a row of clothes in front of the safe.
     
  9. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    "I currently have a walk-in closet in the master bedroom that I could probably make hidden to a degree - if I hid the door somehow it isn't immediately apparent from the layout of the house that there should be space there."

    I would say,for the most part,unless it's a high end thief,they'll never no the difference.Most common folk couldn't tell if you hid a room.
     
  10. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Nothing stops fire, even fire board! I would probably install an armored steel door and frame and build a small armored box inside. Just big enough to hold the number of people involved. Mainly for the wife. Remember, fire! I'm convinced it's better to fight it out than wait for the Molotov Cocktails.
    BTW, congratulates on your house and that room! SRG
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2014
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  11. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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  12. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    My kids have a master bedroom with bathroom upstairs that they don't use. It wouldn't be hard to hide the stairs entrance. If you don't look at the house from the backyard you don't even notice that it is a two story house with a room upstairs. Only from the backyard can you really see it.
     
  13. Architect

    Architect Portland, OR Member

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    What is the goal of your safe room? Does it need to be bullet proof? Fire proof? Flood proof?

    There are tons of considerations for something like this. The first major question to work out, particularly with a hidden room, is what happens when the rest of the house burns down/gets shot at/floods? If the studs holding up your brand new steel walls burn away, your room will collapse. Same idea with a flood which would weaken studs and certainly leak between the panels. If it's just to stop bullets, maybe steel panel would work, but if someone is coming to get you specifically, even steel wouldn't do much good if you didn't have enough supplies inside to wait it out. Plus, as I mentioned, just cutting through the studs supporting your steel panels would collapse the room. 2 minute job.

    Depending on the goal of the room, sheathing it with plywood and two layers of gyp offers considerable sturdiness and 2-hour fire protection, allowing you time to remove valuables in the event of an emergency. If you have direct access to a concrete slab at the floor of the room, that is the ideal situation for bolting down a nice safe inside the room.

    There is only so much you can do with existing construction. To get the maximum protection, you would need to building a standalone structure within the boundaries of the room without attaching to any existing walls. If it's on the second floor, forget about it. If it's on the first floor, make sure your foundation can support the extra weight of new framing or CMU walls and steel panels.

    This was a long-winded post, but I design buildings for a living, so it's fun to think about.
     
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  14. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Good points but If you surround the room with a sprinkler system,then fire isn't an issue
    And if a guy built a room with steel that couldn't support itselt,then Darwin would win.
    As far as the existing house supporting all this,you can always take up the floor and build a sub foundation to support all the new amenities.
    I think flood proof is silly.Just don't live in a flood zone,but that's just me
     
  15. Rocky C

    Rocky C Portland Metro Active Member

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    If your the bad guy burning somebody out of their house and their sprinkler system goes off, wouldn't you just go out to the meter or pump and close it?
    End of sprinkler system.
     
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  16. Rocky C

    Rocky C Portland Metro Active Member

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    Safes can only protect what I can't protect because I am not there. I do believe that cover and concealment is a big safety feature.
    In any assault I am staying mobile and addressing hostiles as they enter my perimeter.
     
  17. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    If my power goes out, the well pump won't provide water pressure.

    Also, not all fires can be fought with water, and sometimes buildings burn down regardless. If you are feeding your sprinkler system with PVC plumbing (which a lot of houses have today) the plumbing will melt in a fire.
     
  18. skydiver

    skydiver Sandy,OR Well-Known Member

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    After watching break in videos, I think differently.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2015
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  19. WashCoDad

    WashCoDad Beanerton Active Member

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    Ya side or top access is the downfall to most safes.
    Cordless grinders and sawzalls can make quick work of "security" measures.
     
  20. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    That's exactly the reason I bought a 4000 lb safe made in 1904 by the mosler company.

    8" minimum solid steel in every direction. Good luck with that:cool: