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Walk-In Safe/Basement/Building House Questions?

 
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  #1  
Old 06-24-2006, 05:41 PM
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Walk-In Safe/Basement/Building House Questions?

We plan on building a house soon that will have a poured concrete foundation for a walk-out basement. The rear third of the basement going width wise is designated for mechanical heating and air and to be unfinished. The rear 2/3rds other side of the drywall are two bedrooms and two baths and a T.V. room seperating the two bed and baths and there would be sliding glass doors. There is 3000 acres of woods out the backdoor, but no way a vehicle other than an ATV could get to those doors in the back, so a truck could not pull up with a chain, but could anchor to a tree with a power winch. The plans call for access to the mechanical area through one of the bedrooms between the bedroom part and the bath part. You would have to open the bedroom door to see the door to the unfinished area that forms the wall of the forward part of the foundation (that part entirely underground). I would like to put a gunsafe (and make it my workshop too) in this forward area, but I have been wondering about a steel safe door with combination leading to the area. I just don't understand what good a safe door does, when you could take an ax and knock out the adjacent wall of drywall and have complete access. Without having steel plating inside the drywall, how does this system work? Seems it only would work if you cemented the walls all around the enclosed area also. Would it be better just to put the safe inside and a deadbolt on the access door? I also will have a reasonable sized walk in master closet that could hold a gunsafe. I'm concerned about the relative humidy in the basement verses the groundlevel (from the front) bedroom which should remain drier. The furnace will be in the same area as the reloading area workbench and the guns (but not very close)so it may keep the basement pretty dry. Supposedly, a poured, and then waterproofed basement is not musty like a block basement. This would be in the Southeast climate wise if this matters (very humid summers and cold wet winters). What would you guys do if you where me? I hate to use up the closet upstairs, but will if it is neccesary. I don't want to rely on dehumidifers unless that is a given for the Southeast. Brand recomendations would be helpful. I was going to drop about $1600 on the safe, so what does a safe door cost properly installed? For the life of me, I just don't understand how a safe door is secure with drywall and studs on each side of it---what am I missing? And just for kicks May never do it, but might be nice to know) seems that to be an FFL holder nowdays you need some secure area for guns--what would be needed to pass that requirement over and above what I am planning? Maybe a seperate alarm on the gunroom independent of the house alarm?
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:33 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Boise, Idaho
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Re: Walk-In Safe/Basement/Building House Questions?

Build it like my Dad's basement. His house was built in the 60's, and one of the things that people were adding was a bomb shelter. It is built in the corner of the basement, thus using 2 of the basement walls, then 2 cinder block walls on the inside of the basement and a concrete ceiling. There is a vent to the outside - from the outside of the house it looks just like a dryer vent. The temperature stays constant all year long and there has been no issues with moisture/water (no rusting guns in there). He has a loading bench setup in there and it also has shelves to store things on so it also serves as a pantry. It is about the size of a small bedroom.
All he needs to do is add a vault door to it to make it really secure. I was looking at a locksmith catalog that 4ked Horn has, and they even have vault doors that look like a normal interior door and it has a keypad that is mounted separately from the door so it could be hidden as well. I think the whole setup with concrete walls and a vault door would be the way to go for you. No worrying about someone busting through the sheet rock or even hacking into a safe. If they want your stuff, they can get it but they are really going to have to work for it.
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Old 06-24-2006, 09:29 PM
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Re: Walk-In Safe/Basement/Building House Questions?

A friend of mine put the bolts to bolt down the safe into the poured foundation, ie before it was poured, and then bolted the safe down with 6 or 8 grade 8 bolts. The safe is inside a reinforced room inside his steel-frame shop. Its not going anywhere.

I too plan on building a vault into my house, but that is several years in the future for me. I plan to use a hexagonal shape with steel reinforced concrete walls, safe door, etc. My reloading stuff will be kept separate in my shop with a shooting bench nearby for testing loads on the range behind the shop. Lots of plans, and only more time to add to it. I would be interested to see what you end up with and any info you could pass along.
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Old 06-25-2006, 02:38 AM
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Re: Walk-In Safe/Basement/Building House Questions?

Along the lines of gonehuntingagian mentioned, for max security make the wall between your mechanical room and your bedroom a block wall. but instead of referring to as a bomb shelter or gun room, it is your storm room (tornado or hurricane, what ever). It doesn't stand out and it is secure too. Then that reinforced door has something to hang onto besides drywall.

(PS) If you are REALLY paranoid you can build up the block wall yourself after the contractors leave and you can add rebar and fill the voids in the blocks to make it a reinforced, solid wall that will be more resistant to sledge hammers too.
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Old 06-25-2006, 08:36 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: north carolina
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Re: Walk-In Safe/Basement/Building House Questions?

So basically, these safe doors are only used when the walls themselves are reinforced? But, cinderblocks are no real problem for a sledgehammer. What about the humidity issues? I'm not paranoid in that "gun collection" is nothing like most guys, its just that I may hit the lottery and would want to be ready LOL. I also have a 2 1/2 year old son that I want to keep out too as he gets older and wants to look for trouble. The contractor issue is important, because people talk and the wrong person may hear and think I own an aresenal worth big bucks and might even come to get them when we are home. Forced break ins are pretty common nowdays with people home watching tv and the doorbell rings and blam! Anybody else?
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Old 06-25-2006, 02:01 PM
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Location: Boise, Idaho
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Re: Walk-In Safe/Basement/Building House Questions?

Good luck knocking down a cinder block wall if the cinder blocks have concrete poured down the 2 holes in them along with some rebar. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

As for a vault door, they are pretty expensive and there is no reason to spend that much if all someone has to do is go through the sheetrock next to it.

As for humidity - it has not been an issue - ever. It rains/snows a ton where my dad lives and it has never been a problem.

Since you are building a house, you could have them put in the concrete room, and put a normal door on it for now. It will be far cheaper to build that room as the foundation is poured vs. trying to do it later on. You could just have them pour all of the walls and just make them reinforced concrete and add a concrete ceiling to it. It probably wouldn't cost too much for them to do at that time either. Just tell them you are using it as a "wine cellar" (just install the vault door later.)
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Old 06-25-2006, 06:04 PM
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Re: Walk-In Safe/Basement/Building House Questions?

Dime

Have the third wall poured at the same times as the exterior wall and have it tied in with rebar. Have the correct bolts/ anchors for the safe door installed as the concrete is poured. Any Architect that can design a house can design this for you at the same time as the rest of the house as long as you pick out the steel door and give him the technical specifications.

GHA is right about cinder blocks with rebar and concrete. Good luck on knocking it down. You will need to pack a lunch and bring help. The trick is that you will need a vibrator to get the concrete to go down through the slots to the base.
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