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Walk-In Safe/Basement/Building House Questions?

 
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  #8  
Old 06-26-2006, 09:24 PM
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Location: Searcy, Arkansas
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Re: Walk-In Safe/Basement/Building House Questions?

Dime,

I'm just finishing a new house, hope to move in a couple of weeks from now. We have a full basement. Walk out on the back side, the other three sides underground.

The basement walls are poured concrete 12" thick. I had a room built against the back wall 14'X 8' with the same 12" thick walls. The ceiling / main level floor is supported by steel joists and has a 4" concrete slab.

I used a reinforced steel door with 4 deadbolts rather than a "safe" door. Maybe not quite as secure, but will take someone alot of time with conventional tools to get in.

I also have a gun safe which will be inside the safe room, the safe will be bolted to the concrete. So if they get in the safe room, they still have to get in the safe.

I also designed a hidden wall panel that has to be opened to see the safe room door. With the layout of the other rooms and the hidden door most people will not even notice there is another room. There is also a security system with door and motion sensors and hidden cameras

My heat and air system is ducted into the room. I also drilled a hole for a drain line just in case I need to put a de-humidifier inside.

Best of all, next to the safe room is a 14' X 16' room dedicated to reloading! Over 60 linear feet of bench space with lots of cabinets and drawers. I'll post pics when I get it set up.

Good luck with your project.
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  #9  
Old 06-26-2006, 10:05 PM
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Fountain, CO
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Re: Walk-In Safe/Basement/Building House Questions?

I am no expert by any means, but I have seen someone build a "vault" room on a budget. Unfortunately, the door (Remington) cost as much as your $1600. However, instead of CMU with rebar, the walls( he built in the corner of the basement)are metal stud, open plate metal reinforcement (walls and ceiling), then a double layer of 5/8" rock (1 hr fire wall).

The thing about the reinforced CMU is the supporting floor, it has to be reinforced itself to support that weight, and this was my friends way around it, as the house was existing. Is it inpenetrateble, no. But a thief would have to spend a lot of time getting through that wall, the door would be a quicker bet if he knew how to pick it. As a bonus, the "door" doesn't look like a vault door.

And I believe it cost him about 6K (with door)for a 8'X 10' room, which he contracted. If your house is still being built, you could probably haggle with your builder to get it cheaper.

Just my 2 cents............
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  #10  
Old 06-22-2009, 01:22 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
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Re: Walk-In Safe/Basement/Building House Questions?

The best approaches for preventing basement problems will depend on your local climate, type of insulation, and style of construction. However, the following general rules apply to most basement designs for creating a water-managed foundation system.



1. Keep all untreated wood materials away from earth contact.


2. Provide drainage, such as gutters, to conduct rainwater away from the house.


3. Slope the earth away from all sides of the house for at least 5 feet at a minimum 5% grade (3 inches in 5 feet). Establish drainage swales to direct rainwater around


4. Add a sill gasket to provide air sealing.
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  #11  
Old 06-27-2009, 01:55 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 32
Re: Walk-In Safe/Basement/Building House Questions?

I build homes for a living. In Kansas we have tornados every year. So this kind of room is common. A lot of good things have been said so far. If you talk to your builder and tell him you want a "safe room" hopefully he will know what you are talking about. There has to be footings poured where the walls will be to hold the weight. If you do this during construction the cost should not be too bad. The door could just be a steel door with some deadbolts and you could always get the vault door later.
So I would recomend that you have poured concrete walls put in while they are already pouring concrete.
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  #12  
Old 06-27-2009, 02:38 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: MN
Posts: 1,219
Re: Walk-In Safe/Basement/Building House Questions?

I am a concrete finisher by trade also. We do these kinds of rooms fairly often in Minnesota as well due to tornadoes and such. Any concrete or block wall will sweat and will give you some moisture issues if you don't vent it properly.

Waterproofing the walls w/ drylock will help but not totally solve the moisture issue... cold block or concrete walls simply sweat (the humid air condenses when it comes in contact with the cold wall. Talk to your HVAC contractor for some ideas on limiting moisture issues. Some contractors have us put 6 mil poly on the walls and pour the concrete up to it with a corrigated wall-edging to allow the moisture to go down to the drain tile.

A poured concrete wall w/ reinforcement is probably the best way to go since they are going to be pouring already. We often do a block wall that is core filled and pour a cap over the room too. The thing about the cap is that it makes it a little more challenging to get venting and conduit in the room - just takes more planning ;). You will need footings under the walls or a thickened floor would be sufficient (refered to as a monolithic footing). Most rooms that we do are in the 6-8' wide range just big enough for some cold storage and room for the family in case of a tornado. We generally pour a 6 -8" cap with rebar about 12" OC for these. If you go much wider than you may want to beef up the reinforcement to a double mat IMHO. These little rooms do get a little spendy. If you are just trying to make a "safe" room for valuables you may be OK w/ simply laying up block and having the door mounted in a concrete block wall with some being corefilled.


good luck, Mark.

Oh... I wouldn't recamend putting a safe door on the room if you intend to actually use the room for anything other than a safe. Potental for locking yourelf in. I think a good deadbolt should be sufficient. IMHO if they want to get inside really really badly they will find a way. The whole idea of safes and safe rooms is simply to make it impractical for someone to get inside. Bank vaults are penetrable.
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Last edited by britz; 06-27-2009 at 02:42 PM.
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  #13  
Old 06-27-2009, 09:56 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: N. Central Indiana
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Re: Walk-In Safe/Basement/Building House Questions?

An FFl that I know built his vault with cinderblock walls, filled with cement and rebar. Poured cap with LOTS of rebar, 8" thick. Safe door, plumbed for a dehumidifier, and lights. He then covered the outer walls with drywall so it looked like the rest of the building. The safe room is roughly 15' x 15' inside dimensions. there is an alarm system on the building and on that room as well.
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  #14  
Old 06-27-2009, 10:19 PM
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Location: Fredericksburg VA
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Re: Walk-In Safe/Basement/Building House Questions?

You might want to look at the new styrofoam blocks they are using now for poured concrete walls and floors. About 2 inches of styrofoam on each side, you stack them up like toy building blocks and they simply pour the concrete in the walls.

You use a "hot knife" to cut channels for electrical. Talk to your builder and architect about that type.

BH
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