Built in Gun Safe
Hey guys I am in the planning phase for my new house, and with my dad collecting guns and my grandad collecting guns I will someday inherit roughly 350 firearms plus my collection, so as you can see I am in the range of guns that a built in safe becomes more appealing....not just for guns but for other valuables plus its a built in "safe room"
Well I have found a source for vault doors but I'm not sure about how I will enclose the rest of the safe.....I was thinking cynder blocks two rows thick all around and a poured concrete roof with a total size of approx 13' x 13' under a room with no plumbing.....
Do any of you guys know of a site I can research my options here a little more? or an online guide to these types of safes?
I can't help you with the research but why don't you go ahead and put some plumbing in the room as well. Then it will be a safe room that you could survive for quite a while in.
Electric and a phone line into the room in addition to plumbing if to be used as a safe room. Might want to consider ventilation also.
Cinder or concrete block isn't a good idea. I could get through either in a few minutes with a sledgehammer. If the ceiling is going to be poured, why not pour the walls as well? Use heavy rebar for reinforcement, and then wire old cyclone fencing to it all over. Once it's poured, the fencing will make it almost impossible to punch a hole through the wall. You'll need electricity, of course, and a small drain is advisable to drain the electric dehumidifier. Use a check valve so no sewage can back up. And have a security system installed in the house that reports to a central station, complete with smoke, carbon monoxide, and water detectors.
I thought of locating one under the front porch with access in the basement through a vault door. I even thought about making a small tunnel leading into the front yard abnd outside the permiter of the house. Add a sealed manhole cover below grade for an emergency exit. The cover could be lifted off in an emergency with a 2 1/4 ton floor jack and a steel brace.
Pour the walls and roof when you have the rest of the walls poured. Add rebar and fence as suggested by ttpete.
Ask yourself "is this big enough?". Think of everything you may want to do and keep in the room. Will it be a "safe room"? Then the door needs to open to the inside. Don't want to get caught in there after the house has been been blown over.
Definitly add the electric, drain, plumming and a hardline for the phone. Get a phone that doesn't need batteries for this location. No wireless phones here.
My biggest concern is building it and then realizing it's too small. Watch out for those guys pouring the concrete too. With all that rebar and fence it will be extremely evident to everyone what you are building.
What level of security are you looking for? Keep burglars out, the kiddies, the invaders from The War Of The Worlds?
Seriously, what I am considering is building an arms room in the corner of my basement with 8" block walls with reinforcement wire every third course. (The cells could be filled during construction if you want a solid wall.) I'll frame the ceiling to permit access for future wiring, etc. and apply sheathing of two layers 5/8" fire rated drywall. Instead of a $3000 vault door, I'll install a gypsum-core wood veneer commercial fire rated door into a steel door jamb. The steel frame cavity can be filled with concrete while the block are being laid up with the frame clips mortared into the block. This should give a 1-1/2 hour fire rating to the room. I could install a halon (type) fire suppression system. Carpeted walls, lighting, cabinets and desktop for gun-smithing.
I did not do much commercial construction before I retired, but the method would work, short of a bank vault or a bomb shelter.
You can reinforce your walls by inserting rebar in the cells of the block and the filling them with concrete. Actually now that is the code for construction in South Florida for hurricanes. The other way would be to "paint" the inside of your bunker/Safe with Rhino Liner or a similar product. It is being used now in new US Embassies built because they are a pretty good way to make the walls blast proof.
Why not just build a 'safe house'?
Originally Posted by ttpete
Be sure to post pictures when its done. Sounds like quite the project! When I build my house (it'll be years) I'll have something like this. Instead of calling it a "safe room" I'm going to call it "the armory". It might be better to do it not so over the top and all by yourself than to have strangers working on it and make it extra strong etc..
My son in law recently did the rough in carpentry on a house that had a "double" concrete wall in the basement. The foundation extended approximately 3.5 - 4 feet beyond the dementions of the framed house on the front. The concrete roof to the secret room became the concrete walkway that ran along the front of the house running from the driveway to the front porch.
Essentially creating a hidden room about 4 ft X 35 ft.
There was about a 4 foot wide cut out doorway in the basement that entered the little room.
He doesn't know how they finished it off. Whether they put a vault door on it or made a "hidden" door using paneling and other camoflauge.
He showed me the house when it was still being framed and they didn't have the concrete walkway poured on top of the hidden room but it looked pretty cool. My imagination came up with many possibilities.
You mean kinda like this?
I always thought Bert's was the classic! You do need rebar thou!
I'd never build below grade thou - floods and power loss spell disaster..
Concrete block, stack bond, with rebar in every cell tied back to the foundation. Fill every cell with grout every 3 or 4 courses.
I did a bank vault that had similar construction for the foundation and a thickened slab with 8 layers of rebar for the cap.
The actual vault (safety deposit boxes) sat on top of this cmu room + cap and consisted of pre-cast concrete panels with shards of steel mixed in.
I was in commercial construction in my previous life.
Not if you build it to commercial code, which means that you give it steel reinforcement and infil every cell.
Originally Posted by ttpete
Anways, to the OP you may want to check this product out:
Built like a separate building, with its own footing in the ground, your room will actually maintain a 55-60 temperature on its own. It will also resist moisture problems as well. You can finish it off however you want, since there are steel stud strips allready in the block.
Of course, you may end up deciding you want to build your whole house out of that too. Let me know if you have any questions about the benefits of having an extemely energy efficient home.
Or you could just build a completely underground house. Then, 5 out of 6 sides will be concrete with about 3 foot of dirt on top of that.
seen the polysteel website... very cool stuff!