vault / gun room / safe room questions

vault / gun room / safe room questions

This is a discussion on vault / gun room / safe room questions within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Alright. Im looking into puting a gun room thingy in my basement. in general what im looking for is something not tooo expensive, something that ...

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    Question vault / gun room / safe room questions

    Alright. Im looking into puting a gun room thingy in my basement.
    in general what im looking for is something not tooo expensive, something that will keep out a bad guy with a sledge hammer for 20 mins till the cops show up (i do plan on him tripping my alarm system, im not trying to protect my stuff from the best professional robber ever). I certainly want it to be fireproof.

    - what should I do for walls? 2 of the walls will already be the basement block, need to build 2 more. I dont think I am going to be pouring any concrete. Im thinking block with maybe an additional layer of something for extra reinforcement and fire proofing (steel plate, etc).

    - what about a door? I can find vault doors online for 2k to 15k... anything a smidge cheaper? Anyone know where I can find a used vault door? A place my builder can get one for cheaper?

    - plan on putting in some ventilation / dehumidifier. any comments on that aspect of it?

    - the hardest part: what about the ceiling? The house is currently being built, already got prewiring, about to do sheetrock. I have no idea what to do for the ceiling for fireproofing and such. I'm not all that worried about the robber going through my floors from the upstairs to get to the vault, but obviously need some protection. More worried about the fire aspect / house crumbling down around it aspect.

    - Though I can't really see me using a safe room, I'll go ahead and make it that as well. communication device, obviously some food and water, its a gun room.. so guns. any other considerations here?

    - what would u expect the cost to be for ~7x10' room with vault door having to build 2 of the 4 walls?

    any pics of rooms y'all have would be awesome as well.
    Wo die Notwehr aufhört, fängt der Mord an
    (Murder begins where self-defense ends)
    Georg Büchner


  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array razor02097's Avatar
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    wow I would like to start by saying I am envious of your project...

    I would start looking at stuff like fire retardant insulation, block and different framing materials like synthetic woods. Nothing is going to stop a professional safe cracker but anything (even regular room with steel door and deadbolt) will stop the average low life wanting your stuff.

    Don't discount concrete yet you can get away with good structure support and cheap using block for the main wall. using rebar and filling it with concrete will help make it much stronger and its very very fire resistant.
    There is something about firing 4,200 thirty millimeter rounds/min that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    ya, just considering the ceiling in the basement is already in, im not sure how easily we could pour cement into the blocks.
    any ideas on ceiling?
    Wo die Notwehr aufhört, fängt der Mord an
    (Murder begins where self-defense ends)
    Georg Büchner

  4. #4
    Distinguished Member Array razor02097's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by friesepferd View Post
    ya, just considering the ceiling in the basement is already in, im not sure how easily we could pour cement into the blocks.
    any ideas on ceiling?
    If you really want something collapse proof try looking into home bunker designs. consider ventilation also, keeping the temp tolerable as a dehumidifier is going to produce heat.
    There is something about firing 4,200 thirty millimeter rounds/min that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

  5. #5
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    Here's a site...
    Vault Doors Gun Safes Gun Vault Doors Vault Rooms

    ...or you could just spend the $$$ on a super safe, a big one.
    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Array Daddy Warcrimes's Avatar
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    Since you're looking for more of a temporary obstacle, a steel cage might do the trick rather than a full on vault (and is likely to be cheaper).

    A cage door (concealed behind a normal looking door) would withstand hand tools for several minutes. If you get a cage door made with 1/2" steel rods, it should hold for hours against anything but heavy equipment. This may be something to have fabricated locally.

    Employ a hefty padlock, and make sure the mountings are secure.

    For the ceiling, you might use a wire mesh cage, or even chain link fencing to slow entry, and hold up burning house bits. It will probably sag under load, but I think it may do the trick (consult your contractor).
    "and suddenly I can not hold back my sword hand's anger"

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  7. #7
    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    leaning towards having the walls be blocks with wire mesh behind them.
    Will blocks alone be a good enough fire proofing?
    for the ceiling maybe heafty wire mesh + some sheets of fire proofing mtl
    Wo die Notwehr aufhört, fängt der Mord an
    (Murder begins where self-defense ends)
    Georg Büchner

  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array bladenbullet's Avatar
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    youre really in the wrong place asking about a safe room...you need to consult a site that specializes in that type of construction...fema has some information but google will open up a whole new world for you...the fema info is mostly storm protection stuff...

    youre asking about safe room construction on a concealed carry website...

    FEMA: Safe Rooms

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    naw, im really not all that interested in making it an actual safe room, but much just burglar resistant gun storage and fire resistance
    Wo die Notwehr aufhört, fängt der Mord an
    (Murder begins where self-defense ends)
    Georg Büchner

  10. #10
    Member Array SAMI's Avatar
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    I'm excited to see this thread, as i'll be doing the same in a home that we just purchased. My project is most likely a year or so out, but that leaves plenty of room to plan. I too will need to build two walls, something for the ceiling, ventilation, and a good strong hidden door. So, nearly identical to yours. My room will most likely be 7x8' or so.

    My goal is to harbor several guns, loads of ammo, food and water.
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  11. #11
    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    cool. ill certainly let you know what we end up doing and the cost
    Wo die Notwehr aufhört, fängt der Mord an
    (Murder begins where self-defense ends)
    Georg Büchner

  12. #12
    AzB
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    This room is in your basement?

    Here's what I would do, build a secret room with fireproof drywall and a strong steel door with reinforced frame, strike, and hinges. Make it big enough for some storage, but also for several people in the case of a storm or lengthy invasion.

    The key to a hidden room is that you don't show it to anyone. Many home invasions are done by people that know you... the maid's brother, your daughter's boyfriend, etc. If the room is a secret and well hidden, the door will never have to be tested.

    For a last ditch defense, put a small safe in the hidden room with a couple guns in it.

    Colorado Advanced Thermal Supply Fireproof Trunks and Fireproof Cases

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  13. #13
    Member Array Rivers's Avatar
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    When we put together a reloading/storage room, my friend (a mechanical engineer) joked that I should just put sheets of magnesium alloy over the existing sheetrock. (House was built decades ago, not new construction.) Apparently the magnesium alloy sheets are seriously difficult to cut or drill, guaranteed a real pain when not in an ideal location to work with the material. You can prefab the construction so it can be bolted into place, but once there it's nearly impossible to penetrate in a timely manner. And the cost of the material isn't that formidable either so it's a viable solution in some cases.

  14. #14
    Member Array gglockster's Avatar
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    I've always wondered what the effect on my basement foundation floor would be from adding all of that extra wall weight? It would be pretty bad if my basement floor started subsiding from the weight. I'd like to hear one of the experts weight in on this. Thanks

  15. #15
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    If you're starting from scratch - i.e., putting design plans together for a new home - then the most cost-effective approach is an additional poured concrete "L" adjacent to, and tied in with, other foundation/basement walls. Depending on the height and thickness of the walls, they may require their own footings, which of course adds to the 1-time cost.

    Since the gun room walls won't necessarily be supporting building structure or lateral soil loads as the foundation walls are, they need not be as thick. Probably six inches would be enough, especially if there's some rebar involved. A vault door adds tremendous security, but the initial cost and handling/installation are usually cost-prohibitive. A heavy-duty steel door with reinforced frame and some serious locks is an affordable alternative.

    As others have mentioned, ventilation (especially for humidity control) is important and should not be an afterthought.

    If you're modifying existing structure and poured walls are not an option, then I think Daddy Warcrimes' approach has a lot going for it, especially if you're handy with an arc welder or have a friend who is. As for aesthetics, you could build over the steel cage with sheetrock and studs and make it look like a basement bedroom or utility closet, for the "hide in plain sight" approach.
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