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If you were going to build a house, somewhat in the country, and money was not an issue, what features would you include, what materials would you use etc?

We are looking at building a new house in the next few years and I just want to start gathering information. If you have any links, I will take those as well.
 

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I know of a 'house' nearby that is completely underground. Surprisingly it's been there for over 40 years. And every time I drive by it I think what a great idea that was. From insulation efficiency to security to being weatherproof against all wind borne disasters, plus it's on a high elevation that will never flood, it seems like such a good idea. There is a slightly raised area where the entrance is located as well as the "roof" area to direct water away. Not sure if there is a 2nd entrance/exit since you can't see far enough into the lot, but all in all I've always thought it was a good idea and wondered how much house is under there...and where the cars are parked.
 

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Steel door with deep seated deadbolt. Wnidow set so you can see the doorstep without them seeing you. Locked gates into backyard. Window locks and include sticks in any sliding doors and the windows. I use Front Point security system which I can control via my cell phone. It doesn't require a land line and can't be stopped by cutting the phone line.

Depending on how far you want to go there are sheets you can put on your windows that will stop a .45 slug. https://www.cjbuffer.com/
 

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I'd build two.....one 2000 sq ft. "colonial decoy" loaded with 500 lbs of C4 and 4000 gallons of kerosene with remote detonator about 500 feet from the road..................3000 feet behind that would be my 6000 sq ft solid concrete OD green bunker. The style would be " Modern SAC Command" :wave:

There would be a big flash and the wife would say: "Hmm...I think somebody just tried to rob the decoy" :icon_neutral:
 

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Mine is 18 months old now. All perimeter doors are solid core 36 inch, including two with windows in them that have the break-resistant covering. All windows reachable from the ground are bugged (contacts) and double locked. The twin front doors are solid steel with a steel frame lag bolted into 2x8 framing facing the door frame with 6 inch lag bolts at 12 places, 3 x 2 on each side. The doors have shatterproof glass that is 1 inch thick and semi-frosted so you can see someone just outside but they cannot see in. The doors weigh 175 lbs. each and have twin deadbolts with the non opening side double latches top and bottom. The glass has bars behind it so even if it is broken you still have jail house bars to get thru. Whole house is alarmed with a wireless transmitted to the Central Station monitoring and internet access. Dual technology motion sensors in 3 places along with 2 Nest cameras also connected to the internet. All underground utilities including FTTP (Fiber to the Premise) for internet connectivity. Door to all bedrooms are 36 inch Solid core with deadbolts. Long screws were used on all hinges on all doors. Other protective layers are not described here.
My wife and I designed and had it built from the ground up with security and safety for us in mind. The large rear deck on the back has NO stairs down to the backyard, so you will need a 15 foot ladder. That is all I can say but the house looks very normal from the outside and does not Scream Security Center!
 

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Mine is 18 months old now. All perimeter doors are solid core 36 inch, including two with windows in them that have the break-resistant covering.
May I ask where, in general do you live? I'm thinking outskirts of Beiruit? :wink:.

How much do you figure that cost over a normal build? How did you find a contractor to do it, and did you kill him afterward. (kidding).

Great job!

You should assess it by looking at it like a white hat hacker and say 'if I was going to defeat this, how would I do it'. FWIW.
 

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I would also build it with "aging in place" in mind: Wider internal and external doorways for wheel chair access, limited stairways, large bathrooms with step in/roll in showers, etc. Why build a dream house if you can't stay there as long as possible?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Mine is 18 months old now. All perimeter doors are solid core 36 inch, including two with windows in them that have the break-resistant covering. All windows reachable from the ground are bugged (contacts) and double locked. The twin front doors are solid steel with a steel frame lag bolted into 2x8 framing facing the door frame with 6 inch lag bolts at 12 places, 3 x 2 on each side. The doors have shatterproof glass that is 1 inch thick and semi-frosted so you can see someone just outside but they cannot see in. The doors weigh 175 lbs. each and have twin deadbolts with the non opening side double latches top and bottom. The glass has bars behind it so even if it is broken you still have jail house bars to get thru. Whole house is alarmed with a wireless transmitted to the Central Station monitoring and internet access. Dual technology motion sensors in 3 places along with 2 Nest cameras also connected to the internet. All underground utilities including FTTP (Fiber to the Premise) for internet connectivity. Door to all bedrooms are 36 inch Solid core with deadbolts. Long screws were used on all hinges on all doors. Other protective layers are not described here.
My wife and I designed and had it built from the ground up with security and safety for us in mind. The large rear deck on the back has NO stairs down to the backyard, so you will need a 15 foot ladder. That is all I can say but the house looks very normal from the outside and does not Scream Security Center!
Ok this is what I'm talking about. Yeah the wife does want a wrap around porch with a basement entrance underneath it. I guess at the end of the day doors and windows are that really needs to be reinforced, right? It will be 3 stories. As I said, basement will have a ground floor entrance, lower than the main floor entrance which leads to the main floor and then an upstairs with the bedrooms. I would like one door, maybe at the top of the steps, to be reinforced like a front door.
 

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I'll say it would be tempting to install some kind of active denial at the front (and back) doors. CS spray, electrified doormat, trapdoor into a steel cell underground, flashbang stunners, 1000 lumen floodlights, electrified steel chain drop net.

But that would probably be illegal.
 

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I would say after the door and windows. I'm a big fan cameras I can look at my house even when I'm no there. So even if the alarm go off I can see inside and outside and if needed I can direct the police to the right area. Also don't go cheap on cameras you get what you pay for
 

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I'm going through the process now. First, I'm not going overboard, but I am using some sense in my choices. First is the use of masonry. The more concrete/brick and block the happier I am. 2x6 outer walls sheathed with 3/4 ply. Not OSB, plywood. Solid core doors. I used a lot of transom windows where it made sense (blind spots) vs regular double hung windows. Reinforced door jams- they can be made a lot stronger during the framing process vs beefing up later. 2x6 construction also helps here. Dead bolts on all exterior doors, keyed on both sides, especially if you have side lights on your doors. Glass block basement windows.

You don't need to live in a prison, you just have to make your place a less attractive target than your neighbors
 

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I know of a 'house' nearby that is completely underground. Surprisingly it's been there for over 40 years. And every time I drive by it I think what a great idea that was. From insulation efficiency to security to being weatherproof against all wind borne disasters, plus it's on a high elevation that will never flood, it seems like such a good idea. There is a slightly raised area where the entrance is located as well as the "roof" area to direct water away. Not sure if there is a 2nd entrance/exit since you can't see far enough into the lot, but all in all I've always thought it was a good idea and wondered how much house is under there...and where the cars are parked.
Might seem like a good idea but most insurance companies won't touch them for home owner insurance. The bigger problem with any type of unconventional house weather it is a dome, an earth berm or a converted missile silo is that they are terrible for resale. Real estate appraisers don't have any comps for them to compare within the neighborhood proximity (worse yet in rural areas) so banks undervalue them or refuse to provide mortgage loans at all.
 
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When my cousin built her new house, she incorporated a "safe room" into the middle of the structure. Reinforced concrete and steel plate with a door fit for a safe. Guns and valuables live in that room. It also serves as a storm shelter. Think Texas tornadoes.
 
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If you are thinking about it now, start with a gate at the road. If thieves can't get their car near your home and have to carry out your valuables that would be strike one!
Next set your windows just high enough that if broken you could not just step through. also make the lower walls at least bullet resistant! Brick, concrete, or stone, at least waist high would allow you to be covered in an attack. Some nice stone planters should do the trick.
And last make sure you can see all around without leaving the house. This has gotten much easier with cameras. DR
 

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Ever seen the movie Red? Remember John Malcovich's house? It would be something comparable to that, but fancy.
 

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When my cousin built her new house, she incorporated a "safe room" into the middle of the structure. Reinforced concrete and steel plate with a door fit for a safe. Guns and valuables live in that room. It also serves as a storm shelter. Think Texas tornadoes.
This is the route we took, if done during initial construction it wasn't too expensive. The basic cost to have the space under my 3 garage (700 Sq') turned into a safe room was a little over 7K before the door, electric and finishing.







We then framed, insulated and finished. It's on it's own zone for the HVAC:


We also did:

ICF Construction 8" concrete exterior walls sandwiched between 1.5" foam insulation (yeh its small arms proof, but more importantly energy efficient)
Geothermal, my highest electric bill last year (whole houe is eletric) was $167 for 3800' (also have wood stove that augments in winter)
Solid core doors
Standby propane 20KW generator with underground tank
Elderly design; all essential living space on one floor, zero steps for entry through garage, extra wide doors 36", hallways and stairwell, lever door handles.
Alarm system

Chuck
 
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