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Posted: 12/27/2001 10:20:15 AM EDT
I am between houses as my better half and I have just sold our old house and just signed paperwork to buy a new house which is not built yet. The basement in the new house has poured concret walls and there is plenty of room to build a vault..... How would you guys do it? Can I add a vault to a portion of the basement after the house is completed? I have laid cynder block in the past and I am guessing that I could simply fill the block wall with raybar, glass, stone and concrete to make a durable wall which would be tough to break through. If I do this, I assume it would be foolish to overlook the ceiling of this vault. Is poured concrete the best/only way to go? If so, must this be done during the inital work with the basement before the 1st story is put up? If there is another way to secure the ceiling, please let me know! The builder we have bought this house from really isn't interested in doing anything special and frankly I would rather add this vault later and use our money to get the most house. The basement of this house is huge and there ae plenty of outside corners that would make an excellent place to turn into a secure vault. Oh yea, I have a quality gun safe and we are getting a security system.... the vault is just one more layer of protection which may or maynot be needed? Thanks for any suggestions!
Link Posted: 12/27/2001 10:27:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/27/2001 10:31:19 AM EDT by raf]
Link Posted: 12/27/2001 10:30:32 AM EDT
Be sure to check the FEMA.gov site for details. If constructed to their min. specifications, you can be reimbursed up to half the cost up to a certain dollar value.
Link Posted: 12/27/2001 10:35:18 AM EDT
personally, I would NOT build my vault below grade (again) I had one in my last house, and even with a demudifier running full time, I had small patches of rust forming. Since the new house is not yet built, I would suggest you spend teh extra $$ and design it into the house above grade. My $0.02
Link Posted: 12/27/2001 10:51:41 AM EDT
Wow, you guys would do a whole lot more than I was considering. I will do some research but I only have 13-days to make changes to the house by contract. After that the house is going up and it will be too late. Regardless, I think what you guys have described is more than I will be able to accomplish given the developer's reluctance to change much of anything in the house....? Well, he will make changes but the changes come at way too high of a cost! How about some ideas based on what some of you have done or seen done?
Link Posted: 12/27/2001 10:57:45 AM EDT
Depending on the size of your town/community, you might not want to mention the safe to the builder (you might become "the guy who has a gun safe built into the house", paranoid? maybe). Maybe you can pick out a safe and take that size into account to make changes to the plan saying you are adding something benign, like a second refrigerator? My 2 cents.
Link Posted: 12/27/2001 10:59:58 AM EDT
OK - I had an L-shaped basement, with the "bottom part" of theh "L" being 10' x 16' On the far end (where I had three concrete walls) I built a fourth wall out of 2x12's the wide way. I used the 2x12's to build shelves into this wall. I ended up with a 10x8' room. On teh outside, I put a VERY heavy guage "expanded metal" (sold in 4'x8' sheets) to close it in, and some particle board over that to make it look like regular basement wall. The door was built into the 2x12 wall. Remember - You best vault is one that a burglar will NEVER find. Hide it into the existing structure. They can't steal what they don't know is there. Fire proofing is another consideration. Since your budget is limited, go with teh greater risk - burglary. Hide your vault well, and you may be able to save a few $$$$ that you would have spent in fortifying it.
Link Posted: 12/27/2001 11:02:01 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/27/2001 11:12:46 AM EDT
Just tell your builder what he needs to know. Tell him you would like to add a FEMA safe room. If he is not familiar with the regulations, check here [url] http://www.fema.gov/mit/saferoom/[/url]. You can either tell him you would like a more secure door or add one later. I have seen these done several ways. I would prefer concrete walls, but I have seen them done with brick, block, etc. The most recent one I saw was finished with a cedar interior. The purpose of these rooms are for severe weather, but they would double just fine for home safes/vaults/storage in my opinion. The ones I have seen have been above grade.
Link Posted: 12/27/2001 11:22:06 AM EDT
I use to work in construction and occasionally still do. Here are some options I have seen used. In your basement hire someone to form and pour concrete walls and ceiling. It is expensive but by looking around you may find it less than you thought. In your case this may bring your ceiling down to low. Your option here is to not worry about the ceiling or I recommend having steel poured into the concrete where you can then weld steel supports and sheets of 1/8 or 1/4" steel for the ceiling. Done right the room should be fire and nearly waterproof. Seal any holes or cracks to keep out heat, smoke and water from firehoses or storms. Also have your door or exact dimensions as this is critical. Now if you donot need or cannot afford this level of protection you can use cinder block with or without filling them and multilayered drywall ceiling. For secure rooms we have taken just normal stud walls and layered either plywood or 1/8" inch steel and then covered with sheetrock(drywall). We use to have a local bar where the big trick was to kick holes in the drywall in the bathroom walls. The owner asked for suggestions as we were there once a month patching the place up. So we lined the walls with 1/8" inch steel and covered it with 1/4" sheetrock and guess what the owner calls us a couple of weeks later to tell us some guy "slipped" and broke his foot in the bathroom. If you do the block walls with nothing poured in for reinforcement at least drop in some re-bar so that someone cannot chisel out a couple of blocks and just slide them out leaving a hole or bust through with a sledge hammer. This way they have to have a saw or torch to cut the steel bar. If anyone has any questions feel free to e-mail me and I will respond or call you back if you wish. We either built or supervised the building of a number of vaults or secured rooms in everything from banks,jewelry stores, electronics stores and pawn shops.
Link Posted: 12/27/2001 1:24:38 PM EDT
I'll give you some advice no one else here seems capable of giving you: The Economy is beginning to crumble and Real Estate Prices are poised to be flushed down the Toilet and you want to buy new construction from some glad-handing, fast-talking Builder? Be glad you just sold your old house! The Real Estate Market isn't going anywhere but down! Rent a house & sit back and watch how the other Property Owning Suckers get it stuck to them as their over-valued homes creep lower & lower in value between now and December 31, 2002!
Link Posted: 12/27/2001 1:35:12 PM EDT
I have built several for armories, and jewelery sellers. Respond to this thread and I'll contact you by email with specifics. No offence to anyone here, just trade secret stuff.
Link Posted: 12/27/2001 1:53:17 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/27/2001 2:01:38 PM EDT
I would do everything afterwards as this guy will likely charge too much and not do the best job. Let him do what he wants, and that is build the house. If you simply want something for storage of valuables, build blocks around you safe or something. If you want a complete room, then you need to get into the more elaborate ideas mentioned above. I would be careful about talking to a lot of contractors as you become a target if you are the guy with a safe room full of stuff, or even just a small room for guns and whatnot.
Link Posted: 12/27/2001 2:25:30 PM EDT
I could tell you about mine, but I'd have to kill you. It's invisible and impregnable. Safes are the deeks. Kurt/KKF
Link Posted: 12/27/2001 2:37:30 PM EDT
Originally Posted By KurtsKustom: I could tell you about mine, but I'd have to kill you. It's invisible and impregnable. Safes are the deeks. Kurt/KKF
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You just throw your rifles in the swamp and let the gators eat them. When you need a certain rifle, you go on a hunt. [;)]
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 5:31:35 AM EDT
Originally Posted By biere: <> I would be careful about talking to a lot of contractors as you become a target if you are the guy with a safe room full of stuff, or even just a small room for guns and whatnot.
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Kind of like posting the same on the Internet ... huh? Beleave me, I know what you mean! ***************************************** Thanks for all the great advise and I have looked at the basement plans and talked with my builder and I am afraid that I will need to add a secure room to part of the basement after the house is built. To have the walls and ceiling done by the builder will be just too expensive (ie. He really didn't want the hassle so he wasn't really willing to give a cost which told me I couldn't afford it!). Therefore I am spending the extra money on security system upgrades which combined with the safe and dog will adequately protect my toys until I can build a room myself.
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 12:48:59 PM EDT
The simplest and cheapest is, of course to use a gun safe. If you want a walk in vault I would not have the builder do it, I would add it on later. One option would be to use a corner of your poured concrete basement as 2 walls. You could have an iron works fabricate the necessary beams for the other 2 walls and the ceiling. Then weld the steelwork together your self or hire a friend to do it. Once the beams are in place you can create a 'mesh' work with rebar, strap iron, etc so the 'holes' are too small for someone to enter. Weld them on also. Do this to the ceiling also. Then cover the whole shebang with sheetrock so it looks normal. Hope this makes sense.
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 3:33:13 PM EDT
I personally consider the net a little more private even though it has been proven someone can be tracked down with email and what not. I would not want a contractor in my town telling people about this one guy who used a whole corner of his basement for a safe room. I would reserch what is available on the net as I believe you can probably do this yourself. You might need to rent a hammer dill and a few other things for drilling into concrete, but the knowledge is out there. I have been researching for years and doing small outside projects so I am more familar with working with concrete. But I will agree, discussing it on the net is certainly not the most secure idea. Same with giving out you safe make and model. To someone in the know they can target you and know what they need to bring.
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 4:05:21 PM EDT
Have you checked out how shooterX308 builds a mailbox? [;)]
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 4:12:42 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Bolt223: I'll give you some advice no one else here seems capable of giving you: The Economy is beginning to crumble and Real Estate Prices are poised to be flushed down the Toilet and you want to buy new construction from some glad-handing, fast-talking Builder? Be glad you just sold your old house! The Real Estate Market isn't going anywhere but down! Rent a house & sit back and watch how the other Property Owning Suckers get it stuck to them as their over-valued homes creep lower & lower in value between now and December 31, 2002!
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[center][b][red]AMEN!!![/red][/b][center] Sit on that money for AT LEAST 12-18 months. See what you are able to buy then. If you MUST build now tell your builder that you want a MIN measurement of 10'-4" from finished slab to top of block wall. Also that you want poured & reinforced walls 10' on each side of the corner where you want to build your safe room. That way you can always build it yourself at a later date. But I still would rent for a year instead of building. [b][red][i]Libertas an Mortis![/b][/red][/i]
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