PDA

View Full Version : Room Conversion?


Guinness
03-23-2007, 8:38 AM
Anyone do a room conversion into a safe room?..

IE using a vault door for the room entry.

http://www.amsecusa.com/images/Vault-Door.jpg

If so how did / would you reinforce the rest of the room?

Just some thoughts for future projects...

slick_711
03-23-2007, 11:11 AM
I haven't, but it's something I intend to do "when I'm older" and have the stability for such a project. It strikes me as the kind of thing that's much easier to do if you're building the home; but it's definitely possible in a pre-existing room. Some things you'll want to consider:

- preferably a windowless room, or at minimum a room with small easily barred windows.

- you'll want/need to setup a separate climate control from the rest of the house, so you can maintain temperature and humidity (the upside of this is you can also use your vault room to store your good whiskey and cigars (maybe that's just me)

- I would suggest using a vault door that mounts as an inner door, that way you can have a normal hall style door on the outside. Just helps keep the fact that you have a room full of expensive stuff secret when you have company.

As far as securing the walls, I couldn't say. If you were building a new home and just including this in the plans there are all sorts of things you could do, but as to reinforcing an existing room :confused: If you're going to be refinishing the inside of the room I'm sure theres something you could do. Fire-lining, or an extra layer of dry-wall for insulation? Someone else will chime in on that I'm sure.

JPglee1
03-23-2007, 11:49 AM
As far as securing the walls, I couldn't say. If you were building a new home and just including this in the plans there are all sorts of things you could do, but as to reinforcing an existing room :confused: If you're going to be refinishing the inside of the room I'm sure theres something you could do. Fire-lining, or an extra layer of dry-wall for insulation? Someone else will chime in on that I'm sure.

If you're building a NEW house, I'd look into something called Polysteel pour-in-place forms. www.polysteel.com look at the PS4000 model.

You pour the concrete into the form and you get a nice concrete retaining wall thats easy to wire/plumb and simple enough to do yourself.

You should try to do ANYTHING related to a safe room/vault BY YOURSELF as much as is possible. If you DO have people help, DONT tell them what they're working on. Most people don't realize how many robberies happen from having a worker/repairman inside your house... They case the joint and someone else or themselves comes back for what they want (sometimes anyway)

If you don't want to go with polysteel, you could use conventional concrete blocks with rebar inside for an inner structural wall, or to retrofit an existing home/structure.

The roof will be the hardest part to do right, IMHO. The proper way is a poured in place ceiling, but that can be tough to do by yourself :eek: :D

Good luck to you.

J

guimus
03-23-2007, 12:14 PM
I helped my dad and uncle do one at dad's house. Not much help to you, though, as we used an old septic tank as the room. City water and waste came in 20 years ago, so the previous owner pumped out and cleaned the tank (which was buried 1 foot from the outside wall of the house), cut a hole in the basement wall, dug out some dirt, and cut a hole in the tank (roughly a 12x12 foot room, 8" think concrete all around, surrounded by dirt, capped by concrete and 2 feet of dirt.)

I'm thinking that I'll do something similar when I finally decide where to settle. If retrofitting a house, I think that a basement room (if possible) is ideal, due to less traffic, and more-secure walls.

mstlaurent
03-23-2007, 12:48 PM
Seems like you could pick your windowless room and build another room inside of it. Build four cinder block walls, rebar every rank and fill the cores with a good concrete, then set up a support structure and lay a rebar-reinforced slab for a ceiling. Set the safe door in the block wall and let the original door camoflage it. I wouldn't do it without getting an engineer to sign off on the plans, but it seems fairly straightforward.

Guinness
03-23-2007, 5:51 PM
Some good input here guys thanks keep it coming, I too was thinking about the cinder block / rebar reinforced route.

grammaton76
03-23-2007, 5:54 PM
*grin* If you neglect the roof, you're in danger of the girl from Underworld spinning around in a circle, shooting through the floor, to drop down into your 'safe room'. :)

Guinness
03-23-2007, 6:34 PM
*grin* If you neglect the roof, you're in danger of the girl from Underworld spinning around in a circle, shooting through the floor, to drop down into your 'safe room'. :)


And we all know how much havoc that can cause :D

Nismo
03-28-2007, 12:29 AM
If I ever had the money to do one of these I would include a secret secondary escape route just incase the main door becomes blocked or un accessable or if bad guys are on the other side waiting to get you. Maybe add another reinforced door on the other side that you can open and bust out the side of the house with a sledgehammer to get out of the house. Then again Im not james bond.

Matt C
03-28-2007, 12:51 AM
Rooms with windows and the house already being built are not much of a factor if you know a thing or two about home construction. I tore out old windows and put new ones on (in a different in two cases) in one weekend. Walls are just 2x4s, drywall and stucco/wood on the outside for the most part.

If you want a safe room it just depends ho much you want to spend, in terms of the steel. You just tear off the drywall and mount/weld the steel into place, then put the drywall back. It's pretty hard to make something that will be as sturdy as a decent safe though. I could get through pretty much any wall with a good axe, even one with 3/16 steel plating. It would not take as long as you think either.

If you wanted to convert a closet type space, make the closet vanish and have a hidden safe room, that would make more sense, and be easier to reinforce. The best thing of all would be to go DOWN...

turinreza
03-28-2007, 11:24 AM
i'd suggest hide the entry door behind a wall of bookcases..
like a secret panel used to get into that room..
if you just have a door then someone will know there is a room
there but cant get into... so must be good stuff in there..

skywlkr
03-28-2007, 3:08 PM
I'm an architect. If you have a raised wood floored house and you plan on pouring steel reinforced concrete walls+ceiling+etc. you are going to need to pour new footings underneath to support all the extra load. Typical wood floor joists are just 2x6 or 2x8 spaced at 16-24 inches on center, which won't support the extra load. Also, for a raised wood floor safe room I would suggest pouring a reinforced concrete deck floor system, which again will add to the load and will need new footings to be poured.

Gringo Bandito
03-28-2007, 3:23 PM
I helped a buddy of mine do this recently as we made a new walk in closet in a room in his house.

As we framed the walls we placed every stud at 12" on center. Heavily reinforced the door frames with multiple studs and closed in the area above the header board.

This was the formula for the walls - Apply sheets of plywood to the walls followed by perforated metal sheeting. The final layer is hardibacker which is way more durable than sheet rock.

Gringo Bandito
03-28-2007, 3:30 PM
My buddies grandfather had a pretty cool set up as well.

As you walk into the barn, there is a coat rack on the wall next to you. Pull on one of the coat hangers which releases a lock in the other room.

Walk into the " canning room", push on one of the walls and walk on in. There was no way that anyone could ever know that that room ever existed.

PistolPete75
03-29-2007, 1:17 PM
My buddies grandfather had a pretty cool set up as well.

As you walk into the barn, there is a coat rack on the wall next to you. Pull on one of the coat hangers which releases a lock in the other room.

Walk into the " canning room", push on one of the walls and walk on in. There was no way that anyone could ever know that that room ever existed.

that would be so cool to have.

toymonger
03-29-2007, 7:25 PM
The concept of a steel door replacing a regular door making it a secured room seems silly. A good Spyderco and a pair of boots and your in through the drywall and studs. Potentially you could drill into the slab and build a concrete block and rebar room inside your current room. But good luck selling your home in that condition.

One option is to bust a doorway going outside and build a concrete and rebar monolithic poor room. That's what I did. (For marketing purposes it doubles as a wine celler.)

There is another guy on Calguns, if he wishes to chime in, that is currently making a gunroom by doing a room addition and lining the walls and ceiling with block, rebar filled with concrete.

Here's a couple photo's to get you going.
3145 3147

metalhead357
03-29-2007, 7:25 PM
What I saw as one of the cheapest set-up was using chain link fence steel from top to bottom throught the closet~ including the steel tubes. Twuz better than nothing but barely below the cinder bloack route IMO.....

Satex
03-30-2007, 8:14 PM
This is the coolest thing ever: http://www.disastershelters.net

And no wonder it comes from Utah. I love those folks!

A bit off topic, but a buddy of mine moved to Utah from San Diego, and the first thing he did was call the Sheriff to register his guns. The Sheiff picked up the phone (small town) and when my buddy asked him, the Sheriff started to laugh and said "You are from California, aren't you? This is Utah, and in Utah we don't *!$#@ register guns, Have fun!"
My buddy also said that in Utah everyone has a basement/cellar full with guns, ammo, food, (and Alchohol). When the zombie come to get us, Utah will save our butts!

Guinness
03-30-2007, 8:39 PM
Toy, thats a pretty nice set up!

kicker72
03-31-2007, 4:19 AM
This is a post on ar15.com that could give you some ideas

Dedicated gun room/arsenal/armory (http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=6&f=2&t=214855&page=1)

Guinness
03-31-2007, 7:44 AM
Thanks for the link Kicker, I missed that one over there!

kicker72
03-31-2007, 7:55 AM
Guinness not a problem, I had been thinking of building one of these myself. I had put the link in my favorites:D

Blue
03-31-2007, 10:28 AM
I've been wanting to convert my basement for a while. My only fear is that my water heater is down there. I'd hate to have a pipe pop and fill the basement with water :eek: Another thought I have been wanting to do is dig out under the small house in my back yard and build a bunker under that.

maurice05
03-31-2007, 11:31 AM
i think im going to have to get two more jobs just to afford all the rifles and then one after that so i can finally buy a home with a safe room in it ! im in love with the pics from the AR-15 board!

NeoWeird
03-31-2007, 2:46 PM
I was watching a show a while back about how to move to Arizona or some state and get multi-million dollar mansions for a fraction of the cost (it was some community thing and there trying to get foot traffic for one of those man made oasis' in the desert communities).

Anyways, one of them had a pretty cool idea. When you walked into the bedroom it was a normal room, with an open doorway leading out to the left. If you turned into that door, it was a hallway with closets on each side and then a bathroom to the left. The cool part was that when you opened the closet, there was a hidden panel in the wall that you could open via secret means (they didn't show how for obvious reasons) and you could get into a secret room. The room was completely hidden from the outside and there was no way to know this ~4'x20' room was behind the closet from the inside or outside (4x20 is enough to have a walkway with guns on the walls, safe at the end, etc and it had a working toilet and small sink at one end with a phone that had a seperate emergency phone line that was wired through the house and underground so you couldn't cut it from outside. To top that off it had a reinforced door on the floor that could be opened and dropped into the Garage (in case you needed to escape from burglars, fire, etc) and or course that was hidden from in the garage as well. It was actually a VERY neat idea and pretty cool too.

In my personal opinion, no one can steal/break into what they can't find, but give someone enough time or the right tools and they can break into ANYTHING. It just makes more sense to worry more about concealment for something like that than making it like a fortress.

Guinness
04-01-2007, 11:52 AM
Here is something that looks interesting, though I dont know the price nor details other than whats on the web site

From Mutual Safes

http://www.mutual.co.za/mutual_demountable_vault.html