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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We're building our house and decided to include a hidden 12x20 safe room in the basement. poured 8" walls with 8" of concrete overhead. Will have a reg. size fireproof door with a 3x3 escape door. I added 4" sleeves in the outside walls to plumb intake/exhaust air if needed.

What am I missing? Any ideas at the build stage?
 

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Proverbs31Woman
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A safe room is a great area to have. Many old houses had secret rooms built into them to hide the family (and or slaves) to protect them from harm. I suggest you do a search on "hidden rooms" "concealed storage" "Civil War Under Ground Rail Road" and see how people during this time created a hidden space. They did not have a lot of money and had to get very creative when hiding small groups of people.

I have learned that many of these spaces had more then one entrance or exit. Some were accessed from the room above and exited out the cellar or into the crawl space under the house. There were false floors in pantry areas, false walls under stairways and also built in wall benches with under seat storage that had false bottoms leading to a ladder or stairs below. This allowed people to exit a house when threatened or to enter a house quietly from the outside and wait until it was safe to enter the main house.

About your foundation space:

Why did you put the door in the middle of the wall? The door would be a lot easier to hide if you have placed it as a pocket door in the corner. You could install a custom width corner cupboard that would hide the doorway and use hidden hinges on the wall to swing the cupboard out into the room, slide open the door, pull the cupboard back against the wall and then slide the door closed. You'd also have a lot more wall space in the hidden room. If this wall appeared as a media wall with cabinets and open shelf storage, no one would think to look in the corner behind a cabinet for a door. The cupboard (and items on the shelves) would also help deaden any sound an intruder might hear coming from the room.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The safe room was kinda a last minute addition. I shouldve made the door smaller and put it in the corner but we decided to use a standard size steel fire door. It will work out well though. That side of the basement will be framed in as a utility room and our zone valves and pipe for the infloor heat will be on a plywood sheet covering the door.
 

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plumbing to take waste out is a GREAT addition at the build stage. If you will have a well inside the house it should bring water to teh safe room if you plan to use it as a fall out shelter etc. too.

Good job planning ahead!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Psalm 37 is a great Psalm! I had a bathroom with floor drain roughed in just outside the door of the saferoom in the basement. I'm going to frame in the bathroom around the door and hide the entrance inside. In the event we ever have to stay in the room to avoid fallout, etc, we can make do with the portojohn for a few days until trips outside the room to the bathroom Canberra made in relative safety. The 2 floors above will all be covered in 2" of gypcrete so I imagine that would help. Still trying to figure out the escape hatch. Prob just do a window well with a hatch over it covered with mulch and flowers
 

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Also for the toilet have the regular toilet connected to piping that goes down hill for a Long way away then hide the opening with a shrub. Then have your main water source (prepper source not city water) come out near the toilet with a hose fill up the tank. P.s if you have your water source higher than the toilet tank you can attatch the cord at a certain height so when the water reaches the top of the hose it stops flowing (same concept of putting a bottle neck with water in the bottle upside down in a bowl of water, it stops flowing once it touches water because air cant replace falling water so it stops.
 

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I saw a lot of different things working at the phone company. Most prewire is daisy chained jack to jack.I would run a wire straight from your Network Interface, by itself. One safe room I remember is how I would do it. Of course, this is before cell phones took over.
The company owns the line up to the NWI. Customer can do what they want from there. He ran a line straight from his Interface, to his safe room, dial tone on 2 conductors. At the end of it, in his safe room, he put in a simple toggle switch. On the the other end of the switch, he sent his dial tone back to the interface, on the other two conductors, where he connected the dial tone to his prewire going through the house. This way, if something happened, he goes to his safe room, flips the switch, and only he can use his phone line. No one upstairs could put it "off the hook", or whatever.
He then very cleverly hid his interface behind some plants, our wire was already in conduit, his didn't even show.
I'm sure you'll have power in that room, I would also add a coax for your TV service.
You mentioned fallout, don't forget your iodine pills, and Geiger counter.
Since your escape hatch is only for extreme emergencies, I would build a box around it, and fill it with sand, just like the 60's military ones had. The sand is a good stopper for gamma fallout, and could be removed simply by opening the hatch, and letting the sand pour out. Just my thoughts.
 

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So how is the build progressing? Post some new pics, if possible. Since the web is pretty open, don't post anything too sensitive.. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ended up having a buddy build a 4" thick insulated steel door for the 3x3 hole in the wall. Set up emergency power, food and water storage. Setup the house so that heat and water will be available 24/7 off the grid with the heat source being a Seton wood boiler with oil water heater for backup. The room has 8" thick walls and ceiling and is below grade. I'm contemplating an air system with co2 scrubbing capability and NBC filtering but don't want to get too carried away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Some pics...will be building a planter along the side of the garage to conceal the window well and egress door, along with the intake and exhaust vents. Even if I install a full off the shelf NBC air filtration system, total project cost will be under $10k
 

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If you need help with this, you might try and pm 'bunkerbob' (if he is still around :)

He does know his shelter-stuff, so he might give you a pointer or two.

best regards,

V.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Installed a ladder down the chute and routed the exhaust pipe for the future air management system. Next up will be a hidden 90min steel fire door in the basement and installation of the steel egress hatch. I'll be building a box around that window well to keep the snow and whatever else out. Might not update this post for a while. Completion is prob about a month out.
 

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