Storm Shelters & Safe Rooms: What To Expect In Terms Of Construction And Cost



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One of the coolest products that was being shown at the Fall Atlanta Home Show was a safe room.

Safe rooms seem to be getting more press these days because of advances in their design and also because the weather here in the U.S. has been quite severe in recent years.

The safe room we saw at the show is manufactured by Safe Space Storm Shelters. It was one of only 2 products in that category at the Atlanta Home Show — which was surprising. This is a market segment that is growing in demand, and I thought there would be more of these at the show.

The safe room that we toured was being shown by the owner and  Director of Manufacturing of Safe Space, Bert Greene.

This thing looks and feels secure.

 

Why We Like Safe Space Storm Shelters

We had a lot of genuine questions for Bert because we are keen to have a safe room installed in our own home in the future. He was more than happy to answer all of our questions.  He is very down-to-earth and seems like he would be great to do business with.

Plan on spending between $4,000 to $8,000 for a safe room, including installation.

The Safe Space safe room is impressive for several reasons:

  • Certified by FEMA’s official testing center, Texas Tech University’s Wind Energy Science and Research Center. Bert told us they went through a lot of testing in order to receive the certification.
  • The unit is stout due to its 12 gauge steel, double-wall construction.
  • It has a super strong door with 5-point locking system utilizing deadbolts.

The entire unit is built on your site in one day (in most cases). You must have a concrete slab available for it to be built upon. They begin by anchoring the bottom portion of the safe room to the concrete floor, then they go from there.

If you want to have it blend in with the rest of your decor, they are more than happy to drywall the exterior for you. Otherwise, you will have an attractive looking metal storage closet, as far as any house guests are concerned.

The only add-ons in the safe room we saw at the show was the carpet and little stick-on lights that you can buy for very little cost at just about any store that carries home goods.

Bert informed us that they are working to build safe rooms with bullet-proof windows in the doors as an option.

Safe Room Construction Highlights (from the Safe Space brochure)

  • Double wall 12 gauge steel
  • Trimmed inside and out
  • Passive ventilation system
  • Powder coat finish
  • Wheelchair accessible door
  • Steel door is full weather sealed
  • 300 lb. door rides on steel bearings
  • Door has 5-point locking system
  • All joints are weather sealed
  • All shelters can be dry-walled

 

Different Uses For A Safe Room

A safe room can also be used as a panic room.

A panic room is a place where you could run to in case of an emergency, such as a burglary. You can lock it from the inside with nothing to fear unless the assailant has some very — very — heavy artillery. Of course, that will most likely never occur.

This unit can also be used as a family safe for valuables — such as guns, computers, and a few other things that you may think of.

 

More About Safe Rooms

Even if you don’t have a safe room, you should still have your family prepared for an emergency. Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Family Safe in a Crisis is a great place to start.

You may be interested in building your own safe room. If so, here’s what you need to know to build a safe room.

Finally, here are some tips for buying or building a tornado safe room at your home, along with some helpful tornado safety advice.

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Randy

I started as a home-stalker... visiting brand new homes under construction in the neighborhoods near my house. That inspired me to write about home building and home renovation projects -- chronicling homes during different phases of construction from a consumer's point-of-view. Basically, the tips you'll find in my articles are a collection of checklists for what I think should (and should not) go into building or remodeling a quality home.

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