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Old 04-30-2008, 02:09 PM
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mikim mikim is offline
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Default storm shelter / root cellar



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This I'm sure is N/A to folks up north who all have basements and such - but I'm here in Texas where it would be really difficult to find a contractor that had any idea how to build a basement or even have the tools to do so. That leaves me with an option to buy a ready built storm shelter/root cellar. It seems everytime I do a search for them I end up with all new sites to look at and none in the central Texas area. Can anyone recommend a place or person or site for me to go to? I'd like a biggun. like 8 X 12 or so. Buried culverts don't blow my skirt up - but a steel one made for it's purpose would be good. IF I could find an outfit near Austin to help me with that. I want one that is entirely underground - not half & half. (thinking of putting it under the house I want to build) both pros & cons to that idea.
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:28 PM
Txkstew Txkstew is offline
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Get out your check book. I'm sure there are some good industrial contractors that could build and install it, but I bet you are looking at $10,000 to $12,000, for just a steel box in the ground. No reinforced entry. No ventilation or drainage work. No septic system. No interior fixtures. $40,000 or more for a turn key install, is my best guess. There is a guy on this forum, 76211teen, that builds them in Florida. He might have a better idea on cost. He doesn't post on here a lot, but I see he was on yesterday. Send him a PM.
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:47 PM
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well now -- you see my problem .. he's in Fla. ... There's a place NE of Little Rock that sells a 6 X 10 cash & carry for $3800 ....which is what I'm looking for except in a bit larger size. If I could find a 7 X 14 close enough for me to go pick up ... That would fit on my trailer. I'll find somebody to help me bury it. -- or do it myself if I have time. (I own a small backhoe for my tractor) ((note avatar))
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Old 04-30-2008, 06:11 PM
Txkstew Txkstew is offline
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Go to a small steel fabrication shop and tell them what you want. They'll sit down with you and sketch something up and calculate weight loads and such. Ask them about corrosion coatings for the outside. Steel is expensive now days, but not completely outrageous. I'd want at least 3/8" steel plate, but 1/4" might do, with 3" x 3" x 1/4 angle iron frame stiffeners every 4 feet. It's got me thinking if I could afford something like that. My problem here is water table, but I wouldn't mind above ground with a dirt berm cover.
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Old 04-30-2008, 08:07 PM
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I got one from a welding shop in Post, Texas. I got their biggest one, 8x12. Two years ago when I got it, it was $3000. I know the price has gone up. My sister and brother in law live in Georgetown. I remember seeing some similar units for sale down there in the hill country. Might look in the papers or Thrifty Nickel for ads. If you can't find any down that way, send me a private message and I'll look up these guys phone number for you so you can talk to them. They've built metal storm shelters for 20 years.
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Old 05-14-2008, 12:31 AM
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Buy yourself a shipping container. Comes in many sizes, cheap, strong. Probably would need some reinforcement before burial. My idea is to weld re-bar to the outside, form and pour concrete "ribs" every few feet. the sides wouldn't be able to bow inward because the re-bar in the concrete is attached to it. You could buy a 40 footer for about $2500, then buy a 20 footer and turn it on it's end as your access, then weld in a fire escape type metal stair. Make a great underground shooting range too!
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Old 05-14-2008, 03:55 AM
czbohunk czbohunk is offline
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Ok here goes at the age of 18 i worked for a construction Company that built Basements under already built houses that was 27yrs ago but anyhow first rent a Bobcat to dig out a square hole in your back yard STOP call first (sorry) to find out if there are any lines or cable in the back yard. Dig it 24" wider then you want (this is for a root celler) so your hole will be a ramp heading down to your hole ,,say you want a room 8'x 10' finished the hole will be 10'x12' after this you will need to dig footings a small trench appx 6" deep 14" wide lay 2 pcs of rebar in the trench all the way around when you pour the concret stand up rebar every 24" appx 4" tall off the top of the footing so you can tie onto your vertical rebar for the walls that comes later. After the footing set you then tie your vertical rebar and rebar horizontally every 2' high to 7'3/4" your walls will be 8' high 6" thick,rebar it up and leave an opening for the door. then you will need enough 3/4" plywood and 2x4s to make your forms for the walls, lay 1 sheet of ply wood on saw horse's flat nail 2x4s around the inside edge of the ply wood and one down the center lenght ways make enough for the inside and outside you may need to make some smaller one too, take a mixture of used motor oil and diesel and roll it on your forms (plywood side) so the concret won't stick to them, your walls will be 6" thick and 8' tall you will need to rent a nail gun to nail the forms to the footing the kind that use's the 22 cal blank after that brace the walls with 2x4s every 2 foot to the top lenght and with one on top of each other then put a cap on the top of the forms with 2x4s just like they do wall when they frame house walls and across the top of the wall every 3' or so so the top doesn't spread open , then back fill the outside of the wall with you dirt next pour the walls let set for 2 days stripe the forms and 2x4s,, next you will need to make steps and pour the floor make a door and celing for it,, I hope i got it all I just got off form work it's 3:36am right now,, please check with a carpenter you trust on the dementions its been some time since i'v done this type of work.
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Old 05-14-2008, 08:35 AM
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This is a company I got a brochure from out of Louisiana a little closer than AR or FL. Their website is www.F-5stormshelters.com you can also fill out a online form to get a black and white brochure with prices and shipping costs.
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Old 05-14-2008, 09:20 AM
Mike 870 Mike 870 is offline
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There is a book about Root Cellars out there. I have it on order from Amazon, it should arrive today. Someone else on this site said it's a good book.
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:30 AM
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thanks for the link Eagle -- I'm still searching....wouldn't ya think a place the size of Houston would have something? I haven't found it yet. Not thrilled with having to drive 5 - 6 hrs to pick up one of these. but it may be req'd.
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Old 05-14-2008, 05:23 PM
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Not a problem, wanted to put one in the house we just built but the SO says too expensive, I'm still having to work just to do minor preps because she wears those pretty rose colored glasses.
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Old 05-18-2008, 10:28 PM
ZR Catie ZR Catie is offline
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great information
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Old 05-25-2008, 04:41 PM
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There is a very detailed article in the book "Country Wisdom & Know-How" on how to build a root cellar. I think it would easily double as a storm shelter. I plan on building one myself using this excellent article as the main reference. You can find the book in the Mother Earth News bookstore or I'm sure you can find copies on Amazon.com or eBay. It's an oversized book with a brown cover, with a picture of a red barn and grain silos on the front.
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Old 06-09-2008, 08:19 PM
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We are using that book. We've just finished digging the hole and are getting ready to build the cellar. It took a lot of work to hand dig that hole but it will be worth it.
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Old 06-12-2008, 01:05 AM
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i am from canada, and everyone has a basement. i didnt know americans didnt have them. why not?
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Old 06-12-2008, 04:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikim View Post
This I'm sure is N/A to folks up north who all have basements and such - but I'm here in Texas where it would be really difficult to find a contractor that had any idea how to build a basement or even have the tools to do so. .
Ditto Florida. I wonder why they don't build houses with basements. I sit on a hill, so water isn't an issue. There are plenty of pools, which are basements with no house over them.
Old 05-01-2011, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Straight Razor View Post
Ditto Florida. I wonder why they don't build houses with basements. I sit on a hill, so water isn't an issue. There are plenty of pools, which are basements with no house over them.
for those not on a hill if they had a basement it would become a pool 50% of the time.

but if you have a basement that doesn't flood here's a link to check out I'm gonna build a 6'x6' in my basement since I just had 2 different tornadoes closer then ever in my entire lifetime so far.

http://www.familyhandyman.com/DIY-Pr...r/Step-By-Step
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Old 05-02-2011, 05:22 PM
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I have always wanted a 'root cellar', I'm plannig on building an 'A' frame about 2 feet underground with an inside height of 10-12 feet. Other than having to rent the backhoe, it shouldn' cost more than a few thousand dollars. I'm planning on using those treated those odd shaped garden edging boards with thin steel on the outside to protect from water intrusion and using a gravel base on the bottom. I'll also be putting extra supports throughout the bottom, to assist in the deeper soil there. It will end up between a 10'x10' or 12'x12' interior layout, probably with a smaller second level where things will actually be stored, leaving the main level for living space or as a storm shelter. This will either be connected to my basement or acessed through the garage with a 1 foot thick wooden door(or a bomb proof door, depending on cost).
Old 05-02-2011, 05:52 PM
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Whoa!! old thread rebirth!
Old 05-02-2011, 06:04 PM
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there are several companies that make pre-fab storm shelter they are fiberglass/plastic pods that get buried the opening is all that is above ground they usually go for between 2-5 thousand installed will hunt down info an post it for you I say them at a Homeshow and thought about getting into installing them.
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