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Old 01-18-2009, 09:11 PM
caduckgunner caduckgunner is offline
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Default How to build a fallout shelter in your house?



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I am looking for ideas on how to build a fallout shelter/safe room in my house. I do not want to have to get permits, inspections, hire a contractor, etc. I currently have 2 ideas, and am looking for thoughts on them , our other ideas.

One idea I have for turning the spare room into a shelter is adding block around all walls on the inside, with rebar and concrete in the middle (I live in earthquake county). I would then hang sheet rock to hide the block. I would like to add a heavy duty steel door that slides out from between the block, hidden from view during normal times. My plan for the one window in the room is to have, when needed, put a heavy duty plastic against the window, and then stack blocks in the window to fill the window opening. I would run a pipe from the room through the roof for ventilation. I have NO clue what to do with the ceiling.

My other idea is to build a shelter in the garage against a corner wall with block and rebar. I would cover the 2 wall facing outward in the garage with sheet rock to hid the shelter, and install a heavy duty safe type door and frame. Again I would run a pipe through the ceiling for ventilation. I also have no clue on what to do for the roof on this one either.

So I am looking for suggestions and or ideas.


I DO NOT HAVE A BASEMENT, AND MY HOUSE IS BUILT ON A SLAB.

Last edited by caduckgunner; 01-18-2009 at 11:44 PM..
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Old 01-18-2009, 09:14 PM
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You dont have a basement or a crawlspace?

Your fallout shelter should be on the lowest floor of the house. Obviously, a basement or crawlspace would be best.
Old 01-18-2009, 09:22 PM
caduckgunner caduckgunner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heehaw View Post
You dont have a basement or a crawlspace?

Your fallout shelter should be on the lowest floor of the house. Obviously, a basement or crawlspace would be best.
No I don't, otherwise I wouldn't have this problem . Houses here are built on a slab, and I have only seen 2 houses with basements in the area my entire life.
Old 01-18-2009, 09:23 PM
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no idea. But I have been wanting to build a 'safe room' in a hollowed out slide in truck camper. I want bullet resistant walls, and an access to it through my truck cab that I can crawl through. For windows I want to make port holes, like on a ship. I have no idea about the roof/ceiling, either.
I can't find a started camper or steel plates for the walls.
Old 01-18-2009, 09:31 PM
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The cellar under my house was turned in to a fallout shelter. It was originally a dirt room that just full of dirt. I scavanged up so cinderblock and brick. I build a wall out of cinder block then behind that, I built a brick wall.

From there, I created studs by take steel pipe and constructing a framework where I could put dry wall (basically using the pipes as studs). I then ran all the electrical cables and electric hookups. I then took and put drywall over the framework of steel pipe.

When I looked at the laws. It basically said that if I did more then 5,000 dollars worth of construction work I would need a permit. Well since most of my materials were scavenged, I spent only money on the drywall and got I got around that law.

Then I took and I furnished the room with metal cabinets that I scavenged. I got three large ice chests that I shoved against the wall. It's pretty nice.

Once I get a digital camera, I'll post pictures.
Old 01-18-2009, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caduckgunner View Post
No I don't, otherwise I wouldn't have this problem . Houses here are built on a slab, and I have only seen 2 houses with basements in the area my entire life.
Just thought it was worth asking...you never know with some people.

As for the ceiling...what about a few layers of sheet metal and heavy duty plastic?
Old 01-18-2009, 11:28 PM
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All good ideas, but don't forget your roof/ceiling in a basement shelter. The house and wood floors above you in a standard single family home are not enough to keep out radiation, etc. Most experts say use concrete, including concrete blocks.

The old U.S. government basement shelter plans are excellent:

http://www.survivalring.org/pdf/buil...st_shelter.pdf

The above link is to a .pdf file that you can download to your computer for future reference.
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:49 PM
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Use a jackhammer to pulverize the slab. Dig a dirt cellar and then I'll forward you the crude plans to my shelter.
Old 01-19-2009, 12:29 PM
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About a year & half ago my parents bought a foreclosure that had a cracked foundation. I've done concrete work so I helped them fix it. There was an approximately 10ft X 8ft section that needed to be removed and new concrete poured. After we removed the section it dawned on me that underneath the foundation was just dirt.. and if one was so inclined they could build a shelter rather easily.

You could cut a 2x3 ft section out of your floor and then dig out underneath and build a concrete room underneath. You'd of course want to be careful not to dig out too much dirt as your floor would be unsupported.
Building a room large enough to be a shelter under an existing home might be pose to much risk to the foundation; however, you could do a small room for storage. For the shelter *****'s plans he posted are very good! You could just do it outside somewhere.

Last edited by 3/325; 01-19-2009 at 12:32 PM.. Reason: added last paragraph
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Old 01-19-2009, 12:43 PM
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I've seen where a lot of basements have been dug after the house was built. If you hired it done I believe it would be quite expensive. Just throwing this out as an option.
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:11 PM
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The biggest issue is protection against Gamma radiation. The only way to adequately protect against this is with 3" of lead on all sides (expensive and not generally practical), 2' of SOLID concrete on all sides (again expensive put more practical than lead), or 3' of packed earth on all sides (cheap and abundant). All of these choices for true and full protection from Gamma radiation would be difficult to do inside a house, even in a basement as the roof is just as important as the walls.

In your case it would be best, if you can avoid the prying eyes of neighbors, to dig a 12' deep trench to a 6-8' width and however long you are comfortable with. Remove an extra 3' deep area (from the top) 2' out from the edges so that you can create a roof support structure for 3' of dirt. Do this with a bunch of 2"x8"s stood on edge and nailed to each other until you can cover the length of your trench. The 2"x8" boards should be 4' longer than you trench is wide. Example, if you have a 15' long trench that is 8' wide, you would need 120 2"x8"x12' long boards to make the roof.

Then you can pile the dirt on top of the roof until it is almost even with the original ground. You will want to create a drainage trench then lay a poly tarp over your dirt roof and pile more dirt on. If you have a nice lawn, go ahead and sod it. The Poly tarp should be several feet wider/longer than your trench. The tarp diverts the water away from your shelter.

In a case like yours, I would consider making the trench as close to the house as possible and making the entrance through a closet floor inside the house. This way, it will not detract from your home value later, stays hidden and hard to find, and will actually protect you from fallout radiation. You can line the walls with cinder blocks and sheet rock if you like, and make a concrete floor.

Here is excellent information on fallout shelters: http://www.ki4u.com/free_book/s73p916.htm

Last edited by SMM123; 01-19-2009 at 01:16 PM..
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:24 PM
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Building an adequate shelter above ground would require a HUGE amount of shielding material.

Wood is a very poor shielding material. Concrete is good, but youd need at least 2 feet of it for good protection, maybe more.

Thats why underground shelters work so well. You just pack dirt on it and the more you pack over it the better off you are.

If you convert a free standing room into a fallout shelter, youd have walls so thick that the living space would be tiny, so tiny as to make a 10X10 room suitable for at most 2 people.
Old 01-19-2009, 04:42 PM
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There are two ideas that i like if you don't have a basement. One, is a buried convex box (large metal shipping container), these can be had for about a thousand bucks. Dig a hole, waterproof it, maybe add some supports on the inside to give it a little more integrity, and bury it.

The other idea, and the best one in my opinion, is an earthbag structure. There is a lot of info on the internet, and a wealth of books (some of which im waiting to come in the mail now), and can be done very large for less than $500. Stack the bags as thick as you would need to prvide adequate protection. People build really nice house out of these. The only draw back, is it would be labor intensive.
Old 01-19-2009, 04:47 PM
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How to build a fallout shelter in your house?

By spending dollars on it that would be of better use on something else.
Old 01-19-2009, 04:48 PM
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Roof is steel plate one block lower than the top then fill the space between the plate and the top blocks with concrete, if you want to use blocks for the sides fill them with rebar and playsand. More material between you and the outside world = more protection

Old 01-19-2009, 09:16 PM
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There's other things for shielding, water is one, as in tanks. There's also a plastic they use now but i can't remember the specifics,I'll look around.
Old 01-19-2009, 09:40 PM
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Here's some http://www.zadatech.net/radiation_shielding.html

This is insulating too, it aint cheap! http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/58...scription.html
Old 01-19-2009, 11:34 PM
caduckgunner caduckgunner is offline
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Thanks for the replies. I am leaning towards a earth dug in shelter in the back yard now. I just need to find a away to keep the neighbors from seeing what I am doing, damn half acre lots.
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Old 01-20-2009, 06:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caduckgunner View Post
Thanks for the replies. I am leaning towards a earth dug in shelter in the back yard now. I just need to find a away to keep the neighbors from seeing what I am doing, damn half acre lots.
Back in the 70's when we had recently moved into a house, we suddenly had a serious plumbing problem. It just so happened that the main water line to our house looped into our back yard. The memory is still very vivid as I remember that we had to dig up nearly half of our back yard to a depth of about 7 feet.

When neighbors asked, we told them about our plumbing problem and having to search for the leak. This could be used as a misdirection in your case and they will probably not think about it again unless you have neighbors that like to pry.
Old 01-20-2009, 06:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caduckgunner View Post
Thanks for the replies. I am leaning towards a earth dug in shelter in the back yard now. I just need to find a away to keep the neighbors from seeing what I am doing, damn half acre lots.
Don't forget to call the utilities before you dig. You never know what's down there.
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