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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone ever think of any ideas to make your basement more fortified I guess? I was thinking like a small brick or cement hut I guess you could say, just big enough for the family to get inside if a bad natural disaster happened. Thought maybe it could provide more protection from falling debris and what not. Any ideas on these sort of things ? Just passed my mind while I'm at work haha
 

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I do have a full basement that's actually larger that the first level of my home. I would be concerned that if I needed it for protection from falling debris, it could end up being my coffin.

They are great for tornado's etc, but not much more than that IMO!
 

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I've been thinking of building one but with an alternative exit that opens some distance outside the house footprint, maybe into a small shed.
 

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Regardless of design particulars, don't forget to account for some food, water, first aid, communications and debris clearing supplies inside that shelter. Two or more entry points would be smart to consider as well.
 

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If you are going to attempt something like this, pay attention to your ceiling. That is where any failures will be.

Pile fill dirt around the perimeter of your house as close to the level of your sill plate as possible. You also need to reinforce your posts holding up your floor joists and put some sort of barrier either between, beneath or on top of them. If I was doing new construction I would do it with a concrete slab, but if you are on a budget you could just screw/bolt a layer of 4x4 or 6x4 beams across your floor joists for added protection.

My method wouldn't be particularly fireproof, but it'll work for pretty much anything else. Don't forget to add ventilation, long term supplies and an emergency escape route so that you can get out if you need to.
 

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Most of these don't show planing for escape. Flooding would bite.
This has always been my concern with underground shelters, whether they be basements or bunkers. Is it possible to "seal" underground structures somehow to keep all water out, with some sort of waterproof liner?
 

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I have some AR 500 steal plate at work that I thought about making into a basement door. As a renter there is not much I can do, but a secondary escape method is a must need.

Maybe store scuba gear in case of flooding lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hmm some interesting answers, maybe I should build a small shed but really inside of it you go under ground. Trying to think of ideas since I live in a town with neighbors all around. And buying land isn't a option for me right now.
 

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This has always been my concern with underground shelters, whether they be basements or bunkers. Is it possible to "seal" underground structures somehow to keep all water out, with some sort of waterproof liner?
Yes, there's various types of waterproofing available for application to concrete floors and walls to prevent the intrusion of water into the structure. Just look for a waterproofing contractor in your area.
 

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Just thought of something. How far down do you own when you buy land? Like if you wanted to build 3 stories underground would you be allowed? That obviously would be a HUGE project, but could be cool. Like a mini underground missile silo.
 

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It's funny that I would come back online and this be the first thread I read. My house was just weatherized and I moved my 'cat' room to the basement where the water heater is. This part of the basement, in the old days (my house was built in 1870), was the root cellar. There are 4 windows that have bars on them, almost like a prison. There is a wall of dirt on one side, the rest of the basement on 2 sides and then the side that has the door.

My cats absolutely love it down there! It's insulated and toasty warm. They can come and go thru one of the barred windows (I took out just one bar and they squeeze in). The roof of that part of the basement is my kitchen floor. To look at it is like looking at giant lincoln logs.

Anyway, it's about 10 x 12 ft and I can totally see myself living down there instead of boarding up the entire house. And if I want to have it as an escape route, all I would have to do is remove the kitchen counters and pull up the door to the cellar (LOL like I could do that myself). The guys who weatherized my home built the door area up and did the things needed to make sure that part of the basement doesn't flood. So it's super cool now. If worse came to worse, I could remove one of the windows that leads to the rest of the basement and store my extra supplies there and close the other basement door up so the only way to get in would be to shoot yourself in.

I have a chair down there so I can sit with my cats. They have pallets with electric blankets & pillows to sleep on. Plus a light so I can see at night. I'm constantly looking around the area with my mind going a hundred miles an hour thinking what all I could do down there. I also found some sort of cooker when cleaning out the basement. I'll have to post pics of it.
 

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Just thought of something. How far down do you own when you buy land? Like if you wanted to build 3 stories underground would you be allowed? That obviously would be a HUGE project, but could be cool. Like a mini underground missile silo.
Might depend where you live. Where i am technically you own from the core of the earth to space. The government makes you let planes fly through your air space. You could sell your air rights and underground rights if you found the right person or something of value existed.
 

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Just thought of something. How far down do you own when you buy land? Like if you wanted to build 3 stories underground would you be allowed? That obviously would be a HUGE project, but could be cool. Like a mini underground missile silo.
I can think of three limitations off the top of my head.

1. Property / Code / Zoning limits. Varies by area & state. In addition to a building permit, you may also need a special state permit if you go deep enough.

2. Technical Limits. What can you do with the amount of money that you have? Ground water, geology, engineering limitations. Site specific.

3. OSHA / MSHA / EPAregulations. Dealing with "deep" projects comes with their own special regulations, inspections, engineering, and safety precautions. For instance, digging a trench deeper than 20 requires a PE design and regular inspections by a competent person (and if you can't describe a competent person as OSHA defines it, you're not one). Excavations deeper than 48 feet below ground level require a manlift, not just a scaffold or ladder or ramped means of access and egress.
 

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Might depend where you live. Where i am technically you own from the core of the earth to space. The government makes you let planes fly through your air space. You could sell your air rights and underground rights if you found the right person or something of value existed.
Eh, the old legal doctrine used to be from your property to the core and to the heavens. US v Crosby changed all that - now it's "owns at least as much of the space above the ground as he can occupy or use in connection with the land".

I had been told once that this essentially means up to 500 feet above the ground. Anything beyond that (and in some cases even lower in specific instances) is subject to FAA approval.
 

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How far down do you own when you buy land?
There is a difference between surface rights and mineral rights. You can buy the surface but another company may hold the rights to what is underneath......like coal.

Water rights may or may not go with the property.....even surface water may not belong to the owner of the land in which is crosses. Or a property might have had access to the local irrigation system but sold their rights to another individual or municipality.

Even above ground rights vary. For example you install a solar collector, your neighbor can not plant a tree that will interfere with the collector. Some property come with view easements where the owners cannot build up so as to block a neighbor's view.

Then there are utility easements where the municipality runs electric, gas, cable, water, sewer thru your property and you can not build on a permanent structure over the easement.

So, it varies with your property, whether it's a surface deed or also includes mineral rights or the ability to sink a well for water. As for atmosphere, that varies with the municipality.
 

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Anyone ever think of any ideas to make your basement more fortified I guess? I was thinking like a small brick or cement hut I guess you could say, just big enough for the family to get inside if a bad natural disaster happened. Thought maybe it could provide more protection from falling debris and what not. Any ideas on these sort of things ? Just passed my mind while I'm at work haha
Just make sure you have an emergency exit...This can be a 2' diameter culvert that a person could crawl thru safely to reach outside....
 

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This is already on my to do list. I have a full basement, and plan on building a safe room on one end. My plan included building another cinder block wall and a steel door. I would also like to reinforce floor joist some how. This room would include emergency supplies such as food, water, maybe one gun, a track phone, flash lights and probably a bed also. Other than the basement door I would have no other way of egress, but with a bed I'll just sleep until rescue teams dig me out.

As for more security against 2 legged disasters I thought about adding some steel pipes in the wall big enough for a shotgun barrel to fit through. I would also like to add decorative metal grates over the windows, but the windows are not actually where the room would be.
 
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