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Getting close to adding a concrete vault room to our home. We are in tornado alley, so It will probably be tornado safe as well. My folks built a styrofoam formed concrete vault room a few years ago, but they aren't sure if its really the best bang for the buck. Solid pour concrete walls/roof etc? Concrete filled block walls, poured roof? People with experience chime in...

I have basic home security and cameras so I will probably use a basic "gun safe" type vault door that is hidden in a closet. Any first hand experience with different vendors? Thanks in a advance for any info.
 

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Not about safety vaults, but just read an extensive discussion about various tornado shelters.
Seems the below ground ones can flood very quickly and the stand alone shelters below ground can rise to the surface if waterproof and the ground is very saturated.
You may want to search that.

I have a customer who builds gun storage vaults for high end customers.
Some fascinating pictures!
One key is finding the right storage system so many guns can be stored in the minimum amount of space possible, without marring or scratching.
I had a friend who purchased a vault door for his room.
Very expensive door, expensive to ship and handle downstairs, very expensive to have the door frame built and the door fitted. (you don't want a installation where its easy to just pry the entire assembly out of the wall.)
Remember a thief has ZERO qualms about the amount of damage they cause to your residence!
If it takes a dump truck to smash thru the wall, they will steal one.
Read about a gent who had a big safe on the second floor, thieves used a tow truck cable to rip it out, drag it across the floors, and then down the stairs and thru what had been the front door opening. They even dragged it down the driveway to break the safe apart.

Finally, the best security is layered security, it is all about delaying the access.
I have been told of some very clever "delaying actions" !

Richard
 

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I did the same when we built the house 20 years ago. Block walls with rebar down every cell and then filled with concrete. Roof is steel with the rebar coming thru the steel and bent over. Then 4 inches of concrete over steel and that is a porch. 14 x 22. The door was made in Ohio by a guy that advertised in shotgun news for years. I went and picked it up with my truck. It has been perfect all these years.
 

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Highly recommend Smith Security Safes. They make vault doors and can customize it to your exact size specs. The “standard” vault doors by Browning and Ft knox are only 30” wide which is a little on the narrow size ( standard doorframe is 32”). Also they have a range of custom security features you can add. He had a guy who does the install work and the price is reasonable IMHO.


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PS: be sure to add a drain in the room so you can run a dehumidifer - even with HVAC, you may not have the desired humidty in the space. Thus a drain permits continous dehumidifer running. Also it might make a difference if you ever have a floor or fire in evacuating water from the space


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Another thing to consider is whether you want a flat threshold for each of access, and maybe to roll in a cart of ammo, or if you want a step over one for higher security.
If you keep an eye on Craisglist or similar places you can find reasonable vault doors; in my area they pop up regularly for $700 to $1000, including the frame.
As mentioned above, a drain for a dehumidifier is a good idea, as is connecting to your house HVAC for air circulation and and least some heat or AC.
Finally: Whatever size you think you'll need - make it bigger!
 
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