Forums | Home Repair | Home Improvement | Painting | Interior Decorating | Remodeling | Landscaping


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Building & Construction

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-06-2012, 12:30 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 1
Share |
Question

Storm Safe Room


New to the chat, so please don't blast me. My husband and I will be building a home within the year. Working out the final design with architect and of course, like any woman, I keep thinking of things.

Basically, it will be a 1 1/2 story wood frame on slab and since its in a rural area in N.TX, I am considering a storm safe room just in case.
On the ground floor, there will be a half bath under the stairs with rough footprint of 4"x8". I've heard of 'beefing up' the space under the stairs for added protection(anchored & reinforced framing, plywood with steel on both outside and inside, and plywood/steel door). My real question is whether anyone has ever known or heard of someone actually doing something like this and if it can realistically be done for a reasonable price? Found lots of stuff online about how to do it, but nothing on first hand construction and whether it is honestly even worth it.

We could potentially put an in ground shelter, but they are costly and not convenient at 3am if you only have seconds...
aheath04 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2012, 02:40 PM   #2
MarginallyQualified
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Winston-Salem NC
Posts: 3,465
Default

Storm Safe Room


Quote:
Originally Posted by aheath04 View Post
We could potentially put an in ground shelter...
My real question is whether anyone has ever known or heard of someone actually doing something like this and if it can realistically be done for a reasonable price?
Digging something is bound to cost less than anything you might build above.
And if you do dig... there all sorts of other benefits to be had from that space.

The question is about means to isolate all or some portion of that.

Quote:
... and whether it is honestly even worth it.
...and not convenient at 3am if you only have seconds
That "worth it" thing is a wholly subjective question.

If the issue is hurricanes (vs the zombie hordes) the common solutions
and the common early warning systems are probably your best bet.

hth
TarheelTerp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2012, 03:06 PM   #3
Tileguy
 
Bud Cline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 9,124
Default

Storm Safe Room


Quote:
the common solutions
and the common early warning systems are probably your best bet.
Yow (early warnings) just like the ones they got in Joplin Missouri last year.


You could make that bathroom out of poured concrete walls and top with an embedded steel door. Anything else built up on top of the slab probably wouldn't survive in a tornado. Not too many hurricanes in North Texas.

Build the (vault) on its' own with proper footings then cast the floor slab around it.
Bud Cline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2012, 03:47 PM   #4
MarginallyQualified
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Winston-Salem NC
Posts: 3,465
Default

Storm Safe Room


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
Yow (early warnings) just like the ones they got in Joplin Missouri last year.
That was a tornado. Different animal altogether.
Which is the real point though... if the 3 seconds example the OP used is the standard to be met... not much is gonna satisfy.

hth
TarheelTerp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2012, 04:00 PM   #5
Tileguy
 
Bud Cline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 9,124
Default

Storm Safe Room


The OP said:
Quote:
"I am considering a storm safe room just in case."
Quote:
Tarheel said: " the common solutions
and the common early warning systems are probably your best bet."
Then I said:
Quote:
Yow (early warnings) just like the ones they got in Joplin Missouri last year.
Quote:
Tarheel: "That was a tornado. Different animal altogether".
Different from what?

Isn't a tornado a storm?

You are the one that has conjured up "hurricane" and I can tell you after living in North Texas for many many years, North Texas does not get hurricanes and isn't likely to. When I was there Dallas received 70 mph winds one day from a hurricane that was coming ashore in the Galveston area but 70 mph winds does not a hurricane make.

So now you are a meteorologist?

Here we go again.
Bud Cline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2012, 05:13 PM   #6
Civil Engineer
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Boston
Posts: 3,975
Default

Storm Safe Room


In your post, you state that you are working with an architect. I recommend that you discuss the question of including a safe room in your house with the architect. If they are unable to offer you advice, you may want to consult either with another architect, or an engineer. There are several alternative techniques that may be employed to build a safe room, which one is the most cost effective in your specific case is a matter for the designer and you to discuss.
Daniel Holzman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2012, 06:02 PM   #7
Member
 
concretemasonry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota - Latitude 45.057 Longitude -93.074
Posts: 3,642
Default

Storm Safe Room


Just take the easy and reliable source by going to the FEMA site where they fully describe the acceptable and proven ways to build a "safe cell". It is well detailed for both above grade and buried for life safety in tornado environments. The description includes the acceptable wall and ceiling materials, hardware and access details (direction of door swings, etc.). the tesing is impressive and consists of shooting a 12' 2x4 at over 140 mph at a wall with no damage to the interior (the guys at the lab in Texas really seemed to enjoy the process).

Generally, it boils down to a reinforced concrete or reinforced concrete block walls with a concrete roof. The only wood is suggested unless it is 2 sheets of 3/4" plywood with a steel plate between them plus a concrete roof. the footings are substantial, but concrete is cheap compared to the cost of delivery, placement and finishing.

The criteria is based on life safety and protection from projectiles, which are the major cause of deaths in tornadoes. The standard has been tested, developed and proven for years of actual exposures.

Very often, the safe cells are actually closets or bathrooms in a home or they may be in basements or free-standing outside.

Dick

Last edited by concretemasonry; 01-06-2012 at 06:15 PM.
concretemasonry is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to concretemasonry For This Useful Post:
oh'mike (01-06-2012), TxJack (01-13-2012)
Old 01-07-2012, 05:39 PM   #8
Too Old
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: South of North
Posts: 345
Default

Storm Safe Room


My sister lived in Kansas and wnen they built a house they used a concrete septic tank and buried it under the slab, they installed a stairway that went into the living room.When I first saw it I could not even tell it was a storm door, my brother in law put a wood floor in the room and made a design where the cellar door was. It was nice he had a hydraulic jack and some beams in case he needed to get out after a storm. In some Oklahoma homes they build a room out of cinder block full grout cells inside the house.
__________________
"Yeah, it's a nice garage, but you have to keep it heated at all times so it doesn't mess up your roof line."
havalife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2012, 06:55 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 82
Default

Storm Safe Room


I'm trying to find out the same thing as I'm about to finish my basement. I spend winter/spring in NW GA (Dixie alley) and my development has been hit twice in 4 yrs. No one's been hurt, but I had some damage to my cabin from the edge of the storm that hit Ringgold and Tuscaloosa.
When the FEMA storm team was here afterwards, I talked to one of the guys who had practical tips. He said I could modify a basement room such as a bath or closet with plywood and L-shaped bolts (I think) and to make sure the door opened to the inside. Unfortunately, I didn't take good notes and have tried in vain to find that info online for my contractor. All I can find is the FEMA site with cement storm rooms. I don't want to go to that extreme and need the space year round.
I've emailed and called the FEMA guy listed as storm room expert, but can't reach him. The email response was just a form letter/ link to the concrete storm room. If I ever reach him, I'll share any tips.
canoes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2012, 08:21 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 82
Default

Storm Safe Room


I don't know if your are still checking this, but the FEMA receptionist finally got me a number for the GA hazard mitigation guy. I told him I want to increase my protection but not build a complete safe room since I'll need to use the house for other things and I'm not sure the risk justifies the expense. He said the walls as designed and illustrated in the FEMA guide with the steel and plywood would be best, but any additional measures would be an improvement. BTW, my brother (who works in the steel industry) said steel prices will increase Feb 1 and to buy now. He also said it would prob cost about 1000 just for the steel for my small area. I'm not going to use it.

I am going to reinforce a closet in the back corner of basement and instead of sheet rock on 2 walls that are not concrete, I'll use a 3/4 sanded plywood and have them bolted as shown in the FEMA diagram. He also suggested I use a steel door rather than a wood one and have it bolted in three places. I'll just use an outside steel door.
canoes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2012, 08:46 PM   #11
Member
 
concretemasonry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota - Latitude 45.057 Longitude -93.074
Posts: 3,642
Default

Storm Safe Room


canoes -

As shown in the FEMA details, make sure the door swings into the safe space instead of into the damaged space or else you will not get out because of debris and damage. You also have to be concerned with the roof of the safe area.

Dick
concretemasonry is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Insulating a cold/well room? Lynch Building & Construction 22 02-09-2013 07:51 AM
Basement Safe Room tws7436 Building & Construction 9 05-14-2011 10:36 AM
Brainstorming ideas to Dress Up the front room of my new house!! the_d_mann1 Interior Decorating 0 05-01-2011 04:47 PM
Vents from boiler room RammsteinNicCage HVAC 3 03-11-2009 07:28 PM
A room in a room? artosie General DIY Discussions 2 03-10-2009 12:43 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.