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Building the Ultimate Safe Room for Your new Barndominium

Building the Ultimate Safe Room for Your New Barndominium

Safe rooms, also known as panic rooms, are becoming increasingly popular in residential construction, especially in barndominiums which combine the flexibility of large spaces with the robustness of metal buildings. Whether for protection against natural disasters, home invasions, or as a secure place to store valuables, a safe room is a practical addition to any home. This article guides you through building the ultimate safe room for your new barndominium, covering its common uses, typical dimensions, customization ideas, and the rationale behind incorporating one into your home design.

Common Uses for a Safe Room

Safe rooms serve various purposes, including:
– **Protection from Natural Disasters:** Such as tornadoes, hurricanes, or earthquakes, where they provide a shield against high winds and debris.
– **Security against Intrusions:** Offering a fortified space where residents can retreat until help arrives during a break-in or home invasion.
– **Storage of Valuables and Sensitive Information:** Safe rooms can be used to securely store jewelry, cash, important documents, or firearms.
– **Emergency Shelter:** In case of a societal emergency where staying inside is safest, such as during a chemical spill.

Dimensions of Typical Safe Rooms

The size of a safe room can vary based on its intended use and the space available within your barndominium. However, there are some general guidelines:
– **Personal Safety:** A minimum of 8×8 feet can comfortably shelter 4-5 adults. This size ensures there is enough space for seating and essential supplies without being too cramped.
– **Larger Families or Groups:** Consider dimensions of 10×10 feet or larger, particularly if planning to use the space for extended periods.
– **Storage or Dual-Use Rooms:** If the safe room will double as a storage area for valuables or a gun safe, additional space will be necessary depending on the storage needs.

Ideas for Custom Safe Rooms

– **Dual-Purpose Designs:** Design the safe room to serve a secondary function, such as an office or a walk-in closet, which ensures it remains useful even when there’s no immediate threat.
– **Advanced Communication Tools:** Equip the room with a dedicated phone line, internet connection, and a two-way communication system that can operate independently of the house’s main systems.
– **Comfort Features:** Include comfortable seating or small beds, especially if the room might be used for long periods during extended emergencies. Ventilation and air filtration systems can also make stays more bearable.
– **High-Tech Security:** Installation of surveillance cameras that can monitor the house’s main areas and entry points from within the safe room.

Building Your Safe Room: A Step-by-Step Guide

**Step 1: Location and Structure**
– **Choose a Location:** Ideally within the barndominium’s footprint where it can be easily accessed yet isn’t obvious to outsiders. Basements are ideal for tornado-prone areas, while an interior room might be best for other uses.
– **Design the Structure:** Use materials like reinforced concrete, steel panels, or CMU blocks for walls. The door should be steel, such as a vault door or a sturdy steel security door with multiple locks.

**Step 2: Fortification**
– **Reinforcement:** Ensure the walls, ceiling, and floor are capable of withstanding the specific threats you’re guarding against, like high winds or seismic activity.
– **Anchoring:** Securely anchor the room to prevent it from being lifted or shifted by extreme forces.

**Step 3: Utilities and Systems**
– **Power and Communication:** Install independent power sources such as generators or batteries. Consider redundant systems for critical communication tools.
– **Air Circulation:** Install a ventilation system that can operate independently of the house’s system, possibly with filters for biological or chemical threats.

**Step 4: Final Touches**
– **Supplies:** Stock with non-perishable food, water, first aid kits, and other emergency supplies.
– **Custom Features:** Depending on your needs and budget, add features such as a toilet, sink, or even a small kitchenette.

Why You Need a Safe Room in Your Barndominium To Begin With

– **Enhanced Safety:** Provides peace of mind knowing there is a secure place to go during emergencies.
– **Increase Property Value:** Homes with custom safety features, especially well-built safe rooms, can attract higher market values.
– **Versatility:** A well-designed safe room can serve many purposes, from an emergency shelter to a quiet, private study.

White barndominium with lofty porch

Incorporating a safe room into your barndominium provides not only a secure environment in cases of emergencies but also adds a functional and potentially valuable feature to your home. By following these guidelines, you can design a safe room that meets your specific needs, ensuring you and your family are protected in any situation that may arise.

Aaron Scott
Aaron Scott
Aaron Scott is a freelance writer and researcher that has written hundreds of articles for online companies in the area of construction, design, finance and automotive. He's a Southern boy that enjoys creek fishing, hunting and camping. He's rarely seen without his trusted beagle hound "Scooter"
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