Securing a basement room.

Matt Landfair

Matt Six Actual
Staff member
Administrator
We are in the process of buying a house that is already about 50-60% completed. What are methods (if any) to create a secure area in the basement that would be sufficient to store weapons and ammo in?

Cold storage is too small for this purpose. I have the areas adjacent to cold storage to use.
 

Slim

Jerk Ingredients Off
Staff member
Moderator
Ability to reinforce walls and studs with steel, using a hardened door and lock system that looks non-gun vault like?

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shoobe01

Established
Find a local safe/vault/locksmith and ask. You'll be wanting to get a secure door from them anyway (many levels, but you can get pretty looks-like-a-door things that are vastly higher security than just a nice steel fire door) and they may be able to advise someone who can install this, or provide some products and your existing contractor can do most or all of the work. Think also of what you can and can't be bothered with. A big combination lock you are perfectly likely to just leave propped open sometimes because it's a pain, so maybe a Simplex to stay secure but quickly key through.

Best I have seen is friends building from zero who make sure there are concrete rooms added into the side of the basement, then secure that. But at your point (without seeing photos etc), it's possible still to do things like double up the studs, clad the walls in [other materials] and make a fairly secure room that doesn't stick out, or mess with the overall structure.

I also like layers, so plan on getting a cage inside it so you can make say 1/4 of the room (depends on the size) a gun closet as an extra layer of security to get through. Again, easier to install that really solidly at this point than trying to manhandle the bits through a finished structure and bolt it on without making a mess but it CAN be done whenever.
 

Jake_Disty

Amateur
Something to think about is preventing water damage. Being that it is in the basement, if you live in an area that floods, or you have a basement that has a history of flooding, be sure to consider this when building. Depending on your situation, having a second sump pump installed into the basement can be a good investment. I know you didn't want to dig, but it is something I think is worth bringing up.
 

Slim

Jerk Ingredients Off
Staff member
Moderator
Something to think about is preventing water damage. Being that it is in the basement, if you live in an area that floods, or you have a basement that has a history of flooding, be sure to consider this when building. Depending on your situation, having a second sump pump installed into the basement can be a good investment. I know you didn't want to dig, but it is something I think is worth bringing up.
Paintable moisture barrier too. Proper sump pump with a battery backup and dumping water in it every now and then go a long way, depending on how dry your area is. Sumps need to run every so often to ensure its working and due to design.

The parents ran into that problem a few years ago.

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Your post makes me think about a video I saw recently.


Guy has a basement and built a safe/storage room for his guns. He specifically built it under the front porch, because the porch is basically a concrete slab on top of his safe room. Pretty smart idea TBH.
 

Stanislao

Member
Shifting a bit, put in a security camera. Very few locks will stand up to a determined teenager, or anyone else with enough time. A camera can provide an audit trail of when the room is opened, as well as pictures of whoever opened the door.
 

Tim Shaffer

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Matt, have you considered just a cage set up? Won't keep out a determined entry with time, but if you use heavy enough gouge it should serve your purpose and not require a big build out.
 

Oak City Tactics

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Might be a bit late here but here goes. Everything can be opened given time. You know this already from work. Think about environmental things first. Put a moisture reading thermometer in there first and see what kind of humidity you are working with first. Everyone talks about flooding but humidity is a killer too. 50% or less is ideal. Over about 60% and you are going to see fuzz growing on things like body armor and slings. Stuff that touches the skin and gets sweaty. Leather holsters etc. Over 70% and you can see it on clothing. Open up that kit bag of rarely used stuff on the shelf and who knows what you might find inside. Right from the start have a dehumidifier installed. Not the kind you sit on the floor but the kind that gets bolted to the joists and has a pump and drainage line going out through the foundation wall. These are not that expensive and you will suffer additional holes in your foundation a lot better during the build than after. Golden rods in all safes and periodic full inspections are recommended.

Back to security, stout exterior doors and interior access doors. Double cylinder deadbolt and 3” hinge screws on the interior door as well. I like heavy wooden barn doors inside with throw bolts into the concrete floor. They look nice and can provide a lot of delay from an outside attack on decorative doors. Then just select the room inside and build solid 3/4 plywood wood walls. Guns go in a safe or cage inside also locked. Simply safe or the like cameras and motion or door sensors inside and out to your phone app. Motion lights outside. Be sure your indoor monitors cover the indoor access to the basement as well. No one that’s going to target you is getting through all that before the police get called (by you if it’s unmonitored or by the alarm company). You can’t effectively buy total security but you can buy time and time is all you need. But too many disregard the environmental stuff with basements and guns and kit and that can catch you short. Bonus points if you can hide the space within the basement. It can be done pretty easily as well for when you are away for extended periods. Camouflage, hidden in plain sight.
 
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