Concrete wall vs. RSC/Safe?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by emt1581, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

    Messages:
    19,885
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2002
    Location:
    Penn's Woods
    We're looking at houses right now. We found one for a great price that has everything we want. Due to water leaking, we're going to have to pretty much gut the finished part. This means all paneling, doors, etc. will be ripped out. It is a huge basement so it has potential. We'd like to put another bedroom, bathroom, and cedar closet down there.

    However, a new safe (RSC) is something else we need. Now I was planning on buying a Sturdy Safe for around $3K. But now I'm wondering if a vault using cinderblocks/cement/rebar/etc. with a good thick/heavy vault door would be a better idea?

    What are your thoughts? I know that given the right tools and enough time ANY safe can be gotten into, but which one provides better security and makes it harder for a thief to break in?

    Only thing I haven't figured out is the ceiling. Is it ok/possible to create a concrete/cinderblock ceiling under the studs/floor of the level above? I'd guess that as long as there is no electrical/pipes in that area is shouldn't be a problem.

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
     
  2. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

    Messages:
    17,247
    Likes Received:
    23,227
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2000
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    I built a saferoom with concrete filled blocks and a concrete ceiling. With an inside swing Ft. Knox door, it doubles as a safe room in nasty weather. I'm only on one floor, but it shouldn't be a problem with a floor above your safe.

    WP
     

  3. 88_gurgel

    88_gurgel

    Messages:
    1,417
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I would think you could build a safe room for your safe. Build a frame level with the cinder blocks and pour over the top. Make sure to include lots of rebar poured down into the filled cinder block on the side. make sure to include enough cinder blocking in front of the door to make it harder for tool attacks. As always bolt it down.

    As for a safe room with vault door, you may want prestressed concrete as a roof. I don't know that I would want to pour that myself and actually stand under it after it is done. (dependent on span) Maybe that is overkill... It might be fine but do your calculations.
     
  4. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

    Messages:
    19,885
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2002
    Location:
    Penn's Woods
    Just curious but how much did it cost you to do that? I'd only have to do one wall a ceiling and then the doorway/wall.

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
     
  5. 10 Ring Tao

    10 Ring Tao Red White Blue

    Messages:
    860
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    Southeast Michigan
    I've thought about this two ways.

    First is to build a 'vault' room with reinforced walls and ceiling.

    Second, if that isn't feasible, is to take a mid level RSC, and essentially encase it in reinforced concrete.
     
  6. HollowHead

    HollowHead Firm member

    Messages:
    25,982
    Likes Received:
    5,129
    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Location:
    Where the buffalo roam
    I don't think you can build such a heavy wall on your average basement floor without trenching and pouring footers. HH
     
  7. Hines57

    Hines57 Simple Member

    Messages:
    6,424
    Likes Received:
    2,388
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2001
    Location:
    On the road
    I am in the middle of doing the same thing right now. A safe door is the major expense, probably $2500. Are you doing the work yourself? Concrete block is about $1 each. I haven't figured out the ceiling yet.

    Your biggest concern should be that the leaks are taken care of. I had to dig out the whole outside of the basement, water proof and insulate it. Then put down drain tile, back fill with gravel and run underground downspouts to carry the water away.
     
  8. Hines57

    Hines57 Simple Member

    Messages:
    6,424
    Likes Received:
    2,388
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2001
    Location:
    On the road
    Shouldn't be a problem if it isn't load bearing should it? That is my concern since block wall gains strength by bearing a load. If I just build a block wall without a load on it, I am not sure how strong it will be.
     
  9. harleyfx69

    harleyfx69

    Messages:
    5,463
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    Location:
    in a desert
    emt your not allowed to change your avatar without giving 24 hour notice ..
     
  10. Kith

    Kith

    Messages:
    1,601
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    If you were willing to spend up to 3k on a free standing safe, then maybe you should consider getting one with the intention of sealing it in. You could always anchor it and then build cinderblock walls around it with enough space to pour concrete between the safe and the new wall.

    Make sure to finish the wall real nice to the front around the door area before you pour, and you can encase the safe. Could even get creative and get steel plates in the surrounding concrete if you were worried about drilling attacks from those angles.

    That is if you weren't going with the idea to build the vault. You would want to make sure to have a steel skin on the inside, if it was smaller then room sized. It would be cost prohibitive to do that to a whole room, but the steel skin protects the contents from the concrete. Make sure and caulk your corners, and paint the steel on both sides before you install it.
     
  11. Mr_C

    Mr_C NRA, GOA member

    Messages:
    235
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    Location:
    MN
    I am really interested in what others have done. I am wieghing the idea of building a safe room in my basement. Sounds like there is some good experience on here from those who have done it.
     
  12. roguedaddy

    roguedaddy

    Messages:
    339
    Likes Received:
    20
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Location:
    Glocktropica
    tagged. I too would like to go this route.
     
  13. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

    Messages:
    17,247
    Likes Received:
    23,227
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2000
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    Don't know the cost; it was included in a new house I had built. Concrete slab floor, filled concrete block and a 4"thick poured concrete roof. Inside dimensions of 8' x 12' at the back end of the Master BR walk in closet.

    WP
     
  14. Ol Timer

    Ol Timer ↓ hog hunter ↓ Millennium Member

    Messages:
    9,402
    Likes Received:
    8
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 1999
    I've poured many vaults and safe rooms for custom home basements and they all had footers, even ones with walls as short as 6' x 6'.

    At the very least, talk to a structural engineer before attempting this. Repouring a concrete floor after demo and removal through the window boxes is expensive and a pain in the ***.
     
  15. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

    Messages:
    19,885
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2002
    Location:
    Penn's Woods
    Does a 6'x6' wall of concrete weigh more than 1000-1200lbs?

    Thanks

    -Emt1581
     
  16. Ol Timer

    Ol Timer ↓ hog hunter ↓ Millennium Member

    Messages:
    9,402
    Likes Received:
    8
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 1999
    1st, let me say the walls were six feet in length, about ten feet high. When I said 6x6 I meant as in a corner, each wall six feet long, as tall as the basement. So yes, each of the walls would weigh more than two tons figuring a six inch wall, the minimum thickness for a decent vault. Given that most vault walls would include some type of heavy steel reinforcement, moreso than for a typical wall, the weight only increases.
     
  17. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

    Messages:
    19,885
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2002
    Location:
    Penn's Woods
    Oh ok. I was wondering is a heavy RSC would need footers as well because I've never heard of such a thing for them.

    Maybe the Sturdy is the safer bet.

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
     
  18. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

    Messages:
    19,885
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2002
    Location:
    Penn's Woods
    It's been a hell of a week...search my name and you'll see why.

    -Emt1581
     
  19. harleyfx69

    harleyfx69

    Messages:
    5,463
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    Location:
    in a desert
    sorry to hear that emt ..

    its always a sad day when something like that happens ..

    drop me a pm if you want to talk or anything ..
     
  20. smullen

    smullen

    Messages:
    378
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2005
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    I've always wanted to buy a vault door and do a safe room vs just another safe... Something like a 6x12 or 8x12...

    Then put some nice Steel shelves in there...

    Anyone have pics of Safe rooms like this vs just a Gun Safe???