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Building a gun friendly house need help with ideas

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by sturmruger, Dec 11, 2003.

  1. sturmruger

    sturmruger Well-Known Member

    My wife and I hope to build a house in the next three years. We have both come up with a good size list of features we would like to incorporate into our house. Some of the things on my list include:
    1. Fire proof Workshop with Reinforced Metal door
    2. Hidden compartments in various rooms for guns
    3. Bullet proof glass in windows next to doors
    4. 25 Yard firing range in basement workshop :D
    5. Old style cellar doors for basement
      I know some of this stuff will increase the cost of the house, but other then the shooting range I think the cost should be minimal. The shooting range is going to be a 25 yard long 7 foot high tunnel that will go out from the basement at a 90 degree angle. The tunnel will end right next to the planned exterior wood burning stove. I plan to have an exhaust fan sucking the fumes down range, and also having an escape hatch at the end of the tunnel. By fire proofing the workshop and also doing some sound proofing I am hoping to be able to shoot handguns in the basement without disturbing the rest of the house too much.

      I am posting this to try and get some other creative ideas. My question is what other security, and gun related features should I think about incorporating into our design plans? Have you customized your house to make it more safe, or secure??
  2. El Tejon

    El Tejon Well-Known Member

    Uncle Jeff covered home design. Get a copy of "To Ride"; should help.
  3. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Well-Known Member

    In floor radiant heat.

    Variable speed air conditioning that will allow you to closely regulate the amout of humidity in the air during the summer.

    Soundproofing in the shooting room/range.

    Remember to reinforce the walls in the shooting room. Not much good if someone can bypass the door by whacking the wall with a sledge hammer.
  4. TheeBadOne

    TheeBadOne Well-Known Member

    Make sure whatever floor you will have a large gun safe on can take the load.
  5. admar2

    admar2 Well-Known Member


    with plenty of room for a walk in safe and a firing range.
  6. sturmruger

    sturmruger Well-Known Member


    Mike you read my mind exactly!! We are putting in the radiant heat throughout the house on two floors, and I am going to have an offshoot line that is going to go out to the driveway, and sidewalk. I will also have a line for the garage. That way I can melt all the ice and snow on the driveway with the flip of a switch, or heat the garage.

    The plan is for all of the guns to be in the shop in the basement. That is a good point about the walls being reinforced!! I will not that for sure.
  7. Smoke

    Smoke Well-Known Member

    Walk in gun safe is a nice idea and not cost prohibitive. Build a concrete block room and buy a vault door. Doors can usually be had for less than a mid-level gun vault. (Dont forget wiring)

    Have you priced bullet proof glass?

    If you go with a gun vault have your cabinet guy build a false front. (My wife insisted on that one)

    Take the walk in vault one step further and design it as your safe room (both from intruders and enviromental/weather hazards.

    For optimum personal protection have all bedrooms on one end of the house. For personal sanity have a split arrangement. (when kids have slumber parties you'll understand)

    I'll think of more later....
  8. sturmruger

    sturmruger Well-Known Member


    Thanks Smoke those are all excellant ideas. I have not priced the glass for the door area. My thinking behind the thick glass for the door area is I would like to be abll to easily see any visitors without needing to worry about them busting in to the house. I also want to keep any possibe BG from threatening me with a gun to open the door.
  9. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

    My daughter and her husband did just that. They moved into their new house about a month ago.

    They had a room built in the basement about 6x10" with concrete filled block walls and a poured concrete top. It will serve as a safe and a storm cellar. The door isn't on it yet though.
  10. igor

    igor Well-Known Member

    Why not keep plenty more distance between you and someone behind the door using a low-cost intercom with webcam?

    Exterior doors: sturdy models, opening direction outside, studded hinges, dead-bolt locking. No windows that can be opened at all, small ventilation trapdoors or valves instead. Affordable anti-burglar adhesive foil in one glass layer of all windows. Decorative flower boxes with prohibitive iron attachments along the windows on the outside, a yard-wide thorny shrubbery on the ground next to the wall. A watering jug with a long nozzle :D . Automatic, bright exterior lights; more webcams.

    Intrusion detection in doors and windows (inertia/glass break sensors). IR/MW sensors for burglary alarms when house empty. Both a silent alarm mode and a helluva bad klaxon with exterior blinker. Security systems with lighting automation and webcams are cheap to install when their wiring is included in the planning of the overall electricity thing, with plenty pairs for future needs left over.

    Smoke detectors in the middle of all rooms' ceilings, preferably wired together as well. CO2 and gas detectors where needed. Lots of fire extinguishers in different sizes, after operator.

    Plan ahead for fields of fire - which interior walls must be real hard cover. Have a safe room.
  11. dsgrntldPW

    dsgrntldPW Well-Known Member

    What about a 'safe room', such as the master bedroom? Use a decorative steel door and steel frame as its entry. Have a keyed door handle and a deadbolt with a turn handle only on the bedroom side of the door. Use thick plywood under the drywall (or block if feasible) to surround this room. This would help prevent or delay entry into the room through only the thin drywall. Think of things you may need in an emergency and plan to locate these items within this room. A small wall or floor safe for emergency weapons and lights. Maybe run an antenna lead to the room for a Shortwave radio or emergency transmitter (I know, you're supposed to have a license for these, but in an emergency who cares.).

    For the glass you might look into some of the new polymer films they use nowadays. I don't know if they make a bullet resistant one yet, but I have been impressed with how they impede the breakage of glass by large rocks and crowbars.

    It's great that you have the opportunity to build your house with these features you want. Good luck.
  12. Dionysusigma

    Dionysusigma Well-Known Member

    "Tremors" quotes... must resist...

    "You broke into the wrong dang rec room, didn'tcha?!?"

    "Well, I guess we can't make fun of his lifestyle anymore..."


    I'm a big fan of the hidden compartments idea... also, be sure to put phone lines into the safe areas, maybe a second line for that. Harden the outside walls as much as possible in an effort to prevent over-penetration. Secret passages are tons of fun as well. See how many you can fit into the plans... And (IMHO) last but not least, false front as much as you can, in case any close friends that might be antis won't get nervous.
  13. Jack19

    Jack19 Well-Known Member

    BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Oh man I can't stop laughing. lolol

    Still, a safe room in this day and age is not a terrible idea. My wife and I are moving to a larger home in 2004 and there are some "must haves" when it comes to security. Guns are not enough anymore.
  14. sturmruger

    sturmruger Well-Known Member

    A Block wall isn't too bad of an idea. I am sure if I pitch it as a Safe room instead of a gun room my wife will even feel better about it!! She is deathly afraid of tornados and would love to have some place that is 100% safe. Plus the secret door out the tunnel will make her happy as well in case the basement ever caves in. So far all the ideas have been awesome. THAnks, and keep them coming.
  15. biere

    biere Well-Known Member

    Someone mentioned doors that open to the exterior. I have always thought opening them to the interior of the house provided some options.

    The door jamb or whatever protects the dead bolts and other items that keep the door closed. You also have the hinges inside and protected. I would personally set up the door so that you had the ability to "quickly" rig something to prevent it from being bashed in. My mobile home front and back doors could be braced with some 6x6s or other large lumber using walls that are close by for the back of the brace. I have no clue where this would be useful, but I like the concept that I can easily barricade my doors if some neighbor goes nutzo and I prefer not to leave my home and confront them. I also have an idea for hooks that could hang coats by day and by night be like those old time log cabin items where a large piece of wood is placed from one side of the door to the other, and these hooks hold it in place. Another thing about doors is that if the thing opens inward you can not pry on the door edges nor can you hook something to the door knob and use a vehicle to pull on the door only. If the door opens inward the door jamb will protect the edges and it will be taking the brunt of a pulling attack.

    I like a real solid door and then some of those super metal mesh doors you see in the movies for "bad" neighborhoods. These are the ones that would take the place of a screen door but are sort of like wrought iron and usually they are glass instead of a screen. Actually that is another thing about all the doors opening to the outside, that would be annoying when moving stuff since the doors would overlap.

    On the windows, one cheaper option is the hurricane rated window. Check each company out, but many that make the hurricane window have it strong enough to handle large flying objects. But most likely not bullets.
    These also don't degrade as much as some of the bullet proof stuff.

    I would like the bullet proof glass, but never get over confident because some folks have some serious firearms. Another thing about many types of bullet proof glass is that they degrade over time. Sometimes this will affect performance and other times it just means some of the plastic layers go yellow and you really can't see through them as well.

    Overall, build the house in layers. Landscaping is the first one, windows and doors and exterior walls are the next one. After that you get into specific rooms setup as safe rooms.

    I have always liked the idea of being able to close a door in the hallways to seperate things if the house is sort of big. The door simply blocks a hall way, but it can serve a lot of purposes.

    I would make all doors exterior grade, some of the metal ones are not as strong as some of the all wood ones so look around and research what others use. In most cases a commercial rated exterior door is one tough sucker.

    Overall, I would make the exterior wall equal to the safe room walls to begin with because I would prefer to keep people out.

    Of course money is the problem with that.

    If you run a search on joelskousen you will find some books that get into ideas about covering fire and what not. These are similar to the jeff cooper book mentioned by someone above, I think I remembered that right but heck I could be off.
  16. Majic

    Majic Well-Known Member

    Gun ports in the attic allowing a 360 degree sweep of the yard.

    Darn it, my tin foil hat has a few holes in it. :uhoh:
  17. TallPine

    TallPine Well-Known Member

    ESPECIALLY, over-penetration from incoming rounds ... :D
  18. Moparmike

    Moparmike Well-Known Member

    Screw the false front. Build a wall infront of it that acts like a door. It looks like a wall, but swings open. It worked great for the Greenbriar Hotel in Maryland (the congressional fallout shelter). Build a ventilation system in the room that you can turn on in a flick of a switch, out of PVC pipe extending out 100ft from the house with fans in them at the safe's end. Have the outside ends in separate concrete-lined housings, looking like innocuous housings you would find in the woods. Dont have them together in the same housing.
  19. natedog

    natedog Well-Known Member

    Not gun-related, but get ethernet wired ethernet ports in your rooms.
  20. Highland Ranger

    Highland Ranger Well-Known Member

    I'd do as much of the identifiable work myself - i.e. tell the contractor you are building a wine cellar, let them dig it and pour the concrete and you install the things that identify it as something else (backstop, doors etc)

    Keeping you measures secret to the greatest extent possible is prudent.

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