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Gun Room Construction

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Owen, Jan 8, 2012.

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  1. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    If I were to build gun room on a concrete slab, how the heck would I secure the rooms ceiling, which would be easily accessible through the attic?
     
  2. xfyrfiter

    xfyrfiter Member

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    Owen you could have a poured cieling and walls, expensive ,but worth it ,when it is totally secure and fire proof.
     
  3. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    I was thinking filled and rebar-ed concrete block for the walls, with a vault door behind some sort of camoflage.
     
  4. Sniderman

    Sniderman Member

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    Hmmm,,
    How about a layer of galvanized 16 ga sheet steel between two layers of sheet rock? Layer of sheet rock, then galvanized steel screwed into the refters from below, Another layer of sheet rock, Pretty tough to break through.
    4x8 sheets go for about +- $75.00.
    (Don't ask how I know, or try to get into "the back room closet" at my place,,,,,)
     
  5. Grmlin

    Grmlin Member

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    Check the cost of your construction against purchasing a quality safe (or 2). I have had two Century safes and like them alot. Depending on were you are in the cunstruction and depending on the size of a safe you may have to have the safe brought in before a wall went up. Good luck.
     
  6. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    basically, i'm looking at building a 15-16x8 vault. The floor slab is already 2ft thick. xfyrfiter's recommendation has me looking at Insulated concrete forms. Def a possibility there.
     
  7. crazy-mp

    crazy-mp Member

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    If your foundation was not set up for a gun room you might end up cracking the foundation. Most modern day residential structures are built as cheap as they can to save money and maximize profits. Your better off adding on to your house and building one either below ground if you can or semi-below ground. Think storm shelter, which may also lower insurance rates. Adding 4 walls and a ceiling made from concrete and re-bar will add a substantial amount of weight.
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Do the same with the roof. A good bit of trouble, but as you mentioned, why leave a weak link. And besides, why go to the expense of concrete walls, and stop short of the last side? You'll probably be fine with the foundation, but it is something to consider. If it is new construction, be sure to pour it thicker there.

    If someone cases you out, and comes when you are not there, they will try the top.

    Unfortunately true. Old house? New house? New construction?
     
  9. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    i'll have to look into that crazy. I'm not really in a residential structure per-se, so I might be okay. The building was originally intended to be a machine shop, when the previous owners built. Worse case, I can pour a footing. (or have it poured) (this may be starting to get frighteningly expensive)
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2012
  10. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    fairly new (2005?) pole barn construction.

    How does one build a concrete block roof? Go all classical with a keep gun barrels ina room with a barrel vaulted roof? :)
     
  11. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    New house or an existing?
    If new I would form the additional 2 walls with the main basement walls and embed the frame of the door into the cast in place concrete. Finish the top with lightweight reinforced concrete to the same level as the rest of the finished floor, 6" thickness should be adequate for walls and roof but additional support of the roof may be needed if the span is to great. Slope the floor to the entrance and make sure you have adequate drains and sumps to keep the basement dry including dehumidifiers if you are in a humid area.
    If you are retrofitting get some 16ga. flat expanded metal and screw it to the walls and ceiling then cover with 5/8 wallboard, 2 layers would be best. Fire tape the first layer of drywall to maximize the fire protection. I would beef up the wood framing around the door and then use channel iron as the exposed frame to attach the door to.
     
  12. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    <i think we're risking going of topic here - bad mod! bad mod!>

    I'm reading the Amvic ICF page, and I this it totally doable on my own (with the exception of possibly cutting up the floor to pour a footing for the walls.

    http://www.amvicsystem.com
     
  13. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    X-Rap, I don't have a basement.
     
  14. floorit76

    floorit76 Member

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    You pour a concrete roof by putting down corregated steel and supporting it till it is set. We were involved with construction of a house with something similar.
     
  15. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    Cast in place concrete is fairly easy to do, I would do it on all sides including the roof.
    The roof is slightly more complicated but basically frame supports from the floor up to 3/4" below the elevation you want your finished ceiling to be then deck the top of the framing with 3/4" plywood and oil it well with form release. Extend rebar above your finished walls and turn down to tie into the reinforcing of the ceiling. If you are only spanning 8' I don't think additional permanent supports will be required.
    Light weight concrete is made with fly ash for a lighter aggregate so I would use it for the ceiling.
    For your short span, bridge decking Q/decking would probably be faster and quicker. It would remain in place. It is basically heavy gauge sheet metal with extreme corrugations to make it stiff enough to support the weight of the concrete until it cures.


    You are basically making an above ground basement
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2012
  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Or heavy plywood, with plenty of support.

    If the structure was intended to be a machine shop, I would think the slab is thick. Perhaps you can find out if you can find who poured it.

    Of course you could always dig alongside it to see how deep it is at the edges. Doesn't guarantee the middle though.
     
  17. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    Owen,

    Take a look at adding a tornado safe room. They are common in homes built on slabs here in tornado alley. With use of prefab concrete walls and ceiling it would more affordable and less of a construction mess.
     
  18. SmokeyVol

    SmokeyVol Member

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    There is lots of really, really bad advice and paranoia here. I sincerely doubt the slab is 24" thick, even for an isolated heavy equipment foundation. Slabs for vehicle use are rarely more than 6" thick and military arms vaults are rarely more than 8" cast concrete or 8" CMU with filled cells with 6" or 8" cast in place roof slabs. You can't judge by the slab perimeter which is thicker to carry walls loads and to get below the frost line to prevent heaving when the ground freezes. Vault door frames are not cast into concrete. They are manufactured in two pieces to "pinch" the wall with the exposed mounting hardware located on the inside of the vault. Nobody is bringing major demolition equipment to break into a gun vault. Not worth the time or effort. Most floor slabs are 4" and the thickest slab I have ever designed was 18" thick with 2 mats of #8 rebar for a covered storage for a specialized multi axle low boy trailer with a 180,000 lb. load. You do not finish the intermadeiate layer of multiple layer gypsum board, only the top layer. Some of the other issues include moisture intrusion via drains, etc. Engineers make strcutural calculations, but generally do not worry about things like moisture intrusion. My firm specilaizes in forensic architecture including structural and moisture related building failures. My advice is to get an architect to help you.
     
  19. Remllez

    Remllez Member

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    You could always use ( pre-cast ) cement for the roof and sidewalks for that matter. I'm with the guys that recommend good gun safes and alarm systems in an existing structure.

    Or if you have a large or expensive collection, an off site climate controlled licensed bonded facility may work for you.
     
  20. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    Right idea, but too thin. It'd be fairly easy to kick that down in short order, as the screws would simply rip through it, even with decent washers.

    You want something that can't be defeated within minutes. 1/4" steel changes that game; Now you'd need a drill, a good recip saw, and probably at least 20 minutes to cut a man-sized hole. AR plate would make it even tougher. Why 1/4" and not half? Because the structure could carry the weight of suspended 1/4" without reinforcement/additional supports. 1/2" or more is getting quite heavy. You're looking around $300/sheet for 1/4".

    I'm assuming we're talking about a finished structure here, which is why I'm going with steel instead of poured-in-place concrete. I went through this myself, settling on solid concrete blocks and steel, because I was building in an existing stucture, in the basement. Someone with a demo saw could get into it in probably 20-30 minutes or so, but police response time to alarm is 7-12 minutes. Since it's in the basement, smashing through with a vehicle is not an option.

    It cost me less than a large safe would have to concrete the two walls (the other two are foundation) and armor the ceiling, including a door made of 1/2" AR plate.
     
  21. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    Bad advise and paranoia??
    If you are already having a foundation done the additional cost of labor & materials in a basement would be around $1700 for the 2 extra walls and ceiling. That doesn't include a door but gets you a solid storm shelter and secure place to lock things up so for the cost of 2 safes you could do the whole job complete with a safe door.
    As for framing the door I recommend using channel iron with welded mud hooks the same thickness as the wall and from there you can mount any jamb for any door you wish, just make sure the rough opening you leave will accommodate the set up you intend to use.
    In the op's situation, I agree, I doubt that he has a 2' slab under his intended location but doing a concrete vault above grade is really no different than sub grade, he will however probably need to saw out some floor and make a footing to increase the bearing capacity of the interior floor. I see that he lives in Indiana so a storm shelter, especially in a metal building if he intends to live there would be as good a piece of mind as having the vault.
    Drywall finish?? you can ask 100 people and get 100 different opinions depending on the area/climate, building codes, and general experience of the designer. I said I would fire tape all the joints as I layered because I live in the SW in low humidity and my consideration would be fire migrating from the outside in.
    I can't really speak to the op's qualifications to do this job but I know I could do it in my spare time and keep the cost under $2000 including additional foundation.
    My advise to those who might take on a project like this is to do a lot of study, check local codes and yes if in doubt get professional help in design and construction.
     
  22. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    My situation is I live in a quite large pole barn, with an apartment fisnished as typical home construction, with a nearly 2000 sf garage area, with a slab that was pured with heavy CNC equipment in mind (with CNC's, the concern isn't with the concrete cracking as much as it is with the machine being twisted by a somewhat flexible floor).

    I haven't actually cored the floor to see what I have, but the prior owner told me 2ft. He had a lathe with a 18" thru chuck, and an 8ft bed in this spot. In another spot he had lead acid batteries (from cell towers) stacked about 6ft high, and 5ft on a side I'm thinking if that doesn't crack the floor, a cinderblock wall won't.

    Smokey, chill out. I haven't seen any paranoia yet.
     
  23. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    I've done this. It worked like a charm.
     
  24. Saakee

    Saakee Member

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    I always thought a 20 foot iso container would make a great safe once it had concrete and rebar poured around it and its normal doors replaced with something more vaulty.
     
  25. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Instead of block filled with slurry, look into using ICF, you get solid concrete walls. Or you could go the prefab, tilt up type of construction. You'll need good insulation and air handling to balance humidity concerns. The roof could be post-tensioned.

    Good luck
     
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