Designing the ideal gun vault for your home isn’t easy. There’s an extensive list of factors that have to be taken into account, and the size of your budget has to match the scope of your ambition.
You could browse online stores to find a gun safe for sale at a good price, or you could build a custom vault that pulls out all the stops. So which route is best for you? What goes into the planning process? Read on for nine tips that will aid you in the completion of your dream vault.
High-quality safes don’t come cheap. A top-tier vault is worth it, but you also have to consider the fact that expert contractors charge a premium for their knowledge and craftsmanship.
Essentially, the more elaborate your idea is, the deeper your pockets are going to have to be. It’s for this reason that DIY builds have become so popular. The only trouble is that a lot can go wrong with a lack of expertise.
Power and lighting are basic necessities for any gun room. However, it’s easy to forget about the inclusion of other utilities and technologies, such as water and security systems, for example.
Climate control and fireproofing are just as important as electricity and surveillance, and you need to take all of these things into account during the planning phase. Plan your layout with these factors in mind, and be wary of taking shortcuts.
The last thing you want is for your vault to have a moisture problem. High levels of humidity can destroy your firearm collection, so you need waterproofing that can create an effective vapor barrier.
The barrier also has to allow for adequate ventilation, which means that the balance between fresh air and zero humidity has to be managed carefully. HVAC systems are particularly useful in this regard, but ductless systems can also be effective.
4. Foundation strength
Before you install a gun vault, ensure that the foundation of your house can withstand the additional weight. If you don’t and the worst-case scenario occurs, you could end up with a sinkhole in the middle of your home.
To give you an idea of how dramatic the weight increase can be, a 100-square foot safe room can weigh upwards of 60,000 pounds, and the standard foundation slab for most households would crack under that kind of pressure.
The thickness of the walls of your vault can have a dramatic impact on the overall weight. How thick you go largely depends on personal preference, but you don’t want to have anything lower than six inches of width.
Even though you could have walls that are three feet thick, they would weigh a lot more, and you would not only need additional space but increased foundational strength as well.
Access to your vault is a weak point. It needs to be reinforced as much as possible by investing in a high-quality door. When buying or commissioning a door, don’t hesitate to explore your options and do some research on the most secure products.
Look up the safe companies and see what customers have to say about them. When it comes to materials, steer clear of compound doors and brittle metals, and go for thick stainless steel or armor plating instead.
7. Seek the aid of a professional
It’s all well and good to build your vault room by yourself, but it’s far better to have it done by professionals. Even if you prefer to do the construction on your own, the advice you get from consultation alone can be incredibly valuable.
Ultimately, enlisting experts will make the entire vault construction process less complex for you. If you’re trying to find reliable contractors, check online for the best service providers in your area.
How big do you want your vault to be? Is your gun collection quite large, or do you want something compact that can store a few smaller pieces? Decide on the best method to meet your needs and formulate a layout plan that combines all necessary elements.
The layout has to include everything we’ve already mentioned, as well cabinet sizes, shelving needs, free space for navigating the room, and any work areas that you might use for cleaning and maintenance of your collection.
Last but not least is the factor that appeals to most vault builders – how to conceal your vault. Hiding your entrance in plain sight is one of the most effective ways you can do this, and there are several ingenious ideas to get inspiration.
Custom concealment can be achieved in any number of ways. The possibilities all depend on where you want your vault to be and how you want it to look, and the only limits are your budget and the level of work involved.