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How To Build A Gun Safe Room

By Maria Paiz October 23, 2023

How to build a gunsafe room?

*Image credits for gun safe room on the cover: Julian & Sons 

*This post contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, but it never influences our product selection process.


Introduction

In an increasingly unpredictable world, the need for specialized spaces to house firearms, rifles, and other valuable possessions has never been more apparent. A mere gun cabinet may no longer suffice for those with more extensive collections. This raises a question that echoes in the minds of many gun owners and enthusiasts: How can one create a room that offers more space and security for these prized possessions?


A gun safe room or gun vault is far more than a fortified storage area. It's a reflection of the owner's priorities, a symbol of peace of mind, and a showcase of meticulous planning and craftsmanship. Whether safeguarding family heirlooms or preserving a valuable gun collection in moisture-controlled conditions, the details matter.


In this article, we'll explore the complexities and considerations that go into creating a gun-safe room. From the initial planning and selection of materials to understanding the various features that can be customized to fit your needs, we will delve into what makes these rooms secure and why they are such a valuable addition to a modern home or business.



What Is A Gun Safe Room

wooden gun safe room

A Gun Room is a custom-built, fortified space, such as a gun vault or vault room, designed to safely store firearms, money, precious jewels, currency, and sensitive documents.


A gun room shields your valuables from children and burglars and offers protection against home invasions, natural disasters, and other unforeseen events. With multiple layers of security at all entry points, a gun room can even serve as a tornado shelter or an emergency retreat!

Types Of Gun Safe Rooms

A gun safe room can be designed to meet various needs, whether above ground or underground. Both options have their unique advantages and considerations:

Above Ground

Above-ground gun safe rooms are commonly situated inside a part of the house or as an extension to the main residence. When planning one, you'll need to extend your heating and cooling systems to maintain a comfortable temperature.


This type of room is more accessible and can be used frequently. Though best installed during the construction of the main house, it's versatile enough to be added later as well.


Underground 

Underground gun safe rooms are often regarded as the most secure option, suitable for doubling as panic rooms or bomb shelters. They provide excellent protection against intruders, unwanted guests, and natural forces like tornadoes and fires.


Unlike above-ground rooms, the risk of a breach through the exterior walls is minimized when underground. However, humidity can be a significant concern, negatively impacting firearms. Installing a moisture barrier during construction is essential, and you'll need to plan how to provide power and ensure communication with the outside world when necessary.


The Planning Process

Proper planning is crucial when building a gun safe room, as various factors must be carefully considered.

Location

Choosing the right location for your gun safe room requires a balance between discretion and accessibility. If you intend to use the room as a panic room, it should be near most access points in your home but not in areas frequently used by family members. A closet or basement space is often recommended.


Additionally, the room should feature a concrete exterior wall for enhanced protection. If you're thinking about adding the safe as an extension to an existing room, ensure there are limited entry points.


Space

When planning your gun room, it should be more than just a small storage space; it must be large enough to house all your weapons and accessories (for smaller collections, consider gun safes).

Ideally it should accommodate cabinets, drawers for ammunition, and even a table and chair for gun maintenance. If you intend to use the space as a panic room during emergencies, you'll need to plan an even larger area.


Door

Choosing the right door is crucial, as it's your primary protection. If break-ins are not a major concern, a wooden door with a lock might suffice. However, a vault with a steel door is usually the best way to ensure security.

You can customize the door's thickness and locking system based on your particular needs, all while keeping aesthetics in mind. The door doesn't necessarily have to look too militaristic or mechanical, as it might stand out in the wrong way. Its essential feature should be the ability to withstand attack, and you may also consider making it bulletproof for added safety.


Aesthetics


There’s no reason why a gun safe shouldn’t look aesthetically appealing. This can be achieved by planning and sorting beforehand. You must consider the kind of racks you want and how you choose to display your weapons. 


This will also depend on the overall space you have dedicated to the gun-safe room. Nevertheless, drawing out a draft of how you want the safe to look would be a great way to get ahead.

Here are some examples of AMSEC Vault Door Color Options:

AMSEC Vault Door Colors

 

Utilities

What requirements do you have in mind regarding your gun-safe room? Do you plan on doubling as a panic room or tornado shelter? If so, you must add certain utilities that may come in handy if you have to retreat into this space for safety.


This includes a sink, space for a foldable mattress, a toilet (either portable or otherwise), air vents, and a fire extinguisher. 

 

Things To Consider Before Building A Gun Safe Room

Now that we have covered the basics, let’s get to the actual construction part. You can either choose to get professional help or go the DIY way. In both cases, the following steps are going to be a great help. 


If you are building an underground room, you have to start from scratch and lay out the foundation of the room. If using an existing space, begin by removing unwanted carpeting and wallpaper.

Outline 

Before getting into the actual building process, drawing up a detailed plan of what you intend to build is ideal. This should include details of dimensions, materials required, and utility installation.


You should also decide on a budget to avoid overspending in the heat of the moment. Gather up all the necessary tools and gear and prepare a first aid kit in case of accidents. 


Walls

In an underground gun safe room, you must fortify the walls well with cinder blocks and cement. You should also look for dehumidifying options to protect your guns. 


But, if it’s an above-ground walk-in room, you can just refurbish an existing room into a gun safe by adding a few features. For safety purposes, choosing a room without any windows is best.


You can find ready-made panels that can be converted into the inner walls of your gun safe. These can be further customized by adding barrel racks and wall mounting kits. This requires minimal effort and can be done without any problem or help.


However, these walls must be strong enough to withstand blunt and bladed weapon attacks and should be fireproof. 


Vault Doors

AMSEC Vault Door

 

Selecting the right vault door is critical in building a secure gun-safe room. Our vault doors come with options for both manual and electronic locks, ensuring your precise security preferences are met. Tamper-proof hinges add an extra layer of protection, fortifying your room against unauthorized access.


Fireproofing and customizability in thickness are additional features that make vault doors an optimal choice for those looking to secure their firearms and valuables.


Investing in the right vault door means safeguarding not only your possessions but also the peace of mind of your family. Don't compromise on security; explore our range of robust and reliable vault doors at USASafeAndVault.com. Our team of experts is ready to assist you in choosing the best vault door that suits your needs and complements your home. 


Other Accessories

Other accessories that you can set up include spy cameras, LED lights, racks, and other fittings. These must be bought beforehand and checked for space compatibility to avoid last-minute hassles.

Legal Matters

Another essential point to consider is the legal side of things. Many states have regulatory laws with regard to the installment and use of gun-safe vaults or rooms.

Thus, it is necessary to learn about these regulations and check with a local authority before building this safe room.


Fire and insurance policies must also be meticulously studied, and the specified codes must be followed in constructing a gun safe vault. 

Training

guns safety

Familiarize yourself and your family with the gun safe room's use and function. Human errors can lead to security issues, so personally test the functionality with guests and children who may know where the key is. Teach family members how to open the vault door from both sides, preparing them for emergency situations where they might need to fend for themselves.

Steps To Build A Gun-Safe Room Yourself


After reading through all these details, you must have concluded that building a gun-safe room is not an easy task. However, it is not entirely impossible either. With proper planning and preparation, it is a feat that you can maneuver on your own. 

  • Find a less frequented part of your house and calculate the available space for building.

  • Prepare a detailed design plan, including the details of the interior setup.

  • Decide how to display your firearms vertically or horizontally, and buy appropriate racks and mounts.

  • Build a sturdy outer wall that can withstand attack. Building inside another room with a lock may provide added security and put your mind at ease.

  • Check whether the floor of the room can support the weight of the door frame and door. Custom-made door frames are expensive, so try and get a door that fits your frame. 

  • Fasten all parts carefully and ensure proper ventilation and temperature control.

  • Learn about the mixing concentrations of cement and always level the mortar well.

  • Add the utilities, if any, and ensure their proper functioning with maintenance.
  • Choose a locking system.

  • It is also advisable to get technicians like electricians, plumbers, and locksmiths to install the particular features of your safe room.

  • If there are existing windows in the room you chose, take measures to have them permanently closed. Having fewer access points is the utmost security measure here.

FAQ Guide (What Readers Want to Know)

We have yet to address some concerns in this article, but we hope these FAQs will help you gain better clarity on the matter.

Do You Need Gun Safe Rooms?

Yes. If you own firearms, it's essential to store them securely. A gun safe room doesn't just offer a safe place for your guns; it can also serve as a safety room, adding both value and peace of mind to your home. It's always wise to be prepared for the unexpected.

Is The Garage A Good Place To Build A Gun-Safe Room?

Ideally, no. A garage lacks many safety features and is one of the most easily accessible spaces in your home. It also has a wide-open access point that may not be suitable in emergencies. However, you may use this as a last resort if no other space is available.

How to build a gun safe room in my home?

Building a gun safe room involves planning the space, selecting the right type of wall and ceiling panels, installing a secure vault door, and adding additional features like LED Lights and security cameras. Consider moisture-controlled storage for rifles, grid panels for flexibility, and vent fans to maintain proper air circulation. Always consult professionals in the field or use DIY skills if you're experienced.


What are the best vault door options?

Vault Doors come in different sizes, types, and price points. They offer various features such as keypad entry, fingerprint scanners, or traditional deadbolt mechanisms. Selecting one that fits your security needs and budget requires considering factors like steel construction, rust resistance, and emergency opening features.


How can I plan the wall space and gun storage inside the gun room?

Wall space planning involves choosing grid panels, shelves, gun racks, and cabinets to create an organized system for guns and valuables. Consider what you'll be storing and select gun storage options like safes, cases, or racks to suit your needs. Don't forget to include a spot for ammo storage.

What about ventilation and humidity control?

A vent fan can be added to maintain airflow, while a dehumidifier can prevent rust on metal parts like firearms. These solutions will help create an optimal environment for your valuables, guns, and rifles.


How can I ensure children's safety around my gun room?

Safety measures like fingerprint scanners or keypad entry on the vault door, secure gun cabinets, and proper firearm safety education are key to children's safety. Additionally, placing the gun room in a basement or other concealed area away from regular living spaces can add a layer of security.



Can I DIY this project, or do I need a contractor?

With the right DIY skills, tools, and building plans, some homeowners may take on this project themselves. Others may prefer to hire contractors, especially for specialized tasks like welding or working with concrete and rebar.


What about adding internet connection, phone line, or other tech features?

Depending on your needs, you might add an internet connection for security cameras, a phone line for emergency communication, or other tech features that make sense for your unique space.


How can I make sure the gun room fits the style of my home?

Plan the design, color, and materials to match the rest of your home. Think about wood finishing, glass details, or custom shelving to reflect your personal style and the aesthetics of your home.


How much money will this project cost?


Costs vary widely based on the size, complexity, materials like steel or drywall, and whether you're using contractors or DIY methods. Start with a budget in mind and get multiple price quotes for comparison.

Conclusion

Building a gun room is a complex and precise task that demands a professional's touch. The intricacy of the process, involving aspects like wall panels, storage racks, and security features, makes it a challenge suitable for skilled builders.

Safety is paramount in this field, especially when considering the potential risks associated with improper handling of guns and related materials. Therefore, we strongly recommend contacting a professional who understands the building codes, safety regulations, and has experience in constructing gun safe rooms.


However, if the DIY approach is your chosen route and you believe in your skills, planning and preparation are key. 


Ready to take the next step? Explore our wide range of vault doors, security accessories, and professional services at USASafeAndVault.com. Our dedicated team is here to help you find the perfect solutions for your gun safe room.


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