How to Add a Safe Room to Your Custom Home Design

September 6, 2022

For severe weather events, natural disasters, storing valuable possessions, or home invasions, a place to have secure shelter is important. Some people seek safety in basements, but not every home may have one. Basements also may not be a safe option in the case of extreme flooding. If you feel like a safe room is important to you, here’s how to add a safe room to your custom home design:

1. Determine Use

Are you building a safe room for weather-related protection or for storing valuables? If you’re building a safe room to offer shelter and protection for natural disasters, you should keep in mind that true safe rooms should be built according to the guidelines set in place by FEMA. These guidelines are vetted by experienced engineers and will offer reliable protection for your family.

2. Choose a Location

Choosing where your safe room is located is an important decision. Your safe room should not have any windows in order to conceal it from the outside and eliminate any other entry points. Taking the weather conditions you may experience into account can help you determine the best location for your safe room as well.

You also want your safe room to be in close proximity to your most used living spaces. This way, you will have quick and easy access in case of an emergency. The longer it takes you and your family to get to the safe room, the less safe it is. Keeping that in mind, you might want to locate your safe room on the same floor as your bedrooms, or on the same floor as the kitchen and living room.

3. Decide on the Size of the Room

Your safe room can literally just be a closet or it can be much larger. The size of the room should depend on how many people may use it. A good rule to follow is 5 square feet for each person using the room.

If this room will be used for storage, build it to the size you think you will need. Keep in mind the larger the room, the more space you sacrifice for the rest of your home design. This is certainly one of the drawbacks to having a safe room in your home.

4. Pick Your Door

Are you concerned about others knowing where your safe room is located or do you want it easy to find in case of emergencies? If you want the location concealed, you could install a hidden door. However, there are pros and cons to hidden doors.

Whether or not your door will be hidden, you probably will need a security door. Keep in mind that security doors are quite expensive and require a lot of extra design and engineering. They also require materials that can be harder to find than regular doors.

These are just a few things to keep in mind on how to add a safe room to your custom home design. Your home should be a safe place for your family, and a safe room can be one of the safety measures to have in place. If you’re ready to start building your custom home, contact Custom Home Group at 717-284-4090!