Q:

How do you build a concrete storm shelter?

A:

Quick Answer

To build a concrete storm shelter, obtain a plan, research local codes, obtain necessary permits, prepare the area and pour the concrete floor, walls and ceiling. Be sure to include plans for an entrance and any desired electrical components before pouring the concrete.

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Full Answer

Follow these steps to build a concrete storm shelter.

  1. Make a plan
  2. Storm shelters are designed to protect inhabitants from certain circumstances. Location, common types of natural disasters and wind zones affect the design of the structure. It's important to choose the appropriate plan provided by FEMA.

  3. Obtain a permit
  4. Safe rooms can be constructed inside or outside the home, at ground level or underground. Research and follow all local building codes and obtain necessary permits. Choose a location for the safe room based on the wind zone and building requirements.

  5. Prepare the area
  6. Prepare the area for the desired size of the safe room, which includes digging a pit for an underground unit. Level the ground to prepare for the concrete floor.

  7. Pour the floor
  8. Create a frame to pour the concrete floor, allowing for a floor that is at least 5 inches thick. Allow the floor to completely dry before pouring the walls.

  9. Pour the walls
  10. Create the frames for the walls and pour the concrete. Allow the concrete to dry, reinforce the interior and exterior walls with wire mesh and protect the exterior with a waterproof membrane.

  11. Pour the ceiling
  12. Create a frame for the ceiling with plywood and 2x4 wood. Pour enough concrete to be at least 10 inches thick, or double the floor's thickness.

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