How Much Does a Safe Room Cost?
A safe room is a hardened structure that is designed to protect you and your family from harsh weather conditions such as a tornado or hurricane. The level of protection that a safe room can provide will depend on the design, the load resistance, the security and the features.
How much is it?
- On average, a safe room will cost around $2,000 to $16,000 to build. This will not include any sort of professional installation. Depending on the size and the complexity of the job, professional installation jobs will cost an additional $2,000 to $6,000 or more.
- If you need to have a safe room installed by the professionals, consider getting multiple quotes from contractors in your area on websites like HomeAdvisor.com.
- For example, an 8-by-8-foot room can cost $9,000, while a 14-by-14-foot room can cost around $15,000.
- According to RD.com, the average safe room costs $2,000 to $5,000 to build.
- FEMA.gov claims that the average safe room can cost anywhere from $6,600 to as much as $14,300.
Factors that affect the price:
- The size of the safe room will be the largest determining factor in the price. This will determine how many people you can fit inside and the accommodations that are available.
- The location of the room will cause the price to change since it will also affect the setup of your home.
- The number of walls will determine the design of the structure; the more complex it is, the more expensive it will be.
- The type of door and security it provides will determine part of the cost. This door will need a locking mechanism if the safe room is for protection purposes or a tight seal and latch for safety from weather conditions.
- The most common type of foundation is concrete, but the material used can change which in turn causes the price to fluctuate.
- The price will be determined by your location; if you live in an area with high tornado numbers or in the areas most commonly hit by hurricanes, your prices will usually be somewhat cheaper since there will be greater demand and competition in the industry.
What is going to be included?
- Most safe rooms are designed to hold fewer than 16 people.
- The best place for a safe room will usually be in the basement. Homes that do not have a basement should consider options such as the home’s first floor or even having the safe room buried in the yard as close to the door as possible.
- A safe room will have no windows, it will not be within a flood zone, the design should be able to withstand winds up to 250 miles per hour, the door should open inward, it should be anchored to a concrete foundation, and the exterior and interior walls must be separate from the structure of the home.
- All safe rooms should adhere to FEMA and ICC standards.
- Depending on the company, many will build their safe rooms in house and deliver them directly to your home. When they arrive, they will be installed on a concrete pad.
What are the extra costs?
- A safe room should include the following: a first aid kit, medication, emergency radio, flashlight, tools, blankets, water, food and any necessary emergency items you need in case of an emergency. You may also want to consider purchasing a generator in case you need to spend more time in the safe room.
- Depending on your local ordinances, permits and inspections may be required before construction begins.
- Installing an air conditioner that connects to the room can cost $900 to $2,000.
- Delivering a shelter can incur shipping fees, which usually hover around $2 to $4 per mile. Larger safe rooms that may require a special wide-load trip, may incur even higher charges.
- Adding vent pipes and an airtight door with the appropriate filter system to prevent chemicals and bio-hazards can add an additional $5,000 to $10,000 to the price.
Tips to know:
- Many homeowners often assume that they do not need a safe room because they have a basement; however, what many people do not realize is that stronger winds and tornadoes can often collapse basement walls and even destroy the framing, which can lead to death or severe injuries. If you already have a basement, consider building a safe room in the basement.
- A safe room should have five square feet for every person that will be inside.
- Designs and construction plans are available through FEMA.
- If you want to take advantage of any assistance or grants, make sure that you get everything in order before building your room.
- A normal safe room will not be safe from chemicals or germs.
How can I save money?
- Some communities offer incentives to homeowners to build a safe room. This can include reduced property taxes or grant programs. If your home is in an area that is prone to a lot of weather disasters, check with your local government offices to see which options are available. For instance, a program, known as “FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program,” will provide a grant to local governments. This grant can help reduce costs by more than 50 percent.
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