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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    DFW
    Posts
    35

    Default How to build an underground storm shelter tornado bunker

    **I'm willing to pass on any information that I've learned/compiled. I can't include step by step, as it would take up hundreds of pages. If someone else is wanting to take this on, I'll help how I can.

    Thought I would post this because before I started mine I found little to no information out there. I've been researching/planning this project for a long time now, but finally started on it a little over a month ago. First off, I decided to go with a steel shelter. Concrete will crack over time, especially with moisture and temperature fluctuations. Cracks mean leaks. Fiberglass also cracks- where I live small earthquakes aren't that uncommon, so I decided steel because it will flex. The only downside to this that it will be susceptible to rust... but with coal tar epoxy coatings and cathodic anode protection, this thing will outlive me many times over. I'll explain that when I get to it in the posts.

    I started out by purchasing 3/16ths plate and lots of 5lbs/foot c-channel (12 20 foot sticks). The material bill was right at $1800. This was right at 4000 pounds of metal. If you notice, commercially built shelters are all 10, 12, or some cheap ones even 14 gauge sheet metal. 3/16ths is almost twice the thickness of 10 gauge. I decided against shipping containers as they are 14 gauge- you can email me for more details if you want the argument of why they're not the best choice for underground shelters. Mine will be buried at least 1.5 foot underground. I will also have power and Ethernet feeds to the shelter. The final shelter will be 6 foot 1 inch tall inside, 10 feet long inside, and 6 feet wide inside.

    Materials purchased:
    Materials (Medium).jpg

    Floor Bracing Complete: The floor is actually 12 foot long. This will give me a footprint bigger than the shelter itself to allow me the ability to use concrete to keep the structure from "floating".
    Finished Floor (Medium).jpg

    Beginning of Wall Supports:
    Beginning Walls (Medium).jpg

    First Wall:
    First Wall (Medium).jpg
    Last edited by rl.robertson; 03-22-2014 at 10:03 AM.

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