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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, after so many years of changing my mind on what I want, decided to just jump in and do it.

So, any hints that you guys can give me on building in some security features, rather than adding it later, would be appreciated.

Or, if you are in the building trades and like working for cash and free grub... :lol:
 

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I’ve researched this a little bit myself recently. Here are a couple of interesting and thought provoking sites you might want to browse. I think they may have their best application for safe rooms, but may also be good at entry points.

http://www.armorcore.com
http://www.pinnaclearmor.com

Both have information on ballistic panels (fiberglass and polyethelyne) that could create an excellent safe room used in conjunction with careful construction. Pinnacle also has info on armor plate doors, glass, etc. Probably not a significant requirement unless you feel a high threat level in your area.

Designing hardened entry points is much harder than it might first seem given what most of us desire in terms of aesthetics. Also, the typical residential contractor will not reinforce doorframes sufficiently to withstand a solid kick or hit from a sledge. Make sure hinges and locks are commercial grade, not residential to minimize burglary risk. This is primarily to minimize burglary, not home invasion. Don’t use cheap window locks for the same reason. Most windows are strong enough to break the lock when pried before the glass shatters.

On a reasonable budget, my thoughts run to layering defenses. Consider perimeter alarms like an infrared beam at the drive and back approach to your house, a dog of course, and motion sensor lighting at all approaches. At the house you might also layer your entries by including a porch with door, followed by the main entry door. Moving inside, continue layering by adding good locks to bedroom doors, and finally a safe room. Bedroom doors don’t need to look like Fort Knox to be solid. Fully mortised hardware can conceal an extremely solid lock and many vendors now sell solid core and attractive raised panel wood doors for the residential market. Try http://www.selectmillwork.com and http://www.simpsondoor.com for an idea or two and http://www.kolbe-kolbe.com for a little higher end.

Many on the net have advocated the use of alarms. Be your own judge on this, but things to consider are your distance from the responding agency, which agency responds (security or LEO) an alarm that signals if power is cut, alarms that send multiple signals via cellular and land line, etc. Cost can vary greatly and not necessarily based on performance. To me an alarm is more of a perimeter enhancement and signal to the aggressor that help might be on the way.

Jeff Cooper has a thoughtful article in his anthology “To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Tell the Truth”. Jim Grover spends some time on it in his book “Street Smarts” as well.

For great layout ideas and some really nice homes, check out back issues of Fine Homebuilding at the library or on line at http://www.FineHomebuilding.com .

That’s a start. Hope it helps. :smile:

You’ve got me thinking again. Hmmm … cash and free grub? I think I need a vacation. :grin:



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Matt N on 2001-07-16 23:08 ]</font>
 

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Bruce, A friend of mine just had a house built, and had a room built in the basement.
He told the builder it was going to be a wine cellar, but it's actually a walk in vault. All poured concrete walls, with re-bar in the ceiling (to prevent someone from coming in from above), and a huge vault door that he got from a safe company used for 500.00. This is a smaller version of a bank vault door that is about 10" thick. Actually it wasn't that big a deal to have the contractor pour the two extra walls, and the interior, he did himself. I used to know a few concrete guys, but they only specialized in making cement boots..and they are currently employed by the state of NY. :grin:
Luigi
 

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An excellent approach if you aree going to build a basement for the house. Probably the best way to get a truly secure vault. If you are in a changeable climate (i.e. you get a fair amount of rain and or snow), make sure the builder waterproofs the exterior walls and beneath the slab (many don't). It saves a lot of effort later with dehumidifiers and exotic paint coatings.

Lou, great idea getting a used vault door. In many areas they should be fairly easy to come by and much more secure than the thinner and more expensive doors marketed by Browning and the other safe manufacturers.
 
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Bruce,
I thought I would post the architects drawing of the outside of DiFabio Manor.
This is the internet so I am not going to post a picture of the outside of my home, I do not want to tempt anyone....
Some of you will probably have dinner with us one of these days.






I looked very hard for security and solid building info and I found that Joel Skousen was a great resource and his book "the secure home" was invaluable.

Without giving to much away here are some of the highlights:

DiFabio Manor is our “country home” we spend a great deal of time at our “city home” as well just outside of Phila. The manor features 5,260 sq ft. of living space with 6 bedrooms.
With a three car attached and four car detached garage/shop building and a separate two bedroom pool house.

The exterior walls are made of 12" reinforced poured concrete as is the foundation.
I used structural steel framing with two layers of external insulation and dryvit as the exterior finish.
The windows are Anderson and Jarret laminate and do posses some “alternative capabilities” beyond thermal insulation.
The entire estate is surrounded by an 8ft PVC fence with a set of seismic tremor sensors that run the length of the fencing.
All blind spots along the fence line were removed and the outer perimeter is monitored by a system of Burle CCTV Auto dome cameras with 55mm lenses, they respond to motion, heat and switch to infrared during periods of dusk/lowlight.

The master control center features a cellular backup system and from there one can view the entire property and illuminate the three acres surrounding the house as well as power on the pool, release the Filas, open the gates and separate sections of the home and attached buildings including the pool house can be flooded with OC gas provided by Def Tec, or you can secure the entire property with one button.

The fence line and grounds are blanketed in low voltage and infra red spot lights.
I used a Ccure card access system for the gate reader, the wrought iron gates are opened with a Stanley gate system and the outer building entry points are secured with shielded cipher locks.
The driveway monitor was provided by DWA.

The house entry doors were provided by Secure Seal and can withstand multiple 90,000lbs impacts or three direct hits in the lock mechanism from a .50BMG (in testing it actually takes 45 minutes with a three man ram to knock the door loose).

The vault room doors were provided by AMSEC.
The interior walls were lined with Millibar panels to protect from storms/tornadoes or explosions and the indoor movie theater room and indoor shooting range were sound proofed with Sonex panels.

Data communication is provided an onsite T-1 and redundant Direct TV system, the entire house is connected with Fiber and the T-1 is connected with Sonnet cabling.

All of the building materials and carpets were treated with Flame Seal fire retardants.

Redundant power is provided by an onsite generator system. Water is provided by an onsite well.
Backup heating is provided by an onsite LPgas system.

Although construction is not yet 100% completed we are very, very happy so far and it really is amazing that so much technology can be installed and hidden from view.
(The cameras look like tree branches and all of the sensors are completely hidden, all of the internal cameras were installed covertly as well).

I'm waiting on the heppa filters for the range and hope to be able to use it soon.

Good luck, plan before you build and seriously think it through is my advice.








<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David DiFabio on 2001-07-18 22:40 ]</font>
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks all! What a great forum we have here.

David, Joel's book is indeed an interesting study. I would have never thought of the gravel packed walls.

Concrete is the way I would like to go, have looked at several methods, including insulated "block". 1 foot of concrete, that indeed is a good wall :smile:

Beautiful home, David. Thanks for sharing. May email you down the road on the doors and windows, sound like what I am looking for.
 

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David,

It sounds like you have more security than Ft. Meade :lol:

Neat looking house, BTW :smile:


_________________
" I belive in the Ten Commandments and the Constitution of the United States. If you don't, F*c& you." - Ted Nugent

http://www.cphv.com/fl_legacy.htm

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: JLM on 2001-07-19 00:22 ]</font>
 

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David...I wonder if I sold my house...business...cars...and...everything that I own...If I would have enough for a down payment for your secure house....

I am thinking that I probably wouldn't.

It sounds pretty cool though.

Greg
 
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Bronco,
Actually, you probably could indeed build such a home. I had my own guys install the cabling, security systems, CCTV, and steel.

A good friend owns a concrete pumping company and some years back his brother needed some help while in Angola.

My electrical contractor I met while in Ireland and helped him to get started here in the US.

My brother in law is a roofing contractor.

All of the basic materials were provided at cost by a friend that was once a client who owns a really big contractor supply company.

And changing from standard materials to advanced materials was not an expense with the general contractor as I picked up the "extra" costs directly.

All told, my house construction cost was very reasonable, I previously purchased the ground as I was looking to build a sportsmans club in the area, stopped and saw the property and went up to the owners door introduced myself, wrote her a check and came back out with my wife and decided that we would really rather live there as our home outside of the city has become pretty small for us.

Seriously, it was not cheap, but Robin Leach is certainly not coming to my home any time soon.... :wink:
 

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David,

Fantastic home and great info. Thanks for sharing some of the details. I will definitely be looking for a copy of Skousen's book.

What kind of impact/abuse/damage can the windows be subject to with the laminate? I'm guessing the entry way can be completely secured from the rest of the house or the windows would be relatively vulnerable.

A veritable fortress, but much more pleasant to view. I've recently been talking to a friend on the west coast who has intentions of going "off grid". Sounds as if you're ahead of the curve.
 

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Hello David!

That is one heck of a home you are building.

Did you consider a "satellite phone" as part of your communications center? It would seem to be a lot better than "cell phones" but the cost per minute is like making overseas phone calls in the middle '70's!

Did you put in your own set of pans and kitchen to cook up your favorite ballistic test gelatin?

Best Wishes, Mike
 

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Sadly, the Home Market here in the Bay Area has softened in the last year, but at one point, it looked like I might fetch over $500k for my little 1300 sq' home on a 5500 sq' lot...

The plan has been to move to UT, and purchase a few acre's, and build a nice little "country home" as well...

Some of the things on the list, I really want a Basement, that will double as a Vault, and running out from the house as far as possible, depending on the size and shape of the lot, I would like a tunnel, for my own, private Ballistic's testing.

As my wife doesn't really handle stairs, we'll probably keep it at 1 level, possible bi-level above ground, with a sanctuary below ground for me.

The use of camera's & sensors will be a top priority

I have a sneaky suspicion that I could build the "Dream Home" for well under the amount of principle I still maintain in the current house, even with the sagging market.

Another area that will be a MUST will be the Garage, definately must have at least one bay in it that can house a lift, and a detached parking structure for that OTHER hobby of mine that can contain a Prevost rig with the Truck & Featherlight Race Trailer. :grin:
 

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I just have a Safe in the closet. But a relative just added on to his home and built a cheap semi-secure room. He took a large walk-in closet and on the interior walls and ceiling he placed 3/4 inch plywood and then covered the walls with two layers of sheetrock and one on the ceiling. He used a solid metal door and door frame with double dead bolts. This door was a used security door. No its not inpenatrable but most robberies are the smash and grab kind and this was relatively cheap to do. He plans to put a safe in this room soon. His wife keeps extra photos and stuff in this room as it is more safe from fire than the rest of the house. He originally planned to use 1/8 or 1/4 sheets of steel in place of the plywood but expense stopped him. A couple of years ago a guy in these parts who advertised how many and how much his firearms are worth had his safe removed through his bedroom wall. The wall was just sheetrock on the inside and vinyl siding and plywood on the outside and they took what looked like a saber saw and cut a big hole and hauled it off. He lived in a secluded area with no alarm.
 
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