In the event of a thunderstorm, you have roughly 13 minutes to lock yourself up in a safe place as the winds strike. You are most likely going to think of your house or a sealed room in your home as the safest place to survive.
These may help. However, in the event of a powerful tornado or hurricane that encourages the winds to dance at more than 250 miles per hour, the odds of survival in a wooden house go down. Such fierce winds can tear the house from its foundation.
This is why a safe room is helpful. It is designed to help you survive a catastrophic event or an intruder attack by holding you and your family members securely. Safe rooms, also known as panic rooms, can be both above the ground or under it.
It is best to get them constructed when you are getting your house built. However, you can also get a panic room installed later on. But what are their prices? Let’s walk you through the costs of a safe room and the factors that determine the final investment.
The average cost of a safe room
According to Home Advisor, the national average cost of a safe room stands at $5,847. Since several factors such as the size impact the final price, the expense can range between $2,082 – $9,613 with the low-end investment totaling to only $500 and the high end jumping to $19,700.
However, this isn’t a cost that you should worry about since it is a necessity. More than 1,000 tornadoes strike in a year on average as per the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In 2018 alone, a total of 1,406 tornadoes hit the US. This sets the need for a properly-constructed, safe panic room.
Typically, there are two sizes of a safe room – 8 by 8 foot and 14 by 14 foot. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says that an 8 by 8-foot safe which can double as a utility room or closet comes between the price of $6,600 to $8,700.
A larger version of the panic room that is 14 by 14 foot is tagged for a cost between $12,000 to $14,300. Naturally, you will have to decide how big a safe room you need in your house or outside of it.
This chiefly depends on the number of people in your family. Large families need larger safe rooms to beat the raving winds or a theft. The main purpose of this room is to hold you until the weather calms. Or, in the event of an invasion, until the police arrive.
Factors that affect the price of a panic room
In addition to the size of the safe room, several other points chip in their role to determine the final amount. These pointers are:
- The type of the door used
- The location of the room in your home
- The type of foundation on which the panic room in constructed
- The number of exterior walls used in the construction of the room
Costs can also vary as per your state. Getting a panic room constructed in your existing house typically costs more than getting it constructed for a new house. This cost will vary as per the size and the construction type of the safe room.
If you use more existing walls in your home, then your cost is generally lower. Put simply, the cost of a safe room for an existing house isabout 20% higher than a safe room construction on a new property.
You can refer to this safe room cost calculator for a better estimate. As per this calculator, an8 by 8-footpanic room with concrete walls costs $8,100 new cost and $10,600 forremodeling cost.
Similarly, a 14 by 14 safe room with concrete walls costs $13,100 new cost and $15,900 for remodeling in an existing house. Cost estimates for other wall types such as a wood frame with CMU infill, insulating concrete form, concrete masonry unit (CMU) walls, and so on are also given.
When to get a safe room constructed on your property?
As mentioned, the costs of a panic room that is built on a new property are lower than remodeling an existing wall in your home. Keeping this in mind, it is best to get the room constructed when the blueprint of property is under preparation. Unless you already have a house and are considering a panic room now.
During the construction phase, you need to keep your panic room’s addition to your property under wraps. Bring in a security firm and work with an architect who works on secure facilities.
Your safe room is intended to protect you in events of theft or intrusion too. Therefore, you need to keep its construction hush. This is why the designer often doesn’t tell the contractor about the panic room. Moreover, the blueprint of the house may even show the room as a mechanical room.
You can also ask the architectural and security firms to sign confidential agreements. If you don’t want built-in safe rooms, you can opt for a reinforced concrete box, costing $7,000. All these options are Above the Ground Safe Rooms. However, you can also choose underground safe rooms too.
Underground bunkers tend to be costly though. A minimal bunker can take more than $38,000 in expenses. Besides, such an investment in a worthy one. After all, it is the security of a person that is at risk. What’s more, safe rooms can also add to the value of your property.
Some types can be removed and moved to your new property. The in-built panic room types can boost the property’s value by 3.5%according to Simmons. High-quality tornado safe rooms can return as much as 84% of their investment, making it a solid expenditure.
You can always get an estimate of a safe room’s price. However, the exact cost surfaces after you factor in multiple pointers. You may also obtain funding from FEMA to get a safe room constructed if you are short of cash.