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#3275737 - 06/25/13 08:53 PM Shipping container safe room
Leaping Deere
Spike


Registered: 08/19/11
Posts: 42
Loc: West TN

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I'm planning to install an underground safe room in my new house that will be under construction within the next two weeks. At first we planned to build a 10x10 concrete room but this would be pretty expensive. I have recently been considering buying and burying a 10x20 shipping container. Either will be accessible by a small staircase inside the house so we don't have to go outside to get in the shelter during a storm. Have any of you ever installed either and what would you do different looking back. Pros and cons?
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#3275779 - 06/25/13 09:35 PM Re: Shipping container safe room [Re: Leaping Deere]
Redwing
8 Point


Registered: 11/15/04
Posts: 2270
Loc: Blount Co.

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Don't know how deep your going, but I would consider the weight of the soil your putting over it. They weren't made for that.
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#3275798 - 06/25/13 10:09 PM Re: Shipping container safe room [Re: Redwing]
Wildcat
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Registered: 06/10/00
Posts: 41289
Loc: Western Ky.

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You need to check with your local building codes. Some places prohibit putting one of those in the ground.

Better thing is to check out those pro built storm shelter and have them put it in with the house. It's done everyday all over the country and they don't cost that much.
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#3275818 - 06/25/13 11:11 PM Re: Shipping container safe room [Re: Wildcat]
Leaping Deere
Spike


Registered: 08/19/11
Posts: 42
Loc: West TN

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Most of the commercial built "storm shelters" I have seen are about 3x the money for less than a 1/3 the size of a shipping container.
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#3275832 - 06/26/13 12:33 AM Re: Shipping container safe room [Re: Leaping Deere]
farmin68
16 Point


Registered: 11/08/03
Posts: 13106
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I wouldn't want one under my house. Eventually it is going to rust.

Is your house going to have a basement?
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#3276446 - 06/26/13 08:10 PM Re: Shipping container safe room [Re: farmin68]
Leaping Deere
Spike


Registered: 08/19/11
Posts: 42
Loc: West TN

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Sorry I meant to mention the staircase will lead through the outside wall of the garage. If I go with concrete safe room it will be under the house. But if I go the shipping container route I am going to bury it on the outside of the house so I can dig it up when it rusts down the road.
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#3276452 - 06/26/13 08:14 PM Re: Shipping container safe room [Re: Leaping Deere]
trealtree
16 Point


Registered: 09/29/04
Posts: 10693
Loc: Middle Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: Leaping Deere
I'm planning to install an underground safe room in my new house that will be under construction within the next two weeks. At first we planned to build a 10x10 concrete room but this would be pretty expensive. I have recently been considering buying and burying a 10x20 shipping container. Either will be accessible by a small staircase inside the house so we don't have to go outside to get in the shelter during a storm. Have any of you ever installed either and what would you do different looking back. Pros and cons?


I would seriously consider a formworks style shelter either behind or to the side of the garage. These are relatively cheap and strong once you backfill on top of them.

Scroll through the pics to see the process

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=...&type=1&theater
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#3276502 - 06/26/13 08:58 PM Re: Shipping container safe room [Re: Leaping Deere]
TNCharlie
8 Point


Registered: 10/06/03
Posts: 1255
Loc: Columbia TN

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Just a word of caution. My neighbor had a very nice underground concrete room included when he had his house built. He was planning to use it for storage and a safe room. But after a hard rain it gets about three feet of water in it, making it pretty much useless.

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#3276508 - 06/26/13 09:02 PM Re: Shipping container safe room [Re: TNCharlie]
trealtree
16 Point


Registered: 09/29/04
Posts: 10693
Loc: Middle Tennessee

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 Originally Posted By: TNCharlie

Just a word of caution. My neighbor had a very nice underground concrete room included when he had his house built. He was planning to use it for storage and a safe room. But after a hard rain it gets about three feet of water in it, making it pretty much useless.


That's why I suggested the formworks above. They build on top of the ground and backfill. I have heard of the same issues.
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#3277480 - 06/28/13 12:24 AM Re: Shipping container safe room [Re: trealtree]
Leaping Deere
Spike


Registered: 08/19/11
Posts: 42
Loc: West TN

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Thanks for the replies. Keep them coming because I am going to have to make a decision and stick with it PDQ!
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#3277492 - 06/28/13 03:31 AM Re: Shipping container safe room [Re: Leaping Deere]
arctic_cat
8 Point


Registered: 11/18/08
Posts: 2271
Loc: Lenoir City,Tn

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We use these containers at work. We store our drums in them. They keep rain and all out but they will sweat and build some moisture on the right days. Not sure how they would be underground. If your going to do it you mine as well do it right with something that is made for what you plan to use it for. JMO
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#3277499 - 06/28/13 04:08 AM Re: Shipping container safe room [Re: arctic_cat]
CountryBoy053
8 Point


Registered: 04/16/11
Posts: 1222
Loc: Blount Co., TN

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Do some searching and try to get in contact with a " doomsday prepper" and how they were able to put shipping containers underground and how they are hilding up?
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#3277537 - 06/28/13 06:37 AM Re: Shipping container safe room [Re: Leaping Deere]
landman
8 Point


Registered: 11/15/09
Posts: 2167
Loc: TN & Western KY

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I have one buried for my Duck/Goose pit
works well, as far as dirt on top on them
they are stacked 4-5 high fully loaded
on ships.

But that being said what about a small basement
it doesn't have to be the whole house, I did that
last year
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#3277664 - 06/28/13 10:37 AM Re: Shipping container safe room [Re: Leaping Deere]
TAFKAP
14 Point


Registered: 11/06/09
Posts: 8934
Loc: Memphis

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 Originally Posted By: Leaping Deere
I'm planning to install an underground safe room in my new house that will be under construction within the next two weeks. At first we planned to build a 10x10 concrete room but this would be pretty expensive. I have recently been considering buying and burying a 10x20 shipping container. Either will be accessible by a small staircase inside the house so we don't have to go outside to get in the shelter during a storm. Have any of you ever installed either and what would you do different looking back. Pros and cons?


Connexes are awesome.

Cons: The ones on the market might not be "waterproof", as they like to keep the good ones in service.

I've got a buddy that's planning to build an entire house out of shipping containers.

Have you started shopping yet? There's an outfit near Presidents Island that sells them, and they'll generally outfit them for you, within reason. You'll definitely want a roof vent or two.
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#3277673 - 06/28/13 10:48 AM Re: Shipping container safe room [Re: Leaping Deere]
89cherokeelimited
6 Point


Registered: 08/13/11
Posts: 804
Loc: TN, Sumner, Hendersonville

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SWEET! I want one but have no room to put one!
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#3278879 - 06/30/13 08:03 AM Re: Shipping container safe room [Re: 89cherokeelimited]
Leaping Deere
Spike


Registered: 08/19/11
Posts: 42
Loc: West TN

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I've got a guy that's moving and can't take his container with him so he is ready to let it go pretty cheap. I've also got access to track hoes and mini excavators that I can use to bury it or dig it up if I need to. Because everything else when building a house is so expensive I am trying to cut costs anywhere I can, but I don't want to create any extra headaches.
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#3278916 - 06/30/13 09:14 AM Re: Shipping container safe room [Re: Leaping Deere]
Wildcat
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Registered: 06/10/00
Posts: 41289
Loc: Western Ky.

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 Originally Posted By: Leaping Deere
I've got a guy that's moving and can't take his container with him so he is ready to let it go pretty cheap. I've also got access to track hoes and mini excavators that I can use to bury it or dig it up if I need to. Because everything else when building a house is so expensive I am trying to cut costs anywhere I can, but I don't want to create any extra headaches.


I understand that but you better check with your local building codes and you better tell them up front it's a shipping container. If they prohibit that then you will have nothing but headaches that will cost you a lot of money to remove and re-build.

Ever if you live out in the country like I do there are still building codes.
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#3278927 - 06/30/13 09:25 AM Re: Shipping container safe room [Re: Wildcat]
greygoose
4 Point


Registered: 11/23/12
Posts: 463
Loc: shelby county

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I USED TO WORK ON INTERMODALS AT MY OLD JOB.THERE ARE MANY VARIETIES FROM TOP LOADERS,END LOADERS,20,40 FOOTERS,ETC..I HAVE SEEN THEM ON DOOMS DAY PREPPERS BEING BURIED WITH A CONCRETE BARRIER POURED AROUND.YOU CAN PICK THEM UP USED ,DEPENDING ON CONDITION FOR AROUND $1,500.00(20 FOOTER)THAT WAS THE GOING RATE A COUPLE YEARS AGO
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#3278930 - 06/30/13 09:28 AM Re: Shipping container safe room [Re: landman]
BMan
16 Point


Registered: 02/06/06
Posts: 10081
Loc: Middle TN

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 Originally Posted By: landman
as far as dirt on top on them they are stacked 4-5 high fully loaded on ships.

I'm not an engineer by trade, but I believe the only points the containers actually touch are at certain points that are reinforced to allow for stacking.

That being said, unless they were buried quite deep I'd think the container would be able to hold up earth piled on top of it. I'd make sure nothing heavy (car, truck, tractor, etc) was ever parked on top of that area of my yard, though.
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#3278989 - 06/30/13 11:25 AM Re: Shipping container safe room [Re: BMan]
greygoose
4 Point


Registered: 11/23/12
Posts: 463
Loc: shelby county

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VERY TRUE,THERE ARE LOCK DOWNS ON ALL FOUR CORNERS THAT ALSO ACT AS BALANCE POINTS WHEN STACKING.IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY THE METAL IS ONLY 1/4 MAYBE.I WOULD CUT THE REALLY DAMAGED ONES DOWN IN ABOUT A HOUR WITH A ACETYLENE TORCH.WOULD NOT SEEM ABLE TO SUPPORT A HEAVY LOAD OF DIRT WITHOUT SOME SORT OF EXTRA SUPPORT ON SIDES AND TOP.THESE THINGS ARE MADE FOR THE MAIN WEIGHT TO BE HELD BY THE FLOOR NOT SIDES OR TOP.MIGHT TURN OUT TO BE A BAD OR EXPENSIVE IDEA.I WOULD CHECK OTHER OPTIONS.LIKE I SAID EARLIER I SAW ONE ON A SHOW BUT I BELIEVE THEY PUT IN ON TOP OF A CONCRETE SLAB AND WALLS,I CAN NOT REMEMBER HOW THEY DID THE TOP BUT YOUR LOOKING AT SPENDING SOME BANK$$$$$$$$$$
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#3279055 - 06/30/13 02:06 PM Re: Shipping container safe room [Re: greygoose]
farmin68
16 Point


Registered: 11/08/03
Posts: 13106
Loc: In a tree clinging to my guns ...

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If I'm going to all the trouble of putting a structure underground, I'm doing it right the first time. If you already have access to excavation equipment, why not just form and pour one? If you do it yourself, It isn't going to cost all that much, and being that it is going to be below ground, it doesn't have to be pretty...only functional.

You could also build it out of concrete blocks.

Then you could use the container for above ground storage.
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#3279057 - 06/30/13 02:16 PM Re: Shipping container safe room [Re: farmin68]
farmin68
16 Point


Registered: 11/08/03
Posts: 13106
Loc: In a tree clinging to my guns ...

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10 X 20 is huge for a shelter. Back in our grandparents day a large shelter was more practical as when the weather got bad they would pretty much camp out in one until the storms passed. Today's technology informs us with in minutes of when we need to take shelter and when we can come back out. You might go a few years without ever using it (and by then the container could be rusting through), and then in one season you might use it once or a half dozen times.

Unless you're planning a large family, a 4 x 8 interior with a bench on each wall would do easily for a half dozen people. However, I would probably go 8 x 8 if I weren't going to have a basement. That way it could double as a root cellar.

A small sump pump (well less than $100) will keep water out.
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#3281068 - 07/02/13 09:49 PM Re: Shipping container safe room [Re: farmin68]
old guy
6 Point


Registered: 08/25/11
Posts: 572
Loc: Millington , Tn. -- Shelby c...

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I have been thinking along the same line of using one for shelter. I think spraying the outside with polyurathane would solve any moisture problems. This is the same as used in Rhino bed liners on a truck. you can apply it up to 3 in. thich if you wanted to. buying the stuff commercially is not that expensive and spraying it yourself before installation.

Edited by old guy (07/02/13 09:50 PM)

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