View Full Version : location/ placement of Gunsafe
August 5, 2009, 10:01 PM
hi all im new to the forum and did a search, but a quit after 5 pages of not getting what im looking for. So i know the importance of the search!
anyway. i am moving! into a split level home and i want to put my roughly 800lb (empty) gunsafe on the top level of my house above the garage. i dont know how heavy it is with all of the guns and most of my ammo in it, im sure its quite conserable though. my question can i actually put this mother up stairs if i place it on two exterior walls? or aim for a support beam ("I" beam)? any problems? or can i brace the area more? or should i just put in in the garage where i really dont want to.
FYI: its a Stack-on elite 45gun full to capacity with guns and alot of ammo. i am planing on getting another safe to put in the garage for JUST ammo.
i dont want to put the actual gunsafe in the garage because im paranoid
EDIT: i can not keep it in the other rooms on the bottom floor (shared with the garage) as that is my roommate's domain.
August 5, 2009, 10:35 PM
I say keep it downstairs and place it infront of a window that is often looked out much. I have a safe that is covering a window to help stop a home invasion possibly.
Get a smaller safe for upstairs
August 6, 2009, 02:16 AM
i edited after your response.
i wish i could but the lower level of the house is for my roommate, so i really am not about to take part of his room up for my stuff... otherwise i would - course then the whole of the downstairs would be my man cave and not just a side bedroom/office... lol
August 6, 2009, 09:48 AM
How long will it be there? Long term I think you will need more bracing. For a year or two you might be ok.
August 6, 2009, 10:58 AM
you can always bolt it down to the floor even with concrete and put it in the garage. At least its something that will slow down a criminal.
August 6, 2009, 01:12 PM
Depending on where you live, humidity, dampness, and the possibility of flooding have to be considered. (Is the water heater, washer or similar in the garage?) I would definitely use some form of plywood or similar upstairs to act like a footer and spread the load over several floor joists if possible. If it has to be in a garage, try for a corner, build up a small foundation whether wood or concrete to get it off the floor but not so it can be moved with a pallet jack, and bolt it to the wall studs and floor. I would also try to disguise it - either by building a cabinet around it so it looks like a storage cabinet, or by at least draping something over it so passersby don't glance in to the garage and see a safe. Don't forget you will need some form of humidity control in the safe
August 6, 2009, 01:28 PM
I keep mine in the Garage against the back wall right under the alarm motion detector which has no delay but it weighs 1600#
August 6, 2009, 03:40 PM
A large and full refrigerator and freezer can easily approach 1000 lbs There is no porblem putting them on a second floor, so I think your gun safe would be ok.
August 6, 2009, 03:50 PM
Waterbeds, Large pianos, pool tables - all might have weights that will probably exceed what your gun safe weighs - and I've had a couple of homes where I had full sized pool tables with a 1" slate bed that I had upstairs in a family room with no issues / and in the 70's I even had a water bed upstairs as well .....
If you're really worried about it - you can contact a structural engineering company and have them take a look at the framing / but there will be some type of sheet goods as part of the sub-floor to spread the load - so my hunch is you're just fine.
I would never put my safe in the garage if I had another location for it / but to some extent it depends on the building codes in your area / how your home was built - are the floor joists 2 X 10" or something else - and how far are they apart on center - not all homes are the same /depends on when it was built.
August 7, 2009, 08:15 AM
Put it directly over or very close to a bearing wall if possible. Aviod putting it in the center of a joist span.
August 8, 2009, 02:16 PM
elrodcod: that was the idea...
i may also put a larger than bottom of the safe piece of wood underneath it to help spread the load
i've just heard horror stories of safes falling through floors.. and it MY safe did that it would land on my jeep in the garage! imagine my fear!
thanks for all the tips/ assurances /ideas guys, they will be put to good use!
August 8, 2009, 04:23 PM
Don't do what I do. I keep a 10lb. can of black powder on the shelf
behind the lock in case thieves use a torch on my safe.:eek:
August 8, 2009, 04:44 PM
Honesty it depends. You would need to know the spacing of the floor joist and floor construction. In addition did the electrician or plumber make any cut outs or holes in the joists where your safe would go. I mean modern floors have to met the specs for at least 40 pounds per square foot. However there are conditions that can reduce that such as stated above. A gun safe certainly will concentrate more weight over a smaller area than a water bed.
Plywood will help some, but not very much at all. A sheet of plywood laid flat is not very stiff so it will bend and not distribute the load to more floor joists very effectively.
August 9, 2009, 07:18 PM
maybe ill build a raised floor with 2x4s and run the 2x4 joists the other direction from the floor joists.
August 9, 2009, 07:28 PM
At least put a 4x8 sheet ff 3/4 in Plywood, Maybey two it will help ;)
August 10, 2009, 11:17 AM
Your girlfriend wearing high heels puts more direct pressure on the floor than your gunsafe will.
a 1000 lb pool table has a footprint of probably less than 1sqft and as noted many people have them on a non concrete floor. as long as your safe has a flat bottom spreading the weight over the entire surface area, I would not worry much about it.
August 10, 2009, 12:40 PM
Looked up the 45-gun safe at Stack-On's site.
Dimensions are 43"W x 26"D x 59"H
43 x 26 inches = 1118 square inches
Even if your safe and contents weigh one ton, spread out over that area, that's about 1.7 pounds/sq-in. or 21 lbs per square foot. That should be within the margin of safety for any modern home.
Positioning in a corner, if possible, should help distribute some of the weight and prevent the floor from sagging over time.
August 10, 2009, 01:18 PM
BillCA, I don' know how they do math in California but here in Florida we'd calculate that load differently.
1118sq inches divided by the number of inches in a sq ft (12x12=144) equals 7.76 sq ft. One ton divided by 7.76 sq ft equals almost 258lbs per sq foot. That is WELL above the rated load bearing weight of wood frame construction. An empty safe at the 1000lbs the OP is using would still be over 128lbs per sq ft.
August 10, 2009, 08:18 PM
:o Wow, you're right about that. I was interrupted by a phone call while writing that message and I completely left out the conversion to square feet. That's embarassing! Next time I'll turn on the "tape" feature on the calculator! LOL!
August 10, 2009, 08:25 PM
... but mine comes with holes in the bottom for bolting it down to concrete. I think this is a pretty standard setup. I'd recommend setting the safe in your basement, bolted into concrete anchors in the floor. You can get a smaller locking container for your nightstand gun upstairs.
I don't think I'd enjoy trying to maneuver a safe upstairs to the second floor. It might not be healthy for the floor; you could do a number on the stairs, railing, and walls; more importantly, you could really hurt yourself (back strain, possible runaway safe, etc).
For a recent move, I hired movers primarily because of the need to move a safe. I still had to help them, for just a few stairs. Two good-sized movers weren't enough - it took three of us.
August 11, 2009, 12:38 AM
You shouldn't have had to help them at all; THEY were hired to do the job.
Yep, those damn cheap-ass "professional" safe moving companies: They charge you big bucks to move your safe, don't send enough guys to handle the job, YOU and your buddies have to help (or it won't get done) and they STILL charge you full price for moving the safe.
That happened to a friend of mine, even after they were told by the first 2-guy crew they sent out -- and who realized just two guys couldn't do it -- more guys were needed. The second crew sent out was ALSO just 2 guys.
What sorry UNprofessional idiots and rip-off artists!
I guess they just add the owners of safes to their labor pool -- unpaid "extra help" of course -- when needed.
-- John D.
August 11, 2009, 04:08 PM
if the room is over the garage, just put a small header to carry the load under it. you could hide the header in a 2x4 set of shelves.
August 11, 2009, 05:46 PM
Had a similar problem with putting the safe upstairs. The salespeople told me to buy a metal plate. Can't remember the exact size but something like 5 X 5 to spread out the load of the safe on the flooring. Decided I didn't want to go that route and found an area in my garage close to the entry door to the house. The safe is now anchored with cement bolts into 8" of concrete. The safe has been there for 9 years and no problem with heat or condensation. I live in So. Florida. I had my alarm company put in a motion detector in the garage watching the safe. I put a blanket over the safe to disguise it from prying eyes when the garage door is open and make it a point never to open the garage door and the safe at the same time. I'm happy with the arrangement and the statement made by the installer, "It will take a small nuclear bomb for anyone to get into this safe and if they do, they should be entitled to the contents." Not sure I agree with the second part of the statement but I am secure that my safe is secure and don't have the worry about a house fire destroying the flooring and having the safe come crashing down on my car or motorcycle, or what would be left of them.
August 11, 2009, 07:56 PM
I know of one way you can put it over your garage, but you must have a "vacant" space underneath and also be able to get to the structure in the garage ceiling. You put in a steel "lolly column" and have that lolly column support a short (3 ft or so) section of steel I-beam. The I-beam and the lolly column under it will effectively transfer the load down to the cement floor of the garage.
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