View Full Version : gun safe weight

November 8, 2009, 12:18 AM
I have actively been looking at safes for about a month and had decided on a liberty safe. It weighs in the neighborhood of 1000lbs. I have a crawlspace at my house.

Do I need to be concerned regarding the weight of the safe? I believe my refridgerator only weighs 4-500lbs and there is no extra shoring under the house but I dont want to damage my foundation either.

November 8, 2009, 01:14 AM
If you have a 1000LB safe and its going to be on a wood frame foundation/floor you need to re-inforce the structure. Most houses are designed for 125 SQFT. This would be 12" on center 2' x 12".

At a minimum you need to be more concerned where the floor joists tie into the foundation plate/footing. Triple up on the 2x6 if you have that size or double up on 2x12 f you have that, what ever you have as main foundation floor supports needs to be considered.

Ensure you take the additional floor supports to the foundations plate/footing on both sides. 1000lbs is allot to place on an existing wood framed floor with a crawl space. If it were concrete I would not worry about it.

Let me know what size floor joist you have and the lengths (footing to footing) and I will be happy to give you the requirements to support that kind of weight.


Uncle Buck
November 8, 2009, 09:23 AM
I would take WinterHawk up on his offer. My first house had the floor joist set at 16" on center. It was a very old house and we were excited about finally owning a house.
Well, the water bed was a little heavy and did a lot of damage to the floor, foundation, and walls and...
At least you are smarter than we were, you are thinking about the weight before you bring it in the house. A little extra support from beneath would not hurt anything and would save you major $$$$ in repair bills later on.

Bailey Boat
November 8, 2009, 09:36 AM
Also.... use something under the dolly wheels if you have to roll it across one of the "suspended" type hardwood laminate floors, otherwise it WILL crack the flooring panels.... Please don't ask how I KNOW that...... :o

November 8, 2009, 02:33 PM
Well in all honesty it was someone I work with that got me thinking about the weight. I was ready to go buy the thing on monday after work. I would have thought the liberty safe store would have talked to me about this already as I have been in there seriously looking with the salesperson twice. Anyway Ill get under there and take some measurements and take a pic or two of the area.

It sounds like I would need a contractor to finish this job right?

November 8, 2009, 03:25 PM
If you are not opposed to do some under house work I can easily explain the process off this forum for you. You can also higher a contractor to enforce your foundations in this location for minimal cost too.

The choice is your and I will provide the upgrade information as soon we know the floor joist configuration. I would also need the length and width of the gun safe (footprint as it would sit on the floor). My safe is 2.5' by 3.25' and its a Knoxx safe. But is only weighs about 420 pounds.

My entire house, roof and second floor has 2x12 at 12 inch on center. This makes a strong attachment and 1' ACX decking for mid floor and 3/4" ACX for roof decking. A little over kill but I had it build for possible upgrades. The walls are 2x6 also for plate support (double in strategic locations) sitting on a 10" concrete slab.

In older houses they normally placed joist at 16' OC and that is not a bad thing but not able to support 1000LBS over 8 to 14 SF.

Placing casters under that heavy of a safe is also a risk as you concentrate the load on very small rollers but it can be done as the choice is yours.

One last item USNAVDOC, I retired form the Navy Seabees in 1996 with 21 years (Retired CEC I am now a Structural Engineer, I know don't ask) so I would be more than happy to help a fellow service person!

November 9, 2009, 04:10 PM
I do appreciate the Navy Comradarie! I was in for 9 years, served mostly greenside at Camp Lejeune NC.

I really appreciate all the advice. I have thought about this all weekend. I was trying to buy a safe I could grow into and be done with it. But with the prospect of moving in a year or so I have just decided to buy a smaller/lighter safe. Then once I get relocated I will buy a more definitive model.

What would you say(guestimating of course) would be your max weight limit. I was thinking 400 or so?

November 9, 2009, 04:38 PM
Even at 400 lbs, I would reinforce the floor. Fortunately , for 400 lbs it is something you can do yourself using some concrete mix, a steel lolly column, and a big 6x6 crossmember post.

November 9, 2009, 05:04 PM
usnavdoc this is two parts.

1. If you have a truss system with a 3/4" decking and 2x6 at 12 OC this you are about 275LBS. Providing the span is not over 16 feet

2. A 2x12 at 12 OC with a 3/4" decking should be good for about 350 lbs. (NTE 16FT)

If you spread either one of the scenarios above to 14" or 16" OC then you need to reduce by 35 and 50% respectivly.

You can get some great safes with under 250LBS. I would strongly suggest placing a large safe of over 400LBS in the garage or on a concrete deck!

I retired out of Coronado California in 1996. Spent allot of time in the Americas and of course Desert Storm.


November 9, 2009, 06:54 PM
Well we have chewed some of the same dirt a bit over a decade apart.

I have 2x12s at I am guessing 12 OC. I will stay lighter and bolt it down.

I do appreciate all the assistance. I need a full basement to turn into a tim allen man cave!