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Old May 3, 2008, 04:15 AM   #26
Colt Delta Elite
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Join Date: February 28, 2008
Location: Texas
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Don't forget the bomb shelter!

I was thinking of overall layout. For instance, placing the master bedroom between the likely entry points and the other bedrooms; channeling intruders into routes favorable to the defender, exit points, etc..
I'm looking for something that doesn't scream "Paranoid Gunner Lives Here"
Too late.
Get real. You should be concerned with building wider doorways and installing ramps, as you have a greater likelihood of being disabled than having a home invasion.
Do you drive a Volvo too?

tcc556guy: maybe even to the point of sheetrocking a long gun behind a specific wall so that in an emergency the homeowner only has to smash the sheetrock to get at it
probably should back that up with dropping a few handguns into the forms as they pour the slab!

< this space for rent >
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Old May 3, 2008, 07:02 AM   #27
Join Date: April 28, 2008
Location: New Hampshire
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In planning this house, do not forget to consider natural emergencies. Let me give you an example. We live in New Hampshire. We bought a house out in the woods. My situation is not one of bugging out, because I am already where I would bug out to. My sitiuation is getting snowed or iced in! Years ago one NH community lost power for two weeks due to a bad ice storm.

I did not consider this when we bought the house. I have tri-level, which is basically a small ranch attached to a small gambrel. The layout is not conducive to emergency heating. Get the best insulation and energy efficiency that you can, as this will be a factor in the future. I do not know where you live, but in some parts of the country where blizzards and ice storms are accompanied by power outages, having a pantry full of grub and a secondary heat/cooking source can be a real comfort.

Adapt your plans accordingly if you live in hurricane or tornado territory.

Make this a comfortable house to tough it out in, not just defensible. Have a good sized pantry for emergency supplies. We stock at least two weeks of winter emergency food in a haphazard fashion because we do not have a good pantry.
If you can't solve the problem with six shots, you probably can't solve the problem. - Jeff Cooper
Dismantler is offline  
Old May 4, 2008, 09:26 AM   #28
Join Date: October 2, 2005
Location: Southeast Michigan
Posts: 49
A few other suggestions. I know that this is the case in 99% of new construction, but have an attached garage. I have an older house with a detatched garage and transitioning from the car to garage to house is a time when I feel somewhat vulnerable. Along with that, make sure that the door from the garage into the house is just as sturdy as the exterior doors, and consider reinforcing the walls between the house and garage so that someone can't simply kick through the drywall to get into the house from the garage.

If you're considering an alarm system, it is a lot easier to have it installed when the house is being built, rather than waiting until afterwards! To that end, I have seen suggestions about making it a zoned system, so that you can activate the system in different ways - exterior only (for when you are home and inside); exterior plus yard (so that you can use the house and yard with the system still on, but with monitoring for the back door turned off); and fully alarmed (for when nobody is home).

Going to the issue raised by Superhouse, if it's within your budget, I'd seriously consider the sprinkler idea. Also, have a smoke alarm installed in EACH BEDROOM, wired into the main alarm system. Unfortunately, kids are not always awakened by alarms, so you need to plan out how to get to them if the alarm goes off. For this reason (and for getting them to cover if someone does break in) I would also recommend having all of the bedrooms together in one area in the house. Again, my house is older, and the bedrooms are split between two floors, which would make this a much more difficult prospect here. Also try to avoid having any bedrooms be in the line of fire if you should ever need to shoot from the master bedroom area - have the other bedrooms either be behind the master, or to the sides so that the approach is clear.

Finally, in light of the way that energy prices are going (!), I would definitely consider various "green" building techniques, such as using 2x6 exterior walls (to increase the amount of insulation that can be installed), higher quality windows, a tight building envelope, and high-efficiency appliances (such as furnaces, refridgerator, and a tankless hot water heater). Most of these additional costs will pay for themselves in just a few years (my brother's new high-efficiency furnace and a/c should pay themselves off in about 5 years, just from the savings on their utility bills).

Best of luck!
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Old May 16, 2008, 08:11 PM   #29
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Google "Monolithic Dome Home"...
"Necessity is the plea of every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants, it is the creed of slaves." ~ William Pitt, 1783
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Old May 29, 2008, 08:28 AM   #30
Join Date: January 5, 2006
Location: Far Western Kentucky
Posts: 78
house plans

Do not forget firearms security when you are building. I built a small walk-in vault in my home. I purchased a used fire vault door for $1500 and the contractor charged me an extra $1000 to add the two walls and roof to my vault room. I wound up with a 4'X8' vault with a 36"X80" combination lock fire door. I wish now I would have gone 6'X20' but I am still way a head of the game. I did get the chance to examine the same brand and style door I have that had burned. The structure was a total loss, but the interior of the vault suffered only very minor smoke damage. Papers on the counter were still in good shape. It is a rather pricey addition to a new home, but it is almost impossible to add after initial construction.
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Old May 29, 2008, 06:08 PM   #31
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I don't think it's paranoid at all to think about the construction of your new home with defense in mind.

I liked my old house better for that purpose. It was smaller. All of the bedroom windows were up high and difficult to access. An intruder would have been more likely to enter through a livingroom or kitchen window or a door. My bedroom opened out into the living room, my kids' room to my left, and anything coming for either of us would have to come through the livingroom. I could lie down in my bed and see anyone coming for our room. God forbid, if I ever had to shoot an intruder my kids' bedroom was well out of the line of fire and I had a concrete wall for a backstop.

I have a split plan now and there is almost no way I could shoot from my bedroom without endangering my kids. Maybe into the kitchen, but not the rest of the house. The windows sit lower and though they're better for fire safety they're easy to crawl into. I can't see out into the front yard except through a peephole in the front door and I have no way to move laterally from the door in an emergency, except into the garage if I have the garage door open.

Someone suggested that you should also consider natural disasters when building. After weathering three hurricanes in my new (2004) home, I can attest that is good advice. First I am glad my home is block, with a hip roof. The roof didn't even let out a creak, even in the strongest part of the storm. No leaks either, except at the doors, and my front door didn't leak after I clamped it shut.

After living a few weeks without power there are a couple of things I might do differently. I'd have a gas stove, a gas water heater, and maybe even a propane generator. I do keep a portable generator big enough to run my well pump, refrigerator and lights. I keep a small A/C wall unit in my bedroom window, and my gas grill with a couple of extra cylinders, and three or four gas cans.
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Old May 29, 2008, 10:12 PM   #32
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Heres an article about what your looking for by Jeff Cooper....;read=124897
‘‘Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.’’

— Mahatma Gandhi
blind_shooter is offline  
Old May 30, 2008, 11:43 AM   #33
Join Date: March 11, 2007
Posts: 28
Thanks for the responses. After OJ's post, I picked up Cooper's book, which was on my wish-list already. I've also checked out the dome homes. I live in a rural area and have lost power due to storms on several occasions (no power, no well-water) and agree with those who suggest disaster planning as part of the design process. Again, thanks to all who responded.
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