Building a vault/storeroom

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Building a vault/storeroom

Post by Kelsey Cooter » 13 Feb 2020, 7:07 am

So I've started getting quotes on building a shed, and my plan is to build a storeroom in one bay.

Any of you blokes builders or have built a vault or storeroom?

I'm looking for ideas for whats the cheaper way to go, block or precast concrete walls?

Checked out a mates yesterday, he built a block room and poured a concrete roof, he's using it as a storeroom at the moment but only needs to upgrade his door to make it a vault, I like that idea.
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Re: Building a vault/storeroom

Post by Potatoes » 13 Feb 2020, 7:34 am

Depending on how thick you want your wall, i would consider that precast panels would need to be put in place with a crane. For cast in situ panels, you have to consider cost of formwork. For this reason i would consider blockwork such as 190mm core filled blocks. You could also consider multiple layers of compressed CFC sheet, or hebel, but the hebel is aerated (or maybe lightweight filler, can’t remeber) to make it lighter.

If you are wanting to make it more sledgehammer proof, reinforced concrete panels would be better though. If this is the case i would also consider adhering conveyor belt rubber to the whole surface, as this would absorb impacts, but this wouldn’t be a super cheap addition.
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Re: Building a vault/storeroom

Post by Sergeant Hartman » 13 Feb 2020, 8:16 am

Henrik is aerated concrete panels. You were right mate
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Re: Building a vault/storeroom

Post by Blr243 » 13 Feb 2020, 9:03 am

I think there is a couple of versions of Hebel. One structural one not. Hebel I think can b smashed through with a sledge. Compressed sheet comes in 12/ 15/18/25 mm those sorts of thicknesses. If want blockwork and u don’t want to employ a brick layer consider the core filled drystack system. Remember the thief will aim for the weakest point. So all parts of the construction must force a thief to say I GIVE UP THIS IS TOO MUCH EFFORT
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Re: Building a vault/storeroom

Post by Gamerancher » 13 Feb 2020, 9:09 am

A mate in the U.S built a vault using "cinder-blocks" as they call them. He ran the reo-bar from the floor up inside the walls and filled the blocks with concrete as they went up.
It was then capped with an 8 inch thick reinforced concrete roof, ( which doubles as a floor for the indoor range he built on top! ), There are no windows at all. It has a bank-safe type door and he runs an air-conditioner and de-humidifier in it.
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Re: Building a vault/storeroom

Post by perentie » 14 Feb 2020, 7:42 am

20 years ago I built mine out of a precast concrete tank. I built our high set house over it. They bought it in with a crane truck and put the precast lid on it. I then cut the door with my 10 inch angle grinder and framed it out in steel angle. Made the door from 3/8 plate with concealed hinges.
Inside I fixed vertical wood strips then pegs into that to hold the guns. Bench all round for reloading gear etc.
I still have a safe in the house though for keeping a gun handy.
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Re: Building a vault/storeroom

Post by Die Judicii » 14 Feb 2020, 8:28 am

Potatoes wrote:Depending on how thick you want your wall, i would consider that precast panels would need to be put in place with a crane.


The "precast" panels used for buildings (tilt slabs) are actually lighter than the otherwise concrete,,, but you are correct, a crane is still employed.

If I was gonna build a vault I would consider using a "good" shipping container, then weld reo bars to the exterior, and cover its entirety in 6" of concrete.
Then all ya have to worry about is fitting a Bank vault type door outside of the shipping container door.
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Re: Building a vault/storeroom

Post by Kelsey Cooter » 14 Feb 2020, 12:16 pm

Die Judicii wrote:
The "precast" panels used for buildings (tilt slabs) are actually lighter than the otherwise concrete,,, but you are correct, a crane is still employed.

If I was gonna build a vault I would consider using a "good" shipping container, then weld reo bars to the exterior, and cover its entirety in 6" of concrete.
Then all ya have to worry about is fitting a Bank vault type door outside of the shipping container door.


I've heard the shipping container idea a few times, but I always wonder, by the time you buy a decent container thats not going to rust out in 10years, wouldn't it end up cheaper to just go with blocks
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Re: Building a vault/storeroom

Post by sungazer » 14 Feb 2020, 2:23 pm

For the shipping container idea you would either need to hire or build form work to hold the concrete up around it unless you were digging a hole to put it in. When I made a large cattle shed some 20 odd years ago, I hired a modular form work that could be clipped together so walls could be made. They were built around Reo and vibrated, It was a bit expensive but still the cheapest form of construction. A totally solid build that has stood the test of time not a crack to be seen.
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Re: Building a vault/storeroom

Post by Blr243 » 14 Feb 2020, 2:41 pm

Let’s end the dispute about coal harming the atmosphere..I think we should all get together this weekend and build Australia’s first steel reinforced concrete nuclear power station
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Re: Building a vault/storeroom

Post by Kelsey Cooter » 14 Feb 2020, 4:46 pm

Blr243 wrote:I think there is a couple of versions of Hebel. One structural one not. Hebel I think can b smashed through with a sledge. Compressed sheet comes in 12/ 15/18/25 mm those sorts of thicknesses. If want blockwork and u don’t want to employ a brick layer consider the core filled drystack system. Remember the thief will aim for the weakest point. So all parts of the construction must force a thief to say I GIVE UP THIS IS TOO MUCH EFFORT


Do you think the structural hebel would qualify for vault walls?
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Re: Building a vault/storeroom

Post by Kelsey Cooter » 14 Feb 2020, 4:46 pm

90 Vault

(1)The vault must be made of concrete or concrete blocks filled with concrete.

(2)The vault door must be made of steel and have—

(a)steel door jambs; and

(b)a combination lock or built-in deadlock; and

(c)hinges that are welded to the door and door jamb.
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Re: Building a vault/storeroom

Post by Blr243 » 14 Feb 2020, 5:40 pm

Hebel might have that info
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Re: Building a vault/storeroom

Post by Stix » 14 Feb 2020, 5:45 pm

Kelsey...

Brick or block is the option...

Moisture will be your enemy...so you will need to address this with either a relatively well sealed room with some way of removing humidity, or well designed cross ventilation system that will circulate air from all dead corners of the room.

If in a shed, you'll need to lay a membrane beneath the slab--its not an option--, or you may have long term moisture problems that even your standard waterproofing systems will not be able to stop without ultimately destroying the concrete.

If you know the position of walls before slab is poured, increase the depth of slab in those areas to a standard strip footing-300x300-- & throw in basic cage/ligature & bar set up through those areas as per min requirement for standard raft footing (house slab)...this will give you enough depth to chem set in starter bars/tiedowns later when the wall is built & not risk slab failure from point loads.

With all respect to the suggestions, forget the concrete covered shipping containers...thats just a very expensive exercise in guaranteeing a moisture & rust nightmare.

If you go & do a basic brick laying course, & get a little education of concrete slumps, aggregat sizes, no fines concrete & compaction, building something like Gamerancher's friend will be easily achievable, at a very good cost...!!
Or with a little more expense, what sungazer has done...

Pre plan the inside, & design the walls to suit, as the bricks/blocks are modular, & if well designed, you'll streamline the construction process saving even more money...like running conduit for cabling, water supply etc before filling.& its easy to build in secret wall compartments with besser block construction with un noticable doulbe skin wall, & under floor fire resistant nooks & tunnels to keep your illegal immigrant business flowing unnoticed...

There is a company out there that will design & deliver light weight hollow walls that consist of 6mm cement sheet skin with glued in thin steel skeleton...all you do is drop it on the ground, prop it (like a light weight tilt panel), slide the reo through it & fill with concrete--no form work required...
Sorry cant think of the name of it nor the cost,, but i have worked with it before but cant show you pics because it was a ADF build & i dont want a skud missile attack on my house... :)... :lol: ...(dont have any pics--couldnt take any tech devices on site... :thumbsup: )

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Re: Building a vault/storeroom

Post by Stix » 14 Feb 2020, 5:57 pm

Hebel power panel...you can scratch through it with a screwdriver, & the thin reo in it is powder coated...you need lots of glue & a few guys to construct...it can get messy, & very dusty when cutting.
If you dont understand how the top hat should be used properly, you're almost guaranteed to have the wall crank, so you'll need control joints...& unlike brick/block work, you cant lay in brick ties for movement--you rely solely on mastic & correct top hat installation for controlled movement...so the lateral support from one panel to the other is not a patch on what you'll get from a brick bond concrete filled wall with tied down starter bars running vertically.
I could be wrong, but im sure power panel walls need further mechanical lateral restraint--thats why they are used on framed homes, & not as independant structural wall.
However, depending on the size of the room, the roof/ceiling & any internal walls may offer the required restraint you need...
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Re: Building a vault/storeroom

Post by Kelsey Cooter » 14 Feb 2020, 7:40 pm

Bloody legend Stix thanks for the info.

Mate realistically I know I'm not going to go off and do a brick laying course, so in terms of using a builder, is block the cheapest option?

I'm outside of Proserpine and I'm told the cheapest way to get garage sheds built here is to buy a shed kit from Mackay and have a local builder erect it, so the plan is to build the vault/storeroom at the same time.

I've only just starting the planning this week, I've started getting quotes from shed companys, I'm looking at building a 3 bay gable 12m x9m (as I also have a ski boat I'd like to get out of my farm shed).
This week I've also checked out 2 vaults that mates have had built.

Sounds like the cheapest way to put a vault in the shed is to actually build the shed like normal, and have the block walls inside of the shed, as it works out cheaper than custom designing a shed where part of the outside wall is the block wall of your vault.

Obviously I'm not here hoping you blokes will design my shed/vault for me, I'm just chasing as many ideas and opinions as possible, as I'm wanting to build it right, make it look good and keep it as cheap as possible.
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Re: Building a vault/storeroom

Post by Blr243 » 14 Feb 2020, 8:10 pm

Is this vault s purpose a walk in firearm storage area ie no steel safe required ?
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Re: Building a vault/storeroom

Post by Die Judicii » 14 Feb 2020, 9:40 pm

Somebody forgot to mention the alarm system amongst other things, that you will also need to have built in,, or installed at a later date.
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Re: Building a vault/storeroom

Post by Kelsey Cooter » 15 Feb 2020, 7:10 am

Blr243 wrote:Is this vault s purpose a walk in firearm storage area ie no steel safe required ?


Yeah blr, although both the vaults I've looked at they ended up keeping their rifles in safes still, purely because they already had the safes and its an easy way to keep them clean and protected. We all do western action so one mate had a few of his uberti's up on the wall on a timber rack, looked awesome
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Re: Building a vault/storeroom

Post by Stix » 15 Feb 2020, 11:43 am

A vault" as i know it is just as hard to gain entry through the roof as through wslls...
So youll need to take this into account when building the riof of the vault under the roof of the shed...

BTW when i say brick laying course, i mean just mean a short course to get the right trowel skills...once you know how to use a trowel & get the mortar to the right consistancy,, provided your bubble stick is accurate/true, laying bricks is relativrly easy...if you're that way inclined...

And ifcourse, building block walls inside a shed is wasting space...but is well hidden...
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Re: Building a vault/storeroom

Post by flutch » 15 Feb 2020, 12:15 pm

I'd make a 2 piece steel form, steel inner for base of work and then outer Timber/ply also and pour heavily reinforced concrete on the inner. this will be more DIY friendly than a precast system, albeit you will need at least a few hands to help and good welding skills. but not impossible, build a support system into the roof of it so it doesn't want to fall in on your head. but yeah.....

a recent gun store robbery here in WA was possible due to using crappy little prefab wall panels, these have s**t all reinforcing in them, the material was easily and quickly cut with a demo saw. I on the other hand built a chemical shed out of an old municipal pool sediment filter which contained 1 and 1/4" thick rio bar and it took me and my off sider 3 days to chisel out the hole using a demo saw and jackhammer. The type of concrete matters too, less sand and more blu metal dust and you will have a much stronger mix, sand isn't always the best thing for compaction when making solid concrete. a good mix of bog and a pencil vibrator to make sure it settles into itself rock hard, then a good layer of paint on the inside to stave off rust and a good proper internally hinged door and you're in business. wouldn't be the cheapest but anyone trying to break in would spend more than enough time making a racket to arouse suspicions.
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Re: Building a vault/storeroom

Post by Blr243 » 15 Feb 2020, 1:39 pm

I know somebody that was burgled. The burglars tied a chain around the safe and attached it to their vehicle and tried to drive off with it. Something I did think of in relation to the position of the door of your vault .....is it possible to position it in such a way that the corner of a bull bar of a sturdy 4 wd can’t drive into it at a 45 degree angle. Or maybe a sturdy 1 m high bollard in front might be useful. Or maybe I have just been watching to many action movies
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Re: Building a vault/storeroom

Post by Kelsey Cooter » 15 Feb 2020, 2:31 pm

Stix wrote:And ifcourse, building block walls inside a shed is wasting space...but is well hidden...


Yeah this is a point that bothers me but I can't think of a better way of doing it as I dont want it to be a stand alone structure. And yeah I like that it makes it completely hidden
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Re: Building a vault/storeroom

Post by Stix » 15 Feb 2020, 3:30 pm

If i was your building contractor, id build it so that the slab is poured first & room is bricked up next.
Set it out precisely so the room is just inside the line of the bricks & is clad as part of the shed so you have a seamless run of cladding (so outside just looks like a shed)...
This will also give adequate space for ventilation behind the cladding to best minimise rust &/or moisture problems later on.

Again design it well...

Weigh up the cost of a concrete pump & basic formwork/sheeting for the roof/ceiling of the room...it may well be cheap enough to pour a concrete roof as well...
Try talking to a small formwork company, or one or 2 of their employees--they may do it as a side job for you cheaper...

Or if you're rich...fly me up there...ill build it for you, or supervise & consult... :thumbsup:
:lol:

Designed well, that roof of the vault could be used for storage of crap that you'll forgot you ever had in 20 years... :lol:
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Re: Building a vault/storeroom

Post by Kelsey Cooter » 15 Feb 2020, 3:52 pm

Yeah I love the idea of storing stuff on top. Both the vaults that I checked out had 5inch poured roofs and used it as storage area on top. One had been poored on formwork.
The other had laid roofing iron as a ceiling and poored the concrete on top, it looked terrible and I would of thought the concrete will eat out the iron and cause dramas.
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Re: Building a vault/storeroom

Post by Kelsey Cooter » 15 Feb 2020, 3:54 pm

Here's the shed I'm planning to build, with the vault/storeroom being in the bay with no roller door
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Re: Building a vault/storeroom

Post by flutch » 15 Feb 2020, 4:04 pm

Stix wrote:If i was your building contractor,


If I was his contractor I would weld an entire hermetically sealed chamber with a well sealed door, out of steel plate and external ribbing/reinforcement. then I would set a form-work around it as I mentioned before and pour a 1 piece slab all the way around it top to bottom and sides all with continual reinforcement tying it all together as one piece. that way no one piece can be removed/beaten off/pry'd or pulled off of it. have a solid steel door and be done with it, no one would break into it without serious levels of dedication. and no moisture/air to worry about.
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Re: Building a vault/storeroom

Post by Stix » 15 Feb 2020, 4:37 pm

Flutch, not argueing, but im qualifying Kelsey as someone who doesnt have an endless budget for this build...

The fact he is asking guys on a shooting forum & costing out a kit form shed, & not engaging an award winning architect is a bit of a giveaway here... :)

And the construction method you describe is hellishly expensive if using contractors, & when it comes to risk management, is probably unnecessary for the brief...after-all he's a blike with a couple of rifles...not a top secret Aust Defence installation housing warheads...or trying to contain the new virus...

Or is he.. 8-)
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Kelsey...the roof sheeting used in the other vault is a common form of constriction, & is cheaper...you can often see it in multi storey commercial buildings like some carparks...and even aged care facilities etc...but it is often covered by dropdown ceilings that house all the services.
That steel sheeting spans a long way & can take a good load of concrete... :thumbsup:
Yes over time, particularly if not well designed, the steel sheeting can rust, but it shouldnt degrade the concrete in any major way if it is poured & compacted properly.

The other benefit to solid masonry walls are no mucking around with fire ratings if builing on or near a boundary... :thumbsup:

Youve got me all depressed now...wish i had the money to build something like that... :violin:

Keep us posted on the build...
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Re: Building a vault/storeroom

Post by Sergeant Hartman » 15 Feb 2020, 8:28 pm

I have an idea, find a army bunker or a nuclear missile silo. That are deep underground and literally bomb proof.....nik minute wrong country

But i do remember reading a property that came up 4 sale in Gippsland a number of years ago that actually had a ww2 bunker on it
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Re: Building a vault/storeroom

Post by trekin » 16 Feb 2020, 5:13 am

Image Rifle stock and pistol grip reproduction.
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