Building a secure burglar -resistant room on a budget

I would like to create a burglar-resistant room in my unfinished basement, and wonder if anyone else has done something of this sort. Instead of the typical 2x4 studs and sheet rock to section off a room, I was thinking of reinforcing the framework by threading 1/2" steel rebar between the studs. I would then fasten 3/4" plywood to the studs, followed by 1/2" of sheet rock for appearance purposes. For a door, Home Depot has a few different heavy-steel entry door models to choose from. I would also get a good-quality deadbolt lock. My objective is to deter burglars from trying to get in this room, or at least slow them down should they attempt to break in. However, I don't want to spend a fortune on labor/materials in making such a room. Any ideas/advice would be appreciated.
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I thought about this myself, but now we are moving.
Problem is, in a basement, the burglar has time. And maybe inclination if someone went through all the trouble to build such a room with such a door.
If you leave your saws-all lying around, how long do you think the re-bar would last? Or better yet, go upstairs and cut through the ceiling. Even a 3lb hammer and some effort will reduce studs pretty well. All in the comfort of your quiet, unobservable basement. (Even safes are rated in "break in time"...given tools, how long will it take a determined individual to break in.
I'd spend the money on a good cellular linked alarm system. Burglars DO fear cops.
Just my two cents... Jay
PS: Fire is another story. A "fireproof" room may be of some value.
PPS: I plan to rely on a fire safe, video surveillance, a Rhodesian Ridgeback and alarm system in my new home.
RAY D. wrote:

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Here in "tornado alley" any new house in the $200K range includes a "safe room", usually eight to ten inches of poured concrete including the ceiling and a steel door. With glued up drywall and wallpaper it doubles as one of the closets in the master bedroom and most are claimed to withstand an F-5 tornado. You don't need nearly this level of protection, but there are lots of ways to build a fairly secure room at a reasonable cost.
If you do a google search for "safe rooms", you will get more than 13,000 hits and a ton of ideas.
John
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Just lay it up out of 4" cement block with rebar threaded through the holes. A long skinny room across one end of basement, or across an alcove if you have one, is best. Don't forget the fake sill plate on the top. Put a fake cobweb-covered crawlspace hatch where it can be seen, and a shelving unit full of junk on casters in front of the real door to hide it. Think movie set- make the wall match the other walls. Hide in plain sight, etc. Unless they <know> the room is there, and <know> it holds valuables, it is unlikely they will hang around long enough to batter it open. Most residential burglars are lazy, by definition.
aem sends...
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I agree with this reply.
If you make a secure looking room it'll be a magnet for any potential burglar to break in or give them a reason to come back and break in.
Now if you make it hidden or concealed you're much better off.
You can conceal it by facing it with 4X8 insulation panels to where the burglar will walk by thinking that it's actually the concrete wall of the basement vs. a secret room.
It's the same reason that the average homeowner shouldn't have a safe for the purpose of securing valuables from burglars. The safe is the first place the burglar will break into. Hiding valuables makes it much more difficult for a burglar to find.

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snipped-for-privacy@myrealbox.com (RAY D.) wrote in message

Is climate control acceptable for the things kept in the room? Masonry, as suggested by others, seems more appropriate for basements and security. 4 inch block is going to be difficult to thread with reinforcing. Make sure the door frame will resist forces equal to the door.
Tom Baker
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snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net (Tom Baker) wrote in message

All, thanks to all who replied to my original message. I had some additional thoughts, and though I would run them by you. 1. Would making such a room devalue the house if I were to eventually sell it? 2. I have high ceilings now, perhaps I could create a "hood" over the cinder block room using cement backer-board. Would this make it more fire-resistant? 3. Moisture would be a problem, how would I address that? thanks in advance.
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snipped-for-privacy@myrealbox.com (RAY D.) wrote in message

If I had a big burglar problem I think I'd move to a better neighborhood. What do you suppose the probability is that all the conditions will be met whereby your burglar room will actually be beneficial? I mean, you and your loved ones will have to be in a position to all escape to the burglar room. What happens if one of them doesn't make it? Wouldn't it be more likely that you and your family can escape just by running out the front or back door? Also, note that most burglars don't do their work while homeowners are in the house.
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snipped-for-privacy@myrealbox.com (RAY D.) wrote in message

Here's my thoughts, sorry tried to keep it short but failed!:
First of all let's face it, if someone wants in bad enough you can't stop them. That's why we have insurance and insurance riders. Don't let your posessions be a burden on you. You can only protect items to a certain degree. I'm assuming you want to protect larger or multiple items and that a large gun safe won't suit your needs. The alarm suggestion is great too if you're in the city or have close neighbors (who will quickly hate your future false alarms BTW) lol ; not too many crooks will stay in a house will a loud alarm going off.
HAVING SAID THAT,
The door will obviously be the weakest link. You said steal door...make sure it's not the typical thin-skinned or aluminum doors most places sell, especially HD (Pease, Stanley, etc.). These doors have very thin skins with foam insulation in the core. ALSO - what type of door jamb do you plan on having? The door is only as good as it's hinges and what they are screwed into. I recommend a steel exterior jamb using good sized screws (5/16" or 3/8") at least 3-1/2" long that go into the double 2x4 framing for your doorway. (this will require pre-drilling, but you sound as no stranger to tools).
Second thought - DEADBOLTS
First of all don't buy a $100 deadbolt (Medeco, etc.); most high-priced deabolts use they same type of throw bolt, The difference is they offer "pick resistance" keyways and pins, and hardedned cylinders. Most B&E losers only know how to smash things to gain entry, let alone use pick tools or drill a lock. I'd use a Kwikset Titan or simular for example. $30+ should buy a decent one. The deadbolt "bolt" should have at least a 1" throw and have the room to fully extend, unobstructively (inside the latch jamb).
Installation - Don't mount the deadbolt the usual 6" above the lockset. The higher (or further away)you mount the deadbolt from the lockset, the stronger it will be. BUT AGAIN, research the door your going to buy. Most exterior doors have a foam core and use a "lock block" (fancy name for a thick piece of particle board) that is only in the area where locks typically go to keep the outer skins of the door from compressing when the lockset / deadbolt is tightened.
You might even consider installing 2 deadbolts on the door; one just above eye level, they other about knee-high. This will better distribute force on the jamb when someone tries to ram the door. Another inexpensive option is to use a "double-cylinder" deadbolt (must use a key on both sides to lock/unlock). This would be a great surprise for some idiot who decides to cut-through the above floor and exit via the basement. Wouldn't it be great to catch the SOB in the act? lol 8>)
If extreme dampness isn't an issue, also consider a "solid core" wood door. Steal would be my choice, but not the ones you find at the home centers. Solid core wood doors have a partical board core, but they are tougher than they sound. Or you can add / make an additional "steel cage" (screen door if you will) to add protection to the main door.
But as mentioned in another post, I myself believe keeping a low profile will help greatly. Make it look like a bedroom, maybe put a plaque on the door that says "Bobby's Room" so it looks like it's a childs bedroom. And for God's sake, don't brag about the room. Visiting friends may be trust-worthy, but you never know who their "freinds" are. There's no reason to spread the word...just another thought...
Good luck with whatever you decide to do. It's a shame we even have to deal with such an issue in the first place.
And to those who may disagree with my advice, I could care less about any "flaming replies", I'm only offering my suggestions in an attempt to help the original poster.
Thanks,
me
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