I know of one design (no longer made AFAIK) where that would be true.
I know of dozens of others where there is full masonry but for 1/8"
spots where the ties connect the two sides. I've also seen video of
2x4 being shot at 200 MPH and doing no damage.
That said, no home it tornado "proof". Roofs, garage doors, windows
can still be broken open and you will get damage. The advantage
afterward is the rebuildability and the fact that it did not collapse
on top of you. You still have to avoid debris getting blown through a
window unless you have some sort of coverage for them that is capable
of withstanding a violent storm.
That's just some reporter trying to fill time. It is wrong...
In the north, the freeze line is deep enough so that , in
order to have a stable foundation, a cellar excavation
In Oklahoma, there is no freeze line, so the foundation
can lie on top of the terrain. A cellar can be built, but
it isn't necessary for a stable foundation, and the cost
is greater. It isn't done very much .
If the soil is clay, power equipment will take care of
it easily. The soils are variable throughout the
The reporter isn't familiar with Oklahoma buildings
or construction or OK soil types, and just wanted
to sound like he/she knew what he/she was talking
I am in North Texas, and I haven't seen a house with
a basement here in 30 years, tho I'll admit I haven't
seen every house. It's easy to put one in, but the
cost is pretty high compared to just laying a
concrete slab on the ground, which is the
usual foundation.... On the other hand, separate
underground bunkers for tornado safety are not
uncommon at all.
At least footings. As long as you've done that much, hollowing out
the middle makes cheap space.
Right. Clay isn't even difficult to dig by hand. Add some rocks
(aggregate) it gets a lot harder but nothing a backhoe or front loader
won't cut through.
A TeeVee reporter? Say it ain't so!
Where my AL house is, they're almost as rare as hen's teeth (I saw
one). My GA house is only about 70mi NE of there but basements are
far more common, though certainly not ubiquitous. The difference is
the terrain. Same soil but AL is somewhat flatter. GA is slightly
more rolling so there are more slopes that require walls anyway. As
long as you're building walls to support one end of the house, might
just as well hog out a little dirt and make a basement. Generally, if
the ground is sloping down, away from the street they add a basement,
if it's sloping down towards the street they put in a nasty driveway.
;-) Builders try to optimize subdivisions for the former.
the building width at the top of the footings and then a 0.10" stainless-st
eel floor with everything bolted together. That's in case a 200 MPH wind sh
ould pull the footings out of the ground and turn the building over
I like that... Seems doable without a big investment....
I might suggest that it be located on the highest point on
the property, and the dirt from the hole used as a berm
aound the outside....... and, personally, I'd pour a 4 inch
sslabe over the top, leaving the door free, of course....
Ad far as snakes.... I can't imagine how they would get in if
the seams are sealed, and the entrance is tight and the stovepipe
has a suitable piece of hardware cloth on it....
Could you elaborate on how a snake or rat or crazy neighbor
would get in ??
The stainless-steel angles could be as small as 1 1/2" by 1 1/2" by 1/8" .
The stainless-steel angles for the floor could be as small as 1" x 1" by 1/
8" or even 1" x 1" x 1/10" .
The stainless-steel bolt size could be as large as 3/8" .
The stainless-steel sheet for the sides, back, top, and floor would be too
at 0.07" but heavy enough at 0.10" . The sheets would likely be used in a w
idth something between 6" and 12" . The last run of stainless-steel floorin
g would probably be attached with a large number 1/8" stainless-steel close
d-end pop-rivets instead of with bolts.
The final roofing over the 0.10" sheet gaps could be as thick as 0.035" but
okay at 0.015" .
The front door should slide in tracks with the use of two lift handles unle
ss a swinging door is designed by an engineer (for 200 MPH wind)
# Storm shelters are in the news so I'll attempt a few:
# Perhaps easier, pre-cast concrete pieces are available to make
# a manhole in the ground. However, the manhole needs a pipe laid
# for drainage in addition to setting the manhole six feet in the ground.
The neatest one I saw was made by digging a trench with a front-loader
Then digging a sump at the deeper end
Spread a layer of gravel on bottom of trench
Lay heavy groundsheet down moisture and Radon insulation
Place 1 or more pre-cast box culverts into the hole (10' internal height
were used in this project).
Cover and sides of culvert with heavy ground sheet and seal
Lay foam insulation on sides and top
Put end cap on deep end of culvert
Build ramp, steps and doors on high end
At low end cut hole and drop pre-case small diameter sewer pipe into sump
Run a couple of vent pipes at regular intervals for natural convection of
Cover with dirt and you're done
Project was done in a day.
Also, and escape hatch was cut into the ceiling of the culvert so that if
the door was jammed it would be possible to just dig straight up to get out
The design also included a heavy hinged concrete slab as a cover over the
entrance ramp, that could be anchored to the ground to additionally protect
The trench for the footing is 18" deep and 8" wide. Then I was suggesting to
pour 20" of concrete so as to have the top of the footings 1" to 2" above the
Then with the stainless-steel cross pieces for the floor being 1" x 1" x 1/8"
the floor goes an additional 1" high .
So the front footing probably needs a ramp slope just to make it easier to roll
something into the building
The depth of the footings do depend on local codes or local practice .
Since the outside of the stainless-steel storm shelter can be sided with cedar
boards then a gable roof add-on is also possible . These facades are just
attached with stainless-steel metal and wood screws and are not a part of the
storm wind protection
The cedar siding is optional over the stainless-steel sheathing. The stainl
ess-steel sheet is 0.10" thickness and bolts to vertical stainless-steel an
gles that are 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" x 1/8". The stainless-steel angles are vertic
al in the footings up to the roof.
I am following the other subjects as well
With the stainless-steel vertical pieces at 24" apart then 0.10" thick
stainless-steel sheating is used.
If the stainless-steel vertical pieces were 12" apart then 0.070" thick
stainless-steel sheating would be okay.
The thicker sheet would stand up better to impacts by objects in the wind but
both bolted-together designs should hold together in high wind
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.