Building a secret room

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Hi everyone,
I am currently remodeling a bathroom in the basement of my home and I wanted everyone's input on the feasibility of an idea that I have. I have always been fascinated by secret rooms and hidden passages and the idea of this bathroom having a secret entrance is something that interests me. I am thinking about the possibility of building a linen closet on hinges that will act as a door for the bathroom. On sunday there was a show on HGTV about hidden rooms and there was a man who had a concealed bathroom (had lots of fun confusing his guests too). This man used piano hinges. What I am curious about is if something like this would need some sort of wheels or rollers on the bottom to support it.
Thanks in advance for any thought you may have on the subject:)
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The topic is regularly discussed here. A common suggestion for a sliding type door is using skateboard wheels or similarly hard rubber wheels from another source. If you're going to be using some type of swing open door, then depending on the weight of it, you'd better start looking into some heavy duty type hinges, piano type of otherwise.
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We have started seeing these in high-end homes in our area. One included a pretty large section of built-in bookshelf that swung out from the wall to reveal a small room under the eves of the house. The room was the size of a walk-in closet and included lights, an internal lock and a phone connection. Supposedly it was a hidy-hole for family members in case of an intrusion. I don't recall the hinges but the hinges and structure would have to be very beefy, because the cabinet full of books could probably weigh in the range of a ton.
We recently helped our son trim his new house in Missouri. His plan included a nook in the walk-in closet that could be hidden behind a shelving unit. It was big enough to hide a shelving unit or a large gun-safe or both. That intrigued me because we are looking at building in the next year or so and it would be a good place to hide a gun safe.
BTW, why do you want this secret room?

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Hide the bodies?
Pete
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Can't help wondering?????
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Wed, Mar 7, 2007, 8:38am (EST-1) snipped-for-privacy@cox.net (RonB) doth sayeth: We have started seeing these in high-end homes in our area. One included a pretty large section of built-in bookshelf that swung out from the wall to reveal a small room under the eves of the house. The room was the size of a walk-in closet and included lights, an internal lock and a phone connection. Supposedly it was a hidy-hole for family members in case of an intrusion. <snip>
If I was going to have a "secret" room, in case of a home invasion, one thing I would NOT have is a phone connection. Can't count of criminals being too stupd to cut the phone lines.
I wouldn't count on a secret room either, even with a latch, people talk, builders are people. Besides, in a panic I sure wouldn't want to have to depend on closing my secret door securely for my safety. Instead, I'd have a reinforced safe room someone centrally located. Battery backup (in case the power is cut), some sort of reliable ventilation system, cell phone - pre-tested to be sure you could send and receive calls. TV security system so you could view all the room in the h ous, they have pinhole cameras that can be eaily concealed. Yeah, and if I had that kind of bucks I'd have videotape equipment too, that'd go over good in court. Some sort of toilet. Bunk beds along one wall, could be pipe racks, 3-4 high, not prob. Chests for storing supplies, and seating. I'd have supplies enough to last your entire family for maybe 72 hours. I understand the Israelies (?) out long the border often had rooms like this. I don't know as I'd have a "secret" entrance, but I definitely would NOT advertise either the room or entry way. It'd be a bitch to actually have to use such a room for real, then find out someone had used up all your supplies.
JOAT It was too early in the morning for it to be early in the morning. That was the only thing that he currently knew for sure. - Clodpool
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(RonB) doth sayeth:

They used to have these in the 50s. They were called bunkers.
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Wed, Mar 7, 2007, 6:17pm (EST+5) snipped-for-privacy@abcd.com (efgh) doth sayeth; They used to have these in the 50s. They were called bunkers.
This is decadeslater than the 50s, and they were/are concrete reinforced rooms inside the homes.
JOAT It was too early in the morning for it to be early in the morning. That was the only thing that he currently knew for sure. - Clodpool
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J T wrote:

I'd want a small armory in it, with body armor, just in case--such a room can become a trap if you don't have the means to fight your way out of it.
Ever see the movie "Panic Room"? If not you might find it interesting.

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I built a set of 30" deep x 96" wide x 9' tall shelves out of jointed and plained 2" x 4"'s and plywood in my garage / shop for tool storage. I built them with the backs about 24" from the back wall so I could store sheet goods behind them. I made the shelves in two 4' sections and hindged them in the middle so I could swing one side out to access the sheet goods easier. I used a couple of old door hinges off a semi truck that had worn out and were quite loose. I put two HF fixed (not swivel) rubber wheels on the bottom of the swinging shelves perpindicular to the hindge mount location. (ie the front one was about 90 degrees and the rear one was about 80 degrees to the front of the cabinet. I just used a framing square to line them up perpindicular to the hinge). Even loaded down full of tools it worked perfectly. The loose hinge made up for the uneveness in my garage floor. It held a lot more weight than you could ever apply with linens.
The perfect part about YOUR plan is you can store towels in the linen closet to clean up the puddles from company that can't find the toilet!
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Wed, Mar 7, 2007, 3:36pm snipped-for-privacy@cox.net (J.Clarke) doeth sayeth: I'd want a small armory in it, with body armor, just in case--such a room can become a trap if you don't have the means to fight your way out of it. Ever see the movie "Panic Room"? If not you might find it interesting.
Well, for a home invasion, IF you could get into the room in time, and IF you had a reloable means of getting word out, they should not be in the home long, because he law wouldbe on th way. However, that's movies stuff. In real life, I doubt you'd be ble to even reach a safe room, let alone get everyone inside. Personally, I'd want to have firepower available too.
The reinforced rooms I feference in Israel were in case of Palestine attackks, and soetime able to be reached in time, sometimes not. One case was where a Palestine attacker was killed by one shot from a .22 target pistol. Not the weapo of first choice I'm sure, but what was available at the time, and did the job.
Fortunately (?) I should have no worries about home invasions, I don't own anything worth stealing.
JOAT It was too early in the morning for it to be early in the morning. That was the only thing that he currently knew for sure. - Clodpool
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

I thought that the traditional method, in pyramids and castles and such, was simply to kill the builders.
OTOH, many years ago in Austin, TX, the local construction trade got together and built a new women's shelter safe-house for free, and AFAIK, the location was successfully kept secret.
--
"Keep your ass behind you."

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Thu, Mar 8, 2007, 10:00pm (EST-1) snipped-for-privacy@die.spammer.die (Australopithecusscobis) doth sayeth: I thought that the traditional method, in pyramids and castles and such, was simply to kill the builders. <snip>
It is, but if you do that a couple of times it gets to be a real bitch to get any work done on your house.
JOAT It was too early in the morning for it to be early in the morning. That was the only thing that he currently knew for sure. - Clodpool
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How do women in need find it? ;)
--
flip
Just on the border of your waking mind, There lies - Another time,
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On Mar 7, 12:54 pm, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

Where do you live? Why do you need this level of security?
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Thu, Mar 8, 2007, 8:25pm (EST-3) snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com (Jeff) doth puzzedly query: Where do you live? Why do you need this level of security?
1. You aven't been paying attention. It's not me wanting a secret room.
2. What the Hell makes you think I'd tell you where I live?
JOAT It was too early in the morning for it to be early in the morning. That was the only thing that he currently knew for sure. - Clodpool
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On Mar 9, 3:52 am, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

I understand it's not your secret room but you've conjured features that struck me as odd - features I would never consider. So if your nieghborhood experience makes you ponder things like a reinforced safe room with a battery backup, etc., then I'd like to avoid it. Therefore, it would be nice to know its general location...
Although I have a pretty good sketchy meter so I'd probably avoid it by instinct alone.
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Fri, Mar 9, 2007, 9:56am (EST-3) snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com (Jeff) doth clarify with: I understand it's not your secret room but you've conjured features that struck me as odd - features I would never consider. So if your nieghborhood experience makes you ponder things like a reinforced safe room with a battery backup, etc., then I'd like to avoid it. Therefore, it would be nice to know its general location... Although I have a pretty good sketchy meter so I'd probably avoid it by instinct alone.
Ah, you shoulda said. Part of it at least comes from working on real life emergency action plans for about 4 1/2 years while in the Army. You've got to thnk abou what might/could happen - in real life, and get it covered - which usually takes a lot of research and checking. And I didn't even touch on the really good stuff.
Years back the nuclear power plant near here wrote an emergncy plan. Evacuate everyone within a radius of about 20 miles from the plant in about12 hours, injured to local hospitals, etc. Years back the command I was with in Germany tried a drill to evacuate dependents if they had to in case of war. A few hundred families, 3-4 mile area, git r dun in about 4 hours, no prob. Three weeks later they were still finding where people lived, and this was with knowing their addresses in advance.
So it's not my neighborhood experienc that makes me think of things like that, it's real life, and past military experience. I live in a quiet area, on a loop road, maybe 2-3 miles outside of a small town.
I just figure if you're gonna do something like that, do it right. I don't need anything more than the low-tech verson myself. If the power goes I've got candles, matches, and flashlights. I've got a cell phone I carry in case I have vehicle trouble - not sure if it'd work in a complete power outage tho. My son's dog alerts me to strangers. And I'm home most of the time and I keep a wonder nine handy.
OK, yeah, I'll give you my general location so you can avoid it, no problem, happy to oblige. I live south of Washington D.C., and east of the Mississippi River.
JOAT It was too early in the morning for it to be early in the morning. That was the only thing that he currently knew for sure. - Clodpool
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a
a
connection.
I
shelving
year
It's a secret.
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The January 2007 issue of "Fine Homebuilding" has an article entitled "Secrets Behind Hidden Doors" You may not want to build your door exactly like the one in the article, but there are some good pointers. You should still be able to find that issue around, since it is published bimonthly. At the very least it should be available at your public library.
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