Learn the questions you should ask and the pros and cons of DIY above ground storm shelters.

Lightning strikes in northeast Boulder County, Colo., Striking Photography by Bo Insogna DIY above-ground storm shelters, or otherwise, are a secure way to ensure your family's safety. Regardless of your geographical location, bad weather can strike with little to no notice. Although there is nothing you can do to avoid a natural disaster, you do have the ability to safeguard your family. Protecting them with a secure structure like a storm shelter is something you can do yourself.

storm shelter

With the proper materials, you can protect your family from the hazards of bad weather. When designing and planning a DIY above-ground storm shelters, here are a few things you should consider before beginning:

  • Primary uses.
  • Aterials available.
  • Required permits.
  • Costs.

DIY storm shelters are more commonly used as tornado shelters. These shelters are used to minimize bodily harm in the event of a tornado, hurricane or other high-energy wind event. Storm shelters are a proven method of reducing the risk of death, bodily harm and damage from flying debris during these types of natural disasters. A properly built storm shelter can withstand extreme winds, even when your home is falling to pieces.

There are several types of materials you can use to build safe rooms for your family. In most cases, there are prefabricated storm shelters available for purchase that include materials like fiberglass and welded steel. If you would rather start from scratch, materials such as concrete blocks, wood and steel would be best. It is best to understand the design that suits your space and needs prior to purchasing any materials.

-prefabricated storm shelters

Any time that you start residential renovations, it is always best to check your local laws and building codes. Each state has specific requirements, procedures and fees. Obtaining permits is also a great way to ensure that your DIY project is on track.

Your county may require an inspection prior to issuing a permit. This is to ensure that your structure is sound. If your storm shelter is approved, you can rest easier knowing that your family will be safe and secure inside the shelter should a natural disaster strike.

DIY projects are generally very cost-effective, but your costs will vary based on the materials you select. Because this project has a direct impact on the safety of your family, you do not want to cut corners. Building an above-ground storm shelter may even increase the value of your property, so it is best to build a structure that is in compliance with local laws.

If you have difficulty building your shelter, an experienced contractor can help you finish the project and ensure that the shelter is sturdy enough to protect you in the event of a storm. QualitySmith can help you locate a contractor in your neighborhood. With the right contractor, storm shelters DIY above-ground and other type should last for decades.