The Survival Podcast Forum

Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics => Homesteading and Self Reliant Living => Do It Yourself - Projects, Ideas and How To => Topic started by: AHA on December 25, 2009, 04:57:42 AM

Title: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: AHA on December 25, 2009, 04:57:42 AM
A bit exotic, but let's discuss  ;D

Maybe we can make the Bug-Out Tunnel the new must-have of 2010 ;)
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on December 25, 2009, 09:15:45 AM
I live in a town that was an active stop on the Underground Railroad from about 1800 right up to the end of the War Between The States.
Pretty much every house in town that remains from that period has secret rooms, escape doors, tunnels, etc, for hiding and supporting runaway slaves.
Back then it was just natural to make preparations for such things as you built a home.
They also had a series of signals to transmit information around a neighborhood. Things like hanging a specific quilt on the drying line, then flipping it over for a different signal.


Here's a site I like.
http://www.hiddenpassageway.com/ (http://www.hiddenpassageway.com/)
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: AHA on December 25, 2009, 09:27:05 AM
Interesting. I want to write an article on this, so am VERY interested in people who have done work in these fields...
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: “Mark” on December 26, 2009, 12:13:16 PM
I'll probably build something like this when I build my home. I've always wanted a secret room, a secret passage, etc.
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: Sister Wolf on December 26, 2009, 04:54:20 PM
Me too.  This sounds amazingly nifty.

PUT ZE CANDLE BACK!!!!
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: mobilus on December 26, 2009, 06:23:36 PM
SW, my son and I watched Young Frankenstein again a couple of weeks ago.  That was a funny scene with the secret door.

I love those "cult comedy films" like Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs, etc.  My wife doesn't get it, and doesn't do the slapstick comedy stuff.  When we went on a camping trip with two other couples, we sat around the fire pretty much reciting the movie...my wife looked at us like we were crazy.  Of course, that was funny too.

I'd like to put up a false wall in one of the extra bedrooms now that the kids are gone.  Maybe even complete with bookcase.
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on December 26, 2009, 07:37:36 PM
Would you give me a hand with the bags?

Certainly. You take the blonde, I'll take the one in the turban.


Love that movie.

AHA
I have several ideas running around in my mind for when I build on our bug out property.
If you do an article on the topic, be sure and let us know here on TSP Forum.
I'd love to read it.
I was poking around on your Mag last night.
Cool stuff.

Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: Sister Wolf on December 26, 2009, 08:35:51 PM
Young Frankenstein is one of my very favorite movies.  Love that flick.

I've got a ton of ideas for either a new home or add-ons to an existing home when we buy our property as well.  The "secret door" will come into play in several areas.  Mwahahahahaha
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: idelphic on December 26, 2009, 08:37:52 PM
I'll probably build something like this when I build my home. I've always wanted a secret room, a secret passage, etc.

While it's not completely impossible to do,.. I think it is increasingly more difficult.  While DW and I were building our house in 2005, we walked through other houses that were under construction.   Tried to imagine what the spaces would be used for.

With inspections and code regulations today, everything has to have a reason, ...  And if you have someone else build it for you, then someone knows about it.  I believe in Egypt that when the pyramids where being build, they would entomb the craftsmen when done so that the secrets would not be disclosed,..  Can't exactly get away with that now.  
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: idelphic on December 26, 2009, 08:45:03 PM
Young Frankenstein is one of my very favorite movies.  Love that flick.

I've got a ton of ideas for either a new home or add-ons to an existing home when we buy our property as well.  The "secret door" will come into play in several areas.  Mwahahahahaha

Just watch your fingers,..  I'm trying to remember the show that had it,.. or details about the house, but a man build a 4,000 sq ft shelter under his house in the 70's, he build his own blast door, had several entrances, generator, battery shack and more under his pre-existing house...  It's been on Discovery and TLC a time or two, just can't remember the show.
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: survivininct on December 26, 2009, 08:51:50 PM

Here's a site I like.
http://www.hiddenpassageway.com/ (http://www.hiddenpassageway.com/)

Totally cool!   It has mad me think of some ideas for the space under the cellar stairs - a super secret hideaway - no one will ever know!!  I just have to keep this a secret and not tell ANYONE! 

Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: Who...me? on December 26, 2009, 11:15:31 PM
LOL...too late.

I have considered burying spiral rib pipe to use as underground passageways between the house and out buildings.  I am defiantly (no not a misspelling) going to incorporate these and other design features in our house when we move to the "Big Sky".

The key to nobody knowing about your special features is to do all your excavating site work yourself.  After any inspections that are required for your area you will be the one doing the back filling. The more you can do labor wise the more you can hide.  Learn to frame, lay block, pour concrete, electrical, plumbing, run heavy equipment.  Or have someone in your group of insiders who can. After the final inspection add that secret room to the basement or that tunnel to the barn.

 A weakness is the need for larger volumes of concrete that need to be delivered by truck. One way around this is to use a backhoe as a ferry, have the truck park where he can't see what you are doing and fill the front bucket with concrete.  Just tell him that there is no access for his truck. Happens enough that most drivers would not be surprised or suspicious.

One other thing I have thought about is the SHTF OP/LP and the need to keep it secret.  Need to install an underground access to it. Not much use if you can be observed going to and from it ya know.  Think about Randy Weaver"s house being observed from the next mountain over by the feds.  If you can see it you can be seen from it.
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: Joel on December 27, 2009, 04:48:39 AM
When I built my cabin I naturally thought about trap doors, tunnels, false walls...

Yeah...no.  Not a lot of room for false walls in a 12X16 structure, and to trench far enough in the rocky ground for a useful tunnel...well, that wasn't a pleasant prospect.  Easy to come up with excuses reasons not to.

But when I figured out that the wood stove would have to stand right next to the stairs to the sleeping loft, well, that didn't seem like a good idea, either.  If anything caught fire during the night, I'd have few alternatives to sitting there and sizzling.  Not acceptable.  So I'm building a kick-out hatch over the front porch roof, in the back wall of a closet.  Won't be much help if the MZBs come calling, but it'll work for escape in case of fire or similar emergency.  I plan to stucco over it on the outside, so it won't show from the outside.
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: AHA on December 28, 2009, 03:37:36 AM
Joel: I'm liking it! You should send in some pics and a short description.
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: Capt Cook on December 28, 2009, 06:17:15 AM
In my home town of Oak Park, Il., they had many tunnels downtown that were used by the railroad cars to deliver coal to the business's. They were still in fine shape in the 80's when we walked around down there to check them out.
Near to downtown was a nice house. In the basement was a door that led under the yard to the garage. It came out in what is called a "Pit" that was used to work on your car from underneath.
It was pretty cool seeing this & it would make a great bolthole if you didn't park a low-rider in the garage ;D
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: Capt Cook on December 28, 2009, 06:41:13 AM
I tried to edit the last post but took too long so now I continue.....
The best thing about this is that you can put it in place without any suspicion of ill intent. You can do the same thing with a "root cellar". Just put that name on the plans with your tunnel & an exit door to the outside. Later you can cover over the exit door to hide it from view.
Skylights which open can later have a ladder set up to act as a roof exit. This can also be done in the attic with louvered vent windows on the roof ends that you set up with hinges & a lock. Add a rope ladder & you have your way out. Might come in handy when the Zombies break in & corner you in the attic ;)
You can also make slim false walls with 2x10's. Just call them "Vent Walls" in the plans & you have a place to hide a safe, store supplies on shelves, etc... & you can hide it with some paneling that lifts out of place.
You can also do this with a false floor. Make a split level area with a 10' ceiling & then an area say 2 steps high with an 8' ceiling but the floor continues underneath. Put in a trap door or false floorboards & you have an area 18-24" deep that is perfect for a floor safe & any amount of storage you need.
There are lots of low tech ways to hide stuff from the casual observer & even from those that are looking for something suspicious. Remember the old saying, "Hide in Plain Sight!"
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: liftsboxes on December 28, 2009, 06:47:46 AM
I probably love the idea of this stuff than the practical aspect of it, but it is sooooo cool.
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: “Mark” on December 28, 2009, 08:52:07 AM
You can also make slim false walls with 2x10's. Just call them "Vent Walls" in the plans & you have a place to hide a safe, store supplies on shelves, etc... & you can hide it with some paneling that lifts out of place.

If you heat with wood, such vent walls are actually good to circulate air... you're giving me ideas :D

Quote
You can also do this with a false floor. Make a split level area with a 10' ceiling & then an area say 2 steps high with an 8' ceiling but the floor continues underneath. Put in a trap door or false floorboards & you have an area 18-24" deep that is perfect for a floor safe & any amount of storage you need.
There are lots of low tech ways to hide stuff from the casual observer & even from those that are looking for something suspicious. Remember the old saying, "Hide in Plain Sight!"

That's brilliant!
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: HYRYSC on January 02, 2010, 09:30:51 PM
Here are a few pics of mine from when I was finishing up.  My house is about 100 years old and has a few nooks and crannys that are in odd places.  This current one is a semi-small closet that is under an eave of a dormer behind a bathroom and inside my bedroom.  I have measured myself and it is really tough to come up with any empty space for this, so even a "more than casual" observer would more than likely never notice it.

(http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w259/hyryz/Hidden%20Space/IMG_0307.jpg)

(http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w259/hyryz/Hidden%20Space/IMG_0308.jpg)

Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: Mr. Bill on January 02, 2010, 10:35:53 PM
Young Frankenstein is one of my very favorite movies.  Love that flick.

"Rrroll, rrroll!  Rrroll in ze hay!"

I've actually found two secret compartments in our manufactured home.  No way to get into them at present -- they're up above closets and entirely sealed up with wallboard.  I'm really tempted to put hidden doors on them, but I'm pretty clumsy on getting that sort of handyman stuff to come out neat and clean.

In Pasco WA, the Moore Mansion is reputed to have a tunnel to the Columbia River and another to a spot hundreds of yards away, built during prohibition to move naughty bottles of liquor.
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: redneck on January 03, 2010, 06:37:14 PM
When we did the living room I put in a half wall.  Using 2 X 6 construction.  The top is a satined 1 X 8.  The cool part is it gave me a chance to put in a small compartment under the top about 5" X 5" X 6'.  I built it like a small box.  The lid (1 X 8) has a lip the fits snug in to the lower part.  It is great to hide the remotes, dog toys, and maybe my 9mm.  The bad think is I was proud of the compartment and showed about everyone that comes over.  I guess the bad guys wont know about it.

We will soon be doing the bath room I will try to come up with something for it too
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: Capt Cook on January 03, 2010, 06:42:04 PM
Hey HYRYSC, that's a pretty sweet spot you got there!
Plenty of room to hide your goodies from the bad guys!
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: HYRYSC on January 04, 2010, 06:55:38 PM
Thanks Capt Cook!  I have my gun safe in there now so I feel that it is doubly protected, firstly, easy to keep fingers off of something no one knows about, and secondly, if they do find it, then they have to get into the safe.  I had some thoughts about lining the entire closet with some 1/2 inch steel, welding it up and putting a safe door directly on it, but that plan quickly got expensive.  Not to say that I won't do it, but just not right now.

Now my next project is a large crawl space safe for my good stuff!
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: “Mark” on January 04, 2010, 09:20:24 PM
When we did the living room I put in a half wall.  Using 2 X 6 construction.  The top is a satined 1 X 8.  The cool part is it gave me a chance to put in a small compartment under the top about 5" X 5" X 6'.  I built it like a small box.  The lid (1 X 8) has a lip the fits snug in to the lower part.  It is great to hide the remotes, dog toys, and maybe my 9mm.  The bad think is I was proud of the compartment and showed about everyone that comes over.  I guess the bad guys wont know about it.

We will soon be doing the bath room I will try to come up with something for it too

Put a closet by your bathtub. Make a door from the inside of the closet to the area inside shell of your tub.
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: KC8SON on January 04, 2010, 10:04:24 PM
Here are a couple of sites I stumbled upon.  Not sure if I would use them, but there do seem to be some good ideas there.

http://www.hiddenpassages.com/concept_doors.shtml (http://www.hiddenpassages.com/concept_doors.shtml)
http://hubpages.com/hub/hidden-gun-cabinet (http://hubpages.com/hub/hidden-gun-cabinet)
http://www.southwestcustomwoodworking.com/pistol_frames.html (http://www.southwestcustomwoodworking.com/pistol_frames.html)
http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/cb.aspx?a=407947 (http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/cb.aspx?a=407947)
http://www.stealthvault.com/ (http://www.stealthvault.com/)
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: Browncoat on January 05, 2010, 09:20:15 PM
Here's a good one.

http://lifehacker.com/5307420/turn-a-bookshelf-into-a-secret-passage (http://lifehacker.com/5307420/turn-a-bookshelf-into-a-secret-passage)
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: Hraz on January 06, 2010, 08:13:40 PM
Ive always been fascinated with hidden rooms since I went to the House of Seven Gables, in Salem, MA when I was kid.
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: Hraz on January 06, 2010, 08:17:50 PM
Here is a company that installs them:

http://hiddenpassageway.com/ (http://hiddenpassageway.com/)
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: onesureshot on January 07, 2010, 08:50:02 AM
I have a friend that has some cool hidden drawers built into his stairs. There are about 10 step down into his basement. In the basement there is a closet just to the side of the steps that used to be open under the stairs too. The previous owner made a drawer system that rolls out towards the room and is deep enough to hold a dozen rifles or shotguns. The "room" end of the drawer is finished as part of the stairs and is as solid as the rest of the staircase, and you can't tell it is there. The open area under the stairs was closed in with sheetrock, so if you look in the closet you can't see the secret drawer. This leaves all the rest of the  area above the drawer as wasted space though. I thought about doing something similar, but framing in smaller drawers on the underside of each step to store various items. Make the drawer front be hidden in the riser of each step, just have the tread stick out far enough to hide the top of each drawer front. The only issue would be having something to allow you to pull the drawer out without it looking like a pull.
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: mobilus on January 07, 2010, 06:48:50 PM
Has anyone seen this setup?  Not that I'd want it for growing pot, but wow, what a hide-out for a SHTF situation.

http://www.ssqq.com/archive/vinlin19.htm (http://www.ssqq.com/archive/vinlin19.htm)

(http://www.ssqq.com/archive/images/Image17.jpg)

(http://www.ssqq.com/archive/images/Image2.jpg)

(http://www.ssqq.com/archive/images/Image3.jpg)

(http://www.ssqq.com/archive/images/Image7.jpg)

(http://www.ssqq.com/archive/images/Image15.jpg)

(http://www.ssqq.com/archive/images/Image16.jpg)

Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on January 07, 2010, 07:09:20 PM
WOW mobilus that's cool!
+1 for you! Nice find.
What a set up.
Makes you wonder how many of these are around that don't get busted.
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: mobilus on January 07, 2010, 08:04:52 PM
Thanks, Hare.  People have been going "underground" forever.  I remember spelunking in a little-known cave in north Florida when I was in jr. college and there was plenty of signs still around from the Indians that had used the cave centuries before.  Think about how long a well-built underground BOL would last if it was designed in such a way as not to use pumps to move water.  Check out the following links for some neat underground dwellings (and a few above ground).


http://www.scribd.com/doc/1010038/Part-1Welcome-to-My-Underground-Bunker- (http://www.scribd.com/doc/1010038/Part-1Welcome-to-My-Underground-Bunker-)

http://www.silohome.com/ (http://www.silohome.com/)

http://www.thedailygreen.com/living-green/blogs/recycling-design-technology/treehouses-building-green-recycled-homes-460509 (http://www.thedailygreen.com/living-green/blogs/recycling-design-technology/treehouses-building-green-recycled-homes-460509)

http://green.yahoo.com/blog/daily_green_news/228/six-surprisingly-comfortable-cave-homes.html (http://green.yahoo.com/blog/daily_green_news/228/six-surprisingly-comfortable-cave-homes.html)
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: No Prob Rob on January 08, 2010, 09:27:34 PM
I had a small room in my home that had a ten foot ceiling. Lots of wasted space so I build a heavy duty drop down ceiling. Access is a return air vent complete with dirty filter. I had to duplicate climate control vent and lighting but now I have a space that is well.... shall we say "inconvenient".

(http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n178/rl808826/pantry%20plus/P1000555.jpg)

(http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n178/rl808826/pantry%20plus/P1000609.jpg)

(http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n178/rl808826/pantry%20plus/P1000608.jpg)

(http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n178/rl808826/pantry%20plus/P1000558.jpg)
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: inthego on January 08, 2010, 11:38:27 PM
WOW! minus the pot, it is the best SHTF setup I have seen.  Even grow your own food. 
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: liftsboxes on January 09, 2010, 06:40:10 AM
Love the drop ceiling!
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on January 09, 2010, 06:52:12 AM
I had a small room in my home that had a ten foot ceiling. Lots of wasted space so I build a heavy duty drop down ceiling. Access is a return air vent complete with dirty filter. I had to duplicate climate control vent and lighting but now I have a space that is well.... shall we say "inconvenient".



Very nice!
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: IowaFreak on January 14, 2010, 06:41:25 PM
http://www.harrr.org/mattiafpappalardo/hideAny.pdf (http://www.harrr.org/mattiafpappalardo/hideAny.pdf)

Sorry about the link...not good at hyperlinking  :-\

Anyway here is a .pdf book that shows smaller spaces that can be turned into hiding places.


Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: perseus_m31 on January 17, 2010, 12:43:14 PM
I just came across this at instructables.  A step by step on how this guy built a bookshelf to hide a door to a crawlspace.  It looks pretty neat
http://www.instructables.com/id/Hidden-Door-Bookshelf/ (http://www.instructables.com/id/Hidden-Door-Bookshelf/)

First time inserting images below so bear with me if this doesn't work.
(http://www.instructables.com/files/deriv/FA3/9VHJ/F1A4XXJO/FA39VHJF1A4XXJO.MEDIUM.jpg)
(http://www.instructables.com/files/deriv/FTZ/V0PH/F1A4XXJR/FTZV0PHF1A4XXJR.MEDIUM.jpg)
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: inthego on January 17, 2010, 03:20:39 PM
This is my Fav thread.. Thanks  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


 ;D
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: JGreene on January 19, 2010, 06:58:51 PM
Around here everyone has a basement, but to put one either under that one (double depth foundation) or next to that one covered by dirt with an escape into the outdoor shed.. or having a basement under the garage.

Problem with the mass of growing lights in the previous posts.  Around here they've busted people after being tipped off by the electric company!   I guess if you have a $3000 electric bill they consider you for surveillance!
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: Saint on January 19, 2010, 07:42:25 PM
Awesome thread and completely motivated me - we've actually got a "built in" secret area that I was going to take down to expand the garage...silly me! The house we bought was a ranch converted to a colonial - in the conversion they moved the front wall "out" (forward) 3 feet and left the original garage and basement (same level) wall - so there is a 2 foot wide, 30 foot long "corridor" below ground level running along the front of my house - with an entrance (5'x5' opening) in the garage...I WAS going to bust the (now non-load bearing) wall out and widen the garage...great stuff you guys, just great!
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: Freshman Preppy on January 19, 2010, 08:24:43 PM
I wonder if the state confiscated that cave? 
Auction time???  :-)
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: thenoocher on January 21, 2010, 09:26:51 PM
It's FRAHKENSTEEN....this is the best thread on the whole forum.  Drop ceilings, underground pot gardens, siswolf with obscure mel brooks references.  This internets thing is really something!
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: inthego on January 21, 2010, 09:42:50 PM
It's FRAHKENSTEEN....this is the best thread on the whole forum.  Drop ceilings, underground pot gardens, siswolf with obscure mel brooks references. 
Young Frankenstein. 
(http://www.flickclip.com/images/flickimages/youngfrankenstein.jpg)
 ;D
Love Mel Brooks
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: The Infidel on January 22, 2010, 06:40:56 PM
I am planning to build a "secret" room under some existing stairs in two or three weeks , check back later for the " before I broke the wall" , the " during the big ass mess", and the " damn that's awsome" photos!
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: bernardclare on January 22, 2010, 07:56:58 PM
With highest regard to everyone who has expressed a concern about code inspections, but ... why so eager to please government authority? If we are preparing for a SHTF scenario, there may not be any local authority. And if there are, they won't be concerned with whether your bunker meets national code.

Also, if the code enforcement inspector discovers your home contains "interesting" features, don't you think the local SWAT team will soon know about it? "What's he doing down there? Looks suspicious to me."

If you are competent to do your own work, why do you need government imprimatur? Beyond the (rare) case of outright builder incompetence it's about upping government revenue, not about your "safety."

Events could turn out that after your painstakingly gathered supplies are "officially confiscated," a uniformed raider might thank you for telling them all about what you were doing. So why tell them?
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: Mr. Bill on January 23, 2010, 12:41:04 PM
Howdy, bernardclare, and welcome to TSP Forum!

With highest regard to everyone who has expressed a concern about code inspections, but ... why so eager to please government authority?...

Reason #1: we are also preparing for non-SHTF scenarios.  In which case you may want to eventually sell your house, and any modifications will be discovered by the purchaser or his inspector, and if you've installed some non-code stuff it may cost you a lot of money to fix it before your house becomes salable.

Reason #2: the codes do actually incorporate a lot of accumulated knowledge and experience, including things that are not obvious to the average handyman.  Sure, some parts are arbitrary and stupid, and I hate mandatory code inspections by government agents -- but having an independent pair of eyes checking stuff can still save you from possibly dangerous mistakes.
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: Freshman Preppy on January 30, 2010, 06:11:00 PM
When I was a young man, we bought our first home.  It was being built and I didn't know a lot about much of anything.  The stairs leading upstairs were at the back of the living room.  Where there would usually be an under the stairs access door, the builder planned to put in the kitchen breakfast bar.  So, the left side of the COULD be under the stair storage was in the living room. Couldn't do anything there.  The front, directly under the top stop, had a breakfast bar attached.  The right side was a wall in the guest bedroom and there was a door leading off of the kitchen to get into it. 
One day after all of the crew had left and before the drywallers came in, I went to that side of the stairs and  put in a horizontal stud.  A few months after we moved in, I took out a drywall saw and cut out the hole.  It was the perfect size for one of those short (about 4') furnace doors.  It looked just like the other doors in the house, only shorter.  I mounted it, put in a deadbolt, and ran some electric so I could have a light.  Basically, I had a built in gun locker that even the builder didn't know about.  It was easily concealed because if you opened up the bedroom door, the new short door was behind it.  A casual, or hopefully rushed, intruder would open the door, look in the room and see nothing of value.  I put in shelves, racks, and a few other little hidden details as well.
When I showed it to the person who bought, he got a look on his face that showed me he totally understood the value of the room.  I just went back and read over this.  I hope it makes some sense!
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: JC Refuge on January 30, 2010, 06:57:12 PM
Well, as you know, we are in the saferoom/bunker business. Not all customers, but certainly many shoot to have their doors/hatches well hidden. My own hatch is hidden under a huge custom-built roll-away piece of furniture.

Here is a nice site for some hidden door ideas, appropriately named:

http://www.hiddendoors.com/galleryThumb.asp?category=13 (http://www.hiddendoors.com/galleryThumb.asp?category=13)
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: reefmarker on January 31, 2010, 08:23:05 PM
I live in an area that would have been a first strike for soviet nukes back in the 50's and 60's.  It no longer is of interest.  Back in the 90's when I was looking for my first home alot of the scientist from the 50's were retiring and selling their custom built houses.  This lead to alot of interesting house hunting, but alas we went with new construction and lost all the neatness of an old house.

Anyway, the two things most of these houses had where no load bearing interior walls, and bomb shelters not under the house.  These were not small houses as the people that had them built had big paying jobs, in the range of 2500 to 4000 sq feet.

The non-load bearing walls were to allow for the house to fall apart and not crush the people with the insides.  Walls fall out roof falls down, but maintains its shape so your nice single level ranch becomes a short teepee.  This meant tough exterior walls that sometimes even slanted outward.

The neatest things were the bomb shelters.  Usually they connected to the house in the basement and they would go out under the driveway.  In most cases the driveways were now covered with carports or garages, but originally they were not covered.  The idea was suppose to be a big thick hunk of concrete (the driveway) to stop high speed chunks of the neighborhood, and a deep concrete box under that to protect you from the zoomies the bombs let out.  Some still had the dig out doors that were made to allow you to dig you way out to the surface outside of the house, since house would collapse into the main entrance.  I always thought they would fill with water and would be a pain to maintain, but people that had them loved to sleep in them!
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: texican on February 05, 2010, 09:22:05 PM
While it's not completely impossible to do,.. I think it is increasingly more difficult.  While DW and I were building our house in 2005, we walked through other houses that were under construction.   Tried to imagine what the spaces would be used for.

With inspections and code regulations today, everything has to have a reason, ...  And if you have someone else build it for you, then someone knows about it.  I believe in Egypt that when the pyramids where being build, they would entomb the craftsmen when done so that the secrets would not be disclosed,..  Can't exactly get away with that now.  
If you build it all yourself, you can...

In my area of Texas, there are no codes, inspectors, permits, or other bs to deal with.  The code, imho, is the bare minimum construction guidelines, for safety.  I'm building a second home, and double down on the code... if a 2x4 will do, I go with a 2x6... bump up on wire also, and plumbing.  Most of my wood is rough sawn lumber, which is automatically larger than kiln dried, planed lumber.

I already have a "dungeon" in, with stone walls on three sides already... later, when that side is finished, it'll be invisible from all eyes.

Normally, I wouldn't divulge details... but this site doesn't have site location listed on our profile... and if I did tell the details... I'd have to go all Egyptian...  ;)
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: JerseyVince on February 07, 2010, 04:33:06 PM
I saw a nice 3 shelf unit on This Old House that was really a set of six foot deep slide out drawers. They looked like 3 wooden frame shelves that you put nick-nacks on but its impossible to tell they were drawers. They were showing how to use a dead space wall between rooms. It was a really nice idea. The drawers were on rollers and looked like they were built like a Snapon tool box drawer and could handle some real weight.

Def something to look into. I cant remeber the companies name ???but i'm looking for it
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: inthego on February 07, 2010, 10:40:41 PM

Def something to look into. I cant remeber the companies name ???but i'm looking for it
Cool, Let us in on that if you remember...  8)
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: Son_of_the_Republic on February 09, 2010, 01:48:46 PM
I'm currently working my way through the LOST TV show.Never caught it first time round.I want one of those "hatches" in our woods here!

Anyone ever hear of folk selling those old Blast bunkers people used to put in their yards?
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: Son_of_the_Republic on February 09, 2010, 01:54:12 PM
Found this:

  http://www.bombsheltermovie.com/see.html (http://www.bombsheltermovie.com/see.html)
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: JC Refuge on February 09, 2010, 01:58:43 PM
I'm currently working my way through the LOST TV show.Never caught it first time round.I want one of those "hatches" in our woods here!

Anyone ever hear of folk selling those old Blast bunkers people used to put in their yards?

See our shelter link below in my sig. We don't sell "old" bunkers. Our steel-plate shelters and saferooms are built to customer specifications and are engineered to exceed the highest governmental standards.

FYI, there are a lot of folks out there getting safer with new bunkers. Especially those who have reason to know why they might need them.
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: dudekrtr on February 17, 2010, 04:39:06 PM
I was thinking of an idea that would work in my basement, or any one that has a room sticking out perpendicular to the main part of the house. I figured I could put up false shelves across the end of the room, with maybe 3 feet of storage space behind them; it would just look like the end of the foundation.

Well, my very resourceful and trusted friend said "Why stop there?" and proceeded to describe this: [you'll have to visualize a bit here!]

The same idea, but make it flush with the main cellar space, like one continuous wall. Make an opening of some sort through the shelving on the new wall into the newly created room. Now, here's the real beauty part: Construct a false ceiling in the room, and bring in dirt and place it on TOP of the ceiling. This will make anyone who looked in that area think that the room above was just built over a crawlspace not a part of the cellar.

It would not only be hidden, but isolated from the heat of the main cellar, and thus be a cold cellar. The only drawback is having to maybe stoop over a little.
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: JGreene on February 17, 2010, 05:08:38 PM
We have a finished basement.  It has a number of rooms and closets, the  nice part being, by the time you come in, walk down the stairs (which switches directions with the landing) you are a bit disorientated.  So I'm thinking about replacing one of the walls with brick to match the foundation as close as possible.  Then with a movable fridge or 'fixed' bookshelf, allow access into the bunker.

If I had an unfinished basement, the idea of bricking up one end I think would work well.  As long as the ceiling area where the wall meets the joists looks like the end of the house.  It would be a nice idea to have access to it from the first floor... a closet floor maybe? 

Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: JerseyVince on June 11, 2010, 10:27:51 PM
I finally found who made the under stair and in wall hidden drawer shelves. By luck the This old house episode was on tonite that had it. The Co that did it was Good Interiors. Here's a link to the pics, they are kinks crappy but you can see them on page 6

http://www.goodinteriors.com/featured.html (http://www.goodinteriors.com/featured.html)
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: NPR Jr on September 02, 2010, 09:50:50 PM
I recently purchased a home and rumor is that under the front porch is a concrete room roughly 8 x 15 that was originally supposed to be cold storage but the door was never framed in.  A neighbor who seems to be of the prepper persuasion brought it to my attention the day I was moving in.  Now that winter is coming and many of my outdoor projects are going to be put on hold I have turned my attention to my "secret room".  I have yet to confirm the existence however it sure looks probable.  Pops (No Prob Rob) is going to be in town for about a week around Christmas and I would love nothing more than to put him to work helping me create an inconspicuous entrance.  It is in an unfinished portion of the basement in the utility room (water heater, furnace, breaker box) and have thought about hiding the entrance with shelving for canned goods etc.   I am really looking for some ideas from those with minds superior to my own.  I will try and get pictures of the area up this weekend to give a better idea of what I am working with.
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: RipTombstone on September 23, 2010, 03:59:24 PM
I was in a house here locally that had a whole hidden room/attic area.
They had finished the upstairs, with a big set of french doors, balcony and the like. Looked great.
There was a large mirror on the back wall, that was actually a door to the attic, which was probably twice the size of the other part of the upstairs.
They used it for storage and an exercise room, but it had a LOT of potential.
The only drawback, is that someone rummaging through a house might break the mirror for spite, and that could reveal the room behind.
I am thinking of doing the same sort of thing with my basement. My basement entrance involves a door, which you enter for about 5 foot, then the stairs go down. I thought about putting a false door  at the top of the stairs, and disguising it as a closet..
RipT
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: excaliber on February 19, 2011, 08:33:52 PM
need more ideas, I plan on doing something like this when I manage to get my BOL, maybe an underground room that is accessed from a narrow staircase built behind a fake wall in the closet. or something like that.
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: MacReady on February 19, 2011, 11:10:02 PM
Saw the foundation for a house that a friend of mine was building a few years ago.  The basement had a hidden room that was about seven feet wide all along the front and one side.  It had one normal sized door.  I could picture it being under a wrap around porch.  From in the basement you would never suspect it was there w/o seeing the door.
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: Roswell on August 08, 2011, 01:53:29 PM
I found this cool article with videos that details making secret passages in your home.

http://blogs.howstuffworks.com/2010/03/25/a-different-way-to-build-a-house-43-adding-secret-passages-and-hidden-rooms-to-a-house/ (http://blogs.howstuffworks.com/2010/03/25/a-different-way-to-build-a-house-43-adding-secret-passages-and-hidden-rooms-to-a-house/)
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: Nicodemus on August 08, 2011, 07:27:09 PM
Great video!
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: LdMorgan on August 09, 2011, 04:57:49 PM
....I have a friend that has some cool hidden drawers built into his stairs. There are about 10 step down into his basement. In the basement there is a closet just to the side of the steps that used to be open under the stairs too. The previous owner made a  I thought about doing something similar, but framing in smaller drawers on the underside of each step to store various items. Make the drawer front be hidden in the riser of each step, just have the tread stick out far enough to hide the top of each drawer front. The only issue would be having something to allow you to pull the drawer out without it looking like a pull.

First put two fairly large magnets in each drawer, set to latch on to metal plates secured behind the drawers. That will keep them from wiggling if anyone does a little finger-tip investigating.

Then use a suction handle of the type used by glassworkers when they move sheets of plate glass.

One good tug, and the drawer pops right open. Voila!

Toss the handle in a nearby box of misc. tools, and yer good to go.
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: JerseyVince on August 10, 2011, 11:31:59 AM
I have a space about 4 x 4 x3 that is at the back of a closet upstairs that is built following the slope of the roof dormer. the closet is deep but the last couple feet would never be missed if you didnt know. I like the magnetic panel idea, maybe two magnets and the panel on a hinge. would be a good spot for a cpl weapons, ammo and other hideables without drawing attention to the closet
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: nkawtg on August 10, 2011, 12:44:39 PM
Just remember to use a dense flooring material at the entrance to your secret passage such as wood or tile. You'll want to keep the floor clean too, otherwise foot traffic wear or carpet wear will be a dead giveaway to the doors location.
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: ncjeeper on August 10, 2011, 01:48:26 PM
I found this cool article with videos that details making secret passages in your home.

http://blogs.howstuffworks.com/2010/03/25/a-different-way-to-build-a-house-43-adding-secret-passages-and-hidden-rooms-to-a-house/ (http://blogs.howstuffworks.com/2010/03/25/a-different-way-to-build-a-house-43-adding-secret-passages-and-hidden-rooms-to-a-house/)
Wow the company is 3 months behind in orders. Nice problem to have. What does that say about peoples concerns?
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: JerseyVince on August 10, 2011, 03:26:33 PM
looks like people want other places to hide their stuff besides the Cash-o-Pedic or sock drawer ;) I do too, as I will be taking some cash out of the Crook store  (I mean Bank) Looking for ideas besides my safe.

After so many years of my town and surrounding towns being so quiet, it's like we've been overrun by the Wild Bunch. With the unbelieveable number of home invasions and Kick-in robberies. Just the next town over some bonehead threw a Molotov cocktail through a Verizon-CellPhone store Sat nite.
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: mxitman on September 03, 2011, 10:49:44 PM
I'll be remodeling some of our basement in the next year and I was thinking of walling off a room down there and adding a hidden door. Not exactly sure yet what it will look like, but it's the perfect area. I will definitely document it for everyone.

Another note of easy diy/ hidden spaces. if you have one of those medicine cabinets built into the wall go buy one that mounts on the outside of a wall and mount that to the old one, if you add in a hidden lock/latch you now have an easy diy hidden cache.

Another place is inside furniture, we bought 2 chairs from costco that have a hidden zippered area on the bottom where the wooden feet were stored. The zipper blends in good, and I would think would be a good place to hide something if needed.

Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: Freshman Preppy on September 22, 2011, 04:10:03 AM
I just saw a site that is selling a cache that looks like an air conditioner intake. It mounts just like a medicine cabinet, between 2 studs, and low to the ground where an air conditioner intake would be.  They also sold a 2 drawer file cabinet. The kick plate below the bottom drawer was actually the front of another hidden drawer. It was very shallow but you never would suspect it.
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: mobilus on September 22, 2011, 08:41:38 AM
I just saw a site that is selling a cache that looks like an air conditioner intake. It mounts just like a medicine cabinet, between 2 studs, and low to the ground where an air conditioner intake would be. 

That was the hiding spot of choice in "No Country for Old Men"...except that it was a real A/C vent and duct.  But really, how many people would go to the trouble of removing the vent cover?  Good reminder!
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: endurance on September 22, 2011, 11:48:11 AM
 :popcorn:
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: nkawtg on September 22, 2011, 12:07:13 PM
I'll be remodeling some of our basement in the next year and I was thinking of walling off a room down there and adding a hidden door. Not exactly sure yet what it will look like, but it's the perfect area. I will definitely document it for everyone.

For your door hinge check out this place
http://www.soss.com/pdf/Soss_Catalog.pdf
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: ChrisFox on September 22, 2011, 01:08:26 PM
This was up on Earthbag Blog the other day

Concealed Underfloor Cool Pantry
http://earthbagbuilding.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/concealed-underfloor-cool-pantry/ (http://earthbagbuilding.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/concealed-underfloor-cool-pantry/)
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: Robinelli on March 13, 2012, 01:56:03 PM
Definitely my *favoritist* thread so far  ;D

I will say I've been in very $$$ subdivisions in my state some while under construction and have seen some of these secret passageways in houses being built. Pretty amazing. I had forgotten about it but now I think I want one in my next house!!
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: Cedar on March 13, 2012, 02:16:38 PM
Was looking for something else and found this guy. He is over in Enterprise, Oregon I guess http://www.moonlightchronicles.com/hobbit_hole.html

Cedar
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: Robinelli on March 13, 2012, 05:19:59 PM
Wow. Interesting. Reminds me of: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbRvsWuWNUM

another similar http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uAJjLmwFk4
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: Morning Sunshine on March 13, 2012, 05:23:46 PM
Was looking for something else and found this guy. He is over in Enterprise, Oregon I guess http://www.moonlightchronicles.com/hobbit_hole.html

Cedar

hubby would like that.  I am claustrophobic just looking at that!
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: endurance on March 13, 2012, 07:46:49 PM
Wow, suddenly my 890 square foot house seems HUGE!
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: FreeLancer on March 13, 2012, 09:00:38 PM
I need a Tiny House....with a Hobbit Hole basement!   
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: will3117 on March 31, 2012, 10:34:33 AM
Just watch your fingers,..  I'm trying to remember the show that had it,.. or details about the house, but a man build a 4,000 sq ft shelter under his house in the 70's, he build his own blast door, had several entrances, generator, battery shack and more under his pre-existing house...  It's been on Discovery and TLC a time or two, just can't remember the show.

As someone who has been in construction all my life this is so not true, while people may know about it, most wont remember or care, inspectors don't inspect to justify the use of walls and spaces, just to make sure there up to code. My brother built his home 5 years ago and had a 10 x 10 dead space in the middle of the second floor behind a walk in closet he added a hidden pocket door and made a secret room, there are a few home inspections that occur as your home building progresses foundation, framing, electrical, plumbing, final none of these inspectors ever worry or care about final use of the rooms. If your that paranoid leave it open during construction and then close it in after you've moved into the house.
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: will3117 on March 31, 2012, 10:44:28 AM
Totally cool!   It has mad me think of some ideas for the space under the cellar stairs - a super secret hideaway - no one will ever know!!  I just have to keep this a secret and not tell ANYONE!

The number one space people put hidden rooms is under stairways, its ready made and obvious
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: mxitman on April 04, 2012, 10:28:44 AM
Quote
The number one space people put hidden rooms is under stairways, its ready made and obvious

yea, very common along with hidden rooms/doors in closets. I don't think I have mentioned it before but I was working on a HVAC unit into a well known celebrity's house a few years back. He had built several hidden rooms but this one takes the cake as it was built into a large walk in shower, It had 6 shower heads and probably 8'x8' Can you say party ;)

On the side wall there was built in shelves for shampoo and stuff like that, under the lip of the 2nd to bottom shelf was a hole about the size of quarter, where there was a finger print reader...Like James Bond...was really sweet. Put your finger on there and after a second or two the door popped open and swinged open. The caretaker had to get me access in there to work on the AC unit that served the room. Most of the AC equipment was in the basement but because this was an unscheduled addition that was the only place to put it.

The room was around 6' x 12' and the equipment took up one corner, there was some stuff in there but looked for the most part to be unused, I also noticed what looked like another hidden door but I didn't ask about it.
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: endurance on October 07, 2015, 02:09:50 PM
A few new ones that I liked:

http://www.familyhandyman.com/home-security/20-secret-hiding-places#1 (http://www.familyhandyman.com/home-security/20-secret-hiding-places#1)

This might be my favorite:

(http://i.imgur.com/Gwn0L50.png)
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: nkawtg on October 07, 2015, 02:50:49 PM
A few new ones that I liked:

http://www.familyhandyman.com/home-security/20-secret-hiding-places#1 (http://www.familyhandyman.com/home-security/20-secret-hiding-places#1)

This might be my favorite:

(http://i.imgur.com/Gwn0L50.png)

BRILLIANT
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: endurance on October 07, 2015, 03:21:53 PM
Love this one, too.

(http://i.imgur.com/HejUZ3e.png)
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: Beetle on October 07, 2015, 06:18:56 PM
.
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: beakerello on October 16, 2015, 07:53:09 PM
Lots of great ideas, and great links as well. Can't wait to build something.
Title: Re: Secret passages, hidden caches, trap doors, etc for survivalists
Post by: R_Morgan on October 17, 2015, 07:04:36 AM
What I have done is in the area where the hvac comes in is a half bath. Size space at the top of the stairs. A lot of duct work in there so I have purchased additional pieces of duct and installed them so they look legit and go. Into the attic in both directions.

If you go into the attic you don't see them because they don't. Go through the wall completely to that side. In the hvac room they do go into the wall. A inspector would know but even a thief taking his time wouldn't know unless he was closely inspecting the hvac lines.

Inside is where I store my gold and silver and "just in case" emergency cash

I also have taken old heat registers and installed bottoms on them cut out the fins. Jb weld the flap shut and then install them in closets or behind. Tv stands etc. Can hide precious metals in there as well.

Fake septic piping also works to hide stripped down weapons. I actually have fully installed them with pvc glue and left a small notch on both ends to know where to cut with a sawzall and not hit any parts.  This is not good for things you want quickly but I doubt the thief or agent who will be cutting open sewage lines to look for things.

I also knew a guy you bought an old outhouse that was rotting but still structurally sound. He dug a pit. Concrete formed itthen installed a door over it.  Hid a bunch of stuff directly below it. It wasn't wider than the outhouse so ground radar wouldn't pick it up unless it was inside.

He threw old toilet paper down the. Grease from the kitchen over the years to give the rancid smell and a few actual dumpings to build up the cover. There was a rebar hook to hold onto. In case of shtf it would be dug up and opened. Def not a safe room persay but a break in case of shtf thing. Don't know too many people that want to dig through an old outhouse hole!