Fujita Scale

Construction of a concrete safe room is dependent on many variables to include:

  • the type of foundation on which your home is built.
  • your location within the United States (because of regional variations in labor and material costs.
  • whether you are building a safe room into a new home or retrofitting an existing home.

The table below shows the average costs for building two types of safe rooms (aboveground [AG] and in-ground [IG]) in new homes on basement, slab-on-grade, and crawlspace foundations according to the design plans in the FEMA “Taking Shelter From the Storm”. These costs are for safe rooms with a floor area of 8 feet by 8 feet and 14 feet by 14 feet.

Average costs for both 8-foot by 8-foot and 14-foot by 14-foot safe rooms in new homes or buildings.

  1. All safe room types shown in this table are above-ground (AG) types for slab-on-grade foundations. Safe rooms constructed in basements or on crawlspaces will differe slighty in price based on the foundations used.
  2. Below-ground safe rooms were estimated for a 5-foot by 5-foot by 8-foot (deep) safe room. The cost included a castin- place footing and safe room top, but the safe room walls were a pre-cast unit. The costs for these types of safe rooms are very dependent on site - specific soil conditions and the build materials used.
  3. See drawings in the FEMA Staking Shelter From the Storm for specific materials used, sizes, and other values needed for estimating purposes.
  4. Costs provided are only costs estimates.

The costs of retrofitting an existing homes to add a safe room will vary with the size of the home and its construction type. In general, safe room costs for existing homes will be approximately twenty percent higher that those shown in the table above.