A Naturized Storm Shelter
We live here in the Missouri Ozarks and tornadoes and straight-line winds come quite often.
There are many types of storm shelters. A good friend of mine bought one from Missouri Storm Shelters out of Nixa, Missouri. Their web site link is to the right.
These shelters are concrete and are buried deep in the ground. They are a great safety feature, but they can be an eyesore.
Our imagination can be a wonderful thing.
The pictures below will show you what we did. My friend knew I had started doing my "own thing"; the link is below. He called and this is what we did.
Before And After Pictures
Missouri Storm Shelters
How It's Done
You will need:
- A good supply of railroad ties; the straighter, the better.
- A chainsaw.
- A drill.
- A 10 inch auger bit.
- A 1 1/8 inch paddle bit.
- A good supply of 10 inch lag bolts with washers.
- A sledgehammer.
- A level.
- A lot of muscle.
- A cold beer for when you are done; or lemonade if you prefer no alcohol.
You want to make sure the ground around your shelter is level. A layer of gravel before you lay your ties is recommended.
You place your first level ( look at pictures for the layout ). Make sure and drill and lag bolt each tie into the other. Always use your paddle bit first and go down about 1/2 inch so that the lag bolt will be recessed in the railroad tie. Pre-drill with the auger bit through your first tie so the bolt will not have to fight it's way through it.
As you go up, check with your level every tie. If you need to shim one side up a bit, we used old roof shingles with some roof tar on them.
Make all your cuts with the chainsaw.
It was really quite simple, but very hard and heavy work. For the right price I would probably come do it for you. Just contact me at the web site I listed: No Job Too Small.
This sure fit in with all the Ozark nature better than the concrete that was showing.
One other thing, be sure and measure correctly having the top ties at least 1/2 inch higher than the top. This method will allow for settling. You could also spend a bit more and pour a concrete footing to set your ties on.
Now these fine folks can enjoy the Missouri nature that surrounds them without a concrete storm shelter staring back at them.
© G.L. Boudonck
© 2010 Greg Boudonck